American Psycho inspires two chefs to culinary creativity

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The protagonist of the violent book and film, Patrick Bateman, liked to eat and kill.
  • Lions Gate Entertainment
  • The protagonist of the violent book and film, Patrick Bateman, liked to eat and kill.

Go ahead, rattle off the movies that have inspired chefs to create special dinners. Babette's Feast. Like Water for Chocolate. Big Night.

American Psycho?

The film adaptation of the 1991 Bret Easton Ellis book about a sophisticated young serial killer was released in 2000. None of the reviews - which were mixed - mentioned the food or the references to popular New York restaurants of the 1980s (Nell's, Texarkana), but two young local chefs - Jimmy Daily from the Bulldog and Stephanie Springer from Millie's Cafe in Kansas City, Kansas - picked up on the culinary bits right away.

Stephanie Springer and Jimmy Dailey are cooking up an American Psycho dinner.
  • Stephanie Springer and Jimmy Dailey are cooking up an American Psycho dinner.

The Ellis book and movie make up one of the many mutual interests (punk rock is another) shared by the two chefs, who have been friends since they were teenagers at Bishop Ward High School. Daily and Springer have been hosting monthly dinners - "A secret supper club," Springer says  - at Millie's Cafe, located at 553 Central. The first one sold out quickly (the venue has only 30 seats). The American Psycho dinner, scheduled for Saturday, November 16, still has seats available for diners who don't mind watching "suitably appropriate film clips" from the movie while enjoying a five-course meal. The courses, Dailey says, will be inspired by dishes that the book's protagonist, Patrick Bateman, orders from his favorite trendy restaurants serving what was then called "nouvelle cuisine."

"The story is a metahor for the indulgences of the 1980s," Dailey said.

The book has already been adapted as a musical, which opens this winter in London.

"I'm not really a fan of gore," Springer says. "But this book hit me hard as a kid. And, yes, there's a lot of references to food in it."

The menu hasn't been set, but Dailey and Springer are thinking that it will cost about $50 per person. For reservations, call Springer at 913-333-0239.


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