it turned out Billy graduated from a culinary school, he is a trained chef, and used to work as one in a restaurant. he still has his chef's knives from the time before some personal problems derailed his dreams. he currently works part time, i'm not sure where, i think one of the places he mentioned IS a restaurant. that on top of getting up 5:30 every morning to go to the clinic which treats him.
Billy is funny in the kitchen: he used to be THE chef, and very well knowing what he was doing, apparently high end stuff. he named our soup efforts 'this and that soup', meaning we put in a little bit of this and a little bit of that, whatever we find. he was a game, chopping whatever we had with professional precision and constantly musing that we could/should do better. he showed me how to shake away the core of a cabbage by smashing it against the counter.
Billy is not used to follow directions in the kitchen, and kept improving the soup every time he had a chance: more of the chicken powder every time i turned away, more salt and more pepper, more spices. i finally said: 'hey, there is a room for only one prima-donna in this kitchen, Billy, and that would be me'.
'wrong, wrong, and no, no, no' he said. 'i'm the chef '! he went out to chill out with a cigarette. in his absence i realized he was right: he knew much more about cooking that i'll ever will. he ruined my short-lived role as a kitchen director, but it was well worth it. he was DA chef and we both knew it.
the soup turned out great: spicy, sweet and filling. Billy thought we should do some pasta soup next time, and we did, although he was busy at work, and not around to participate that time.