The main character is asked to prepare an omelet in the morning for his master, a Parisian intellectual. Feeling his cooking is underappreciated, he contemplates the intellectuals’ missing reflection on his artistry in the kitchen. This is clearly about tango: (From Monique Truong’s The Book of Salt:)
Like children, gullible and full of wonder, they always ask, "What is your secret?" Do I look like a fool? I ask myself each time. Please, Madame, do not equate my lack of speech with a lack of thought. If there is a secret, Madame, I would take it with me to my unmarked grave, hide it in my bony jaw, the place my tongue would be if it had not rotted away. (...) They all believe in a "secret" ingredient, a balm for their Gallic pride, a magic elixir that anyone can employ to duplicate my success. Its very existance threatens my own. (...) If there is a "secret", Madame, it is this: Repetition and routine. Servitude and subservience. Beck and call.
You should read the passage in context, it is too long to fit in a blog post, it is in the beginning of chapter 15.
PS: Many thanks to my lovely wife for serving me the delicious omelet and sharing the secret. (The recipy is in the same chapter :-) )