THE FIRST BLOW
Following the same song and dance as before with the waitress, Chef Richard brought out an adorable tin container filled with mashed potatoes, some sort of meat hiding under it, and wispy herbs strategically placed to mimic grass. A small shovel-shaped spoon sat next to it. The first blow came when he switched gears from eager-chef to cold-hearted killer. Yes, I said killer. You see, he told me a story about having to kill and dismember a “bloke” while in prison. This dish would reenact how the guards had to dig and find the body. I was encouraged to use the spoon to uncover the “body.”
What I thought: Wait. What? Get the fuck out of here. No way. You are just going to lead with that so bluntly and expect me to believe it? OMG, I must be getting punked! This is not a real story. But, wait, everyone is so serious and convincing. OMG, what if it’s real and I’m sitting here smirking? The spoon is cute though. Let’s uncover this body! I’ll play along, but no way am I showing any shock on my face. I’ll match his cold-heartedness with a knowing smile. Hmmm, this tastes like sausage and not veal (or whatever meat he said it was). Do I have to eat this entire thing? It’s a lot. He wants to win a Michelin star with store-bought tasting mashed potatoes? He said they are truffled? No truffles here.
What I said and did: I smiled. I happily played with the spoon moving the mashed potatoes around as asked (never met one I didn’t like) and uncovered “the body.” He asked if I tasted the truffles in the mashed potatoes. I replied saying something generic to the effect of “It’s comfort food and who doesn’t love truffles?” He mentioned how his late wife loved them too. Not sure why, but I responded with “Are you serving her up next?” Really. He didn’t seem hurt by my comment. He did mention he was happy I enjoyed the potatoes because the dead guy (forgot his name) would have liked to know that he “brought me comfort.” I smiled. Blank stare and a smile.
SOME FISH TALES
The next dish came and went in a flash: a couple of fish sticks next to caviar-topped asparagus. Don’t recall a story to match it other than it’s something he, of course, had in prison. It seemed he brought it out quickly, talked for mere seconds and disappeared without waiting for my reaction. Buffer dish? Who knows.
What I thought: I’ll eat the asparagus, but these fish sticks are hard AF. No way am I eating both of these. This has to be a joke. Fish sticks? Michelin-starred fish sticks? No way. No how. How is this real life right now?
What I said and did: I ate one and some of the asparagus. When I realized I would be asked to take “one more bite” of everything for the camera, I started taking fewer bites each time. Uneventful course.
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