Chef Jakub – Written By Stephen Fahey. Part 16

It wasn’t long before circumstances forced my hand. Baron van Broone had been waiting with baited breath and dread, knowing, no doubt, that I would go with the Vizier. I had to tell the Baron face to face, and I decided beforehand that I would repay him by making the Vizier promise to grant the Baron trade contracts. My new patron agree without hesitation and soon the men in robes and Christof all sat on rugs and cushions on the floor of Manor van Broone. I thanked the Baron and gave him profuse praise. He had given me the opportunity, albeit for his own gain, to further myself. He had had faith in my skills and had supplied me with considerable funds too. He was a good man, a good guide in life, and though I was traveling to a great opportunity I stated loud and clear for all present at I would have stayed at manor van Broone under any other circumstance.

The feast that night was my most important yet, so I arrived at the market before dawn again and purchased the ingredients for the meal of a lifetime. It started with an omelette of crow eggs, octopus eggs and platypus eggs seasoned with caramelised pink salt. Next, sweet hare legs in a peacock and pigeon broth. And then roasted falcons, unseasoned. Needless to say, I put the work in when I prepared this meal. Not only was the serum going to render every morsel immaculate, but I was going to ensure that the meal looked well and was cooked through. I began with the falcons as they were very labour intensive. Once they were plucked and gutted and washed I didn’t have to season them, so I set them aside and started on the broth. Again plucking and gutting and washing the birds took some time, but it was worth the effort. The hare went into the pot next, along with some garlic and salt and pepper and was left to meld together. The omelettes would be made as the lemon water was consumed, right in front of the diners’ eyes. The first time any guests would see me cook.

I didn’t divulge the menu beforehand, so when the diners saw me wheel out a hotplate and utensils they were shocked. They all knew well how secretive I was about my process, so their glazed eyes fixated on the simple action of frying an egg mix. I explained the ingredients as I cracks the eggs into a bowl and the impression this made on the guests was tangible. The rest of the meal was served as usual, but each course elevated the already dazzled guests until the final cups of sweet tea ended my service to the Baron. He and the Vizier formalised trade arrangements in the Baron’s lounge as I gathered my belongings. After parting ways on the best of terms with the Barona and Christof we were to the senator’s house before an early departure the following morning. It would have been sad to leave good folk behind, but all I cared about back then was my own fame.

To be continued…

© Stephen Fahey

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