The following weeks revolved around my feverish planning and preparing more and more combinations of meals to satisfy even the most discerning palette. One meal I planned consisted of a starter of salad grown on the volcanic islands of the far North. The flavour of minerals and scorched earth stored in the leafs during their growth would force a geographical shift in the guests minds on the first bite. Thus bringing them on a journey whilst never leaving their seat. A main of paella, swimming with as many exotic fish as possible, to make the recipient feel as though they were beneath the waves of every ocean in the world, all at once. Once the paella was finished, the final dish of boring old vanilla ice cream would give a lasting impact of my mastery of the culinary arts. It was perfect, it showed humility and bravery, artistry and craft all in one meal. The ingredients would not even be too difficult to acquire.
As I was not the master I was professing to be I knew I would have to close my kitchen to all people and so would be limited to serving no more than seven guests at once. I also knew that because all guests would need to consume the second serum, I would have to concoct a pretence under which everything served would be tasted, without of course revealing the reason why. I decided in those early days that an air of mystique would serve me well, and took on the persona of a reclusive yet brilliant chef who was fastidious and diligent, yet also experienced enough to know his trade with an intimacy above all others.
To be continued…
© Stephen Fahey