Cookery programmes are everywhere. I would imagine, aside from dedicated television channels, if you wished to you could find a cookery programme on a least one television channel at any time of the day or night. It sometimes seems as though the majority of people long to be working with food in some capacity, to be the best, get the most praise, get that one step ahead that might just propel them from mundane 9 to 5 to exciting, fast paced, adrenaline pumping creativity. One wonders what their bosses must think after the person returns to work, their dream having failed; but worse, have usually disparaged their occupation, or even their workplace on national television! The most impressive young chef I have seen recently is Luke Thomas, still in his late teens, already a head chef, having even at his young age, worked in kitchens for a few years.
So, what are we to make of the two people in the picture? One plate completed, one to go. The last item has is being placed on the plate with precision, fulfilling chef’s vision for the dish, and impressing the receiver of the plate. They appear as though they are working in a team — one poised, spoon in hand, waiting to spoon out sauce of some kind at just the right moment, in just the right place on the dish, in a precise measure. No room for any mistakes, or the thing will be replaced at top speed; should the food go cold, this would be the disaster to end all others. I wonder, do you agree that the higher the price asked of a customer the greater quality the food will be?? Or should food we choose from a restaurant menu always be excellent? Are you someone who believes ‘you get what you pay for’?
The screenshot of a moment is no part of any kitchen belonging to any restaurant chain. They are preparing quality, ‘high end’ grub with the finest ingredients money can buy. Of course, the ingredients are locally sourced as much as possible: vegetables and herbs from the vast kitchen garden, meat and dairy from local farms, whom the chef has known for years and who now are firm friends. All of this comes at a price, many times that what the original ingredients cost.
What of the customers? Maybe this is something a couple has been looking forward to for months, for which they have saved every penny. Perhaps they googled reviews from lots of restaurants to find just the right one that would help them celebrate their special anniversary in style. Or perhaps they are regulars. Two wealthy business people who eat there regularly and always order their usual; expecting exactly the same dish every time. Perhaps they are so bold as to put it on expenses. Or perhaps the cost of this meal is nothing to them, for at the weekend they will be jetting off on a city break, perhaps to France or Italy, where they have blagged their way in to get a table at one of the finest restaurants in Europe, and one with a Michelin star or two at that.
Finally, we come to consider the two chefs in the picture. As I mentioned before, they seem as if they are working in perfect harmony; one placing the last item just so, and the other poised to finish the dish. Perhaps, underneath one of them bubbles with resentment that their bitter rival got promoted ahead of them; or perhaps the mentee is quaking inside; praying that the entire dish does not collapse at the last moment. They long to please their mentor, and to prove just how much they have learned. Hoping against hope that the chef will employ them in industry they have longed to join since they were a little one baking fairy cakes with their nana. We can wonder all we like, but we will never know about the two people in the picture, or those the food is destined for. It does look rather good.
That reminds me, I have nothing in the fridge for my tea. Perhaps I should look for a new recipe; ‘push the boat out’ a little. It’s also making me think of the last time I ate a meal out and the people I shared it with, who I see often, always over food which gives us time to talk. Or even the meal before that… Enough reminiscing, it is time to leave the people in the photo to their task and go off to do mine, put off for as long as it took me to write this. On the other hand, I may just find a new recipe or two…
p.s. This post is based on WP’s ‘Weekly Writing Challenge. Here’s the link: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/weekly-writing-challenge-1000-words-three/