Food is a process

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Eating

Imagine eating for twelve hours and not getting full until the chocolate souffle/cinnamon cookie/ice cream/superdark chocolate sauce tower comes out at midnight. Imagine tastes that you've never encountered: the way real caviar interacts with champagne, fresh black truffles, hand made chive oil. Flavors so complex that you are almost grateful for the small portions, portions so small that you revel in the complex flavors instead of being overwhelmed. This, and much, much more mind-expanding culinary experience, was the result of the French Laundry menu.

I felt at the end as though I had lived through some kind of gastronomic rite of passage. I was a shiny new being.

Both Clementine and I had lost our mates to the planning and execution of this for days. We stayed out of the kitchen, or helped with what we could (she mentioned countless trips to the market, up until the last minute). But during the meal, we were not called upon to take care of anything but bringing the occasional dish back inside. With Indre and Adam, we were the Eaters. They were the Chefs. We drank and swam and lounged and digested. They sweated and cut themselves and produced the most amazing meal I have ever had.

We have all taken turns cooking, that's how it started, though I wasn't there at the nascence of it all. Everyone has prepared amazing meals, therefore I've eaten many. This was definitely the most indulgent. This meal was miraculous, transcendental.

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