I am a good cook. Meaning that I can cook food that tastes quite delicious. It may not look like a work of art–although on more than a few occasions, it most certainly does–but it tastes quite good. Which is why I will never become a high-income chef of a trendy restaurant or host a reality show about cooking. I cook food that tastes decadent, not food that is decadent. Big, big difference there.
I did once try one of those restaurants where the meal is intended to be an experience and the food is decadent. Personally, I prefer restaurants where the food is made to be eaten, not looked at in wonder of what animal or plant product from which it was allegedly derived.
I have never written about my one and only personal experience eating one of those decadent meals you see all over the television, because the restaurant was located at a hotel that I very much enjoyed staying at. Great hotel, overpriced restaurant. Why can’t life be easy?
So what was so decadent about this meal and where exactly does it situate on the scale of expensive meals? Well, we’re talking rigidly constructed multiple courses. You know how at a restaurant that serves food intended for consumption you will eat an appetizer and then get your meal and then get you dessert? And maybe the serving of the first two will sort of overlap? Well, this restaurant made pomp and circumstance from not only the delivery of each course, but the remove of the previous course. Heaven forbid you might actually have enjoyed the taste of one of those courses enough that you wanted to keep it on your table when the next course was being set before you because if so you were out of luck. I must admit that I did not see where this situation actually became a problem, but I suppose the potential is there.
I have to admit my experience in eating the kind of expensive decadent meal that very rich people confuse with delicious food was a few years back, so I don’t really recall the names of the food delivered in each course. I do recall having the choice for the first course between a beet salad and a mushroom salad. Now, I’m a big fan of mushrooms and I don’t know anyone who eats beets, so that seemed a no-brainer. Except that the mushrooms tasted like ginger. I know even fewer people who like ginger than beets. Seriously? Ginger on mushrooms? I mean, what was the point, man? Nobody could answer.
Course number two of this exceedingly expensive meal also included a choice involving mushrooms, but I had learned my lesson by then. Unfortunately, the other choices involved something called gnocchi and a bisque along with a choice in which the only words I recognized that related to food were “ham” and “hollandaise.” I took a leap of faith and ordered the thing with the ham but asked for the hollandaise to remain in the kitchen. That latter request was not viewed favorably, but I paid for food to satiate my hunger, not a decadent experience.
Or did I?
My point is that if you are considering taking a chance on recreating the experience of a decadent and expensive meal like you see rich people having in movies or on TV, you might want to ask yourself whether you prefer to eat food you can see or to be seen eating food. Because as near as I can figure out from my one and only experience with a hoity-toity meal expensive than most smartphones is that there are two people in this world. Those who know that food is supposed to taste good. And those who know think that food is supposed to look interesting.
You would think that a filet of beef rubbed with brown sugar and served with collard greens by a restaurant located in a state that was, indeed, a member of the Confederacy could not possibly go wrong. Right?
I’m not quite sure how, but brown sugar rubbed on a filet of beef for some reason inflated the cost by about 30 percent. Was it tasty? Sure. Was it 30 percent tastier than a filet of beef you could get at Ruby Tuesday’s? Most assuredly not. But the filet of beef sporting brown sugar was not the real story here. Maybe one day I’ll be made privy not to how collard greens could be cooked with cottage cheese, but why. Why? What could possess anyone to think that preparing collard greens with cottage cheese could possibly be a good idea?
That is the point at which I lost it. I mean I remember ordering something for the dessert course and I even think it featured white chocolate and either raspberries or blueberries, but I really have no genuine memory. All I can remember from the point at which the ridiculously expensive slab of sugary beef was served with a side of collard greens held together (because, of course, collard greens absolutely must be held together) with cottage cheese was how long it was going to take me to forget how much we had spent on this meal. The impetus for even considering seeing how the decadent over half lives had already slipped forever from my memory.
One day the entire event will join it.