Friday, January 16, 2009
A Night in the Life, Part 2
When we last left Michele and Christopher, the chef had arrived.
The chef in the tall white hat set the grill afire, and a flame several feet high shot into the air. Then came the eggs. Tossing them up into the air and catching them on a spatula before breaking them and letting them sizzle on the grill. I took out the BlackBerry to record the show ...
... and after a minute or two thought of a passage in Neal Stephenson's essay, "In the Beginning there was the Command Line". Stephenson recounts a trip to Disney World. While walking through the Magic Kingdom, he spies a man with a large camcorder recording everything in sight, yet looking at the exhibits only through the small screen in the camcorder. Stephenson thinks to himself, "Here is this guy, spending all this money to come down here for a vacation, to look at man-made replica's of other people's imaginations, and he's watching it through a television. And I am watching him." And I realized I was doing the same thing, watching a replica of a Japanese style of cooking, and doing it through a viewfinder. I put away the BlackBerry and remarked to Michele about the Zen-style nuttiness of what I was doing. She laughed, but didn't take her eyes off the show.
I lost track of time, so I have no idea how long various techniques of grilling, slinging, seasoning, cutting, whittling, shaping, frying food -- all while keeping up a level of audience-interaction patter that would make an Atlantic City Boardwalk pitchman proud -- went on, but at some unknowable point, I was sitting with a full plate of food.
And, I ask, just where the hell has THIS been all my life? Yeesh, that was good.
Michele on or way out told me that she had never seen me smile that much. I guess I have a new favorite restaurant.