It was the best of times, it was the wurst of times. Bratwurst. A bulging, hairless guy on TV was cooking sausages, in nitrogen, to serve another bulging, balding guy — the archetypical form that has, since Hannibal ‘Hopkins’ Lecter, been the face of the connoisseur. Slender people are also allowed to be cognoscenti, if they are ex-girlfriends of pompous writers with a price on their head.
Airing a cookery show on primetime TV, I presumed, had some overarching design that I had failed to divine with my restricted senses, too cluttered with disproportionately grim events:
The Sultans of Free Press had just been found slumming in the phone lines of the bourgeois —what a shocker, the media pry, even the firms run by men and redheads serving you righteous celebrity gossip. Then, a man had just flung the F-bomb in his boss’s face before quitting, which, incidentally made for the most inspirational reading for many of us since A Million Little Pieces — the sham-oir — the first half of which details how James Frey spat and barfed all he ate while in rehab.
Which, logically, brought me back to the show. I learned that when one uses equipment and ingredients that belong in weapons labs in kitchens, the outcome is called molecular gastronomy. Ingenious. Now that we are running out of things that God intended us to eat because we have procreated enough to eat our way through the available food stock, we can eat our way through the Periodic Table in the raw. (Although we, in our country, with the overflowing prosperity of Padmanabhaswamy Temple, may afford to let food grains rot in godowns with the natural ventilation of holey walls).
Very inspiring. Scientist-cooks bent over their little tubes and fluids in meditative surreptitiousness, coming up with edible jewels christened with names that make them sound as though they would taste like fertiliser.
The innovation in cooking was, in a sense, as elemental as the bladder-jarring discovery by a Belgian scientist that if you asked kindergarten kids to hold their pee, it could damage their bladder. (Obviously, they do not have as much practice as grown-ups on a suburban commute.)
I could understand how such an unthought-of piece of shimmering genius could have come only by expending incredible mounds of research funds and limited resources in a starving world. Starving world. Yes, epiphany: molecular gastronomy would feed us. The bums from SoBo, slumming at Aurus, agree.
And if we are starved of ideas for more dishes, the eggheads can cook some Chlorine Caviar, while I turn to The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs.