This is about contrasts. Some might call this a story of gluttony vs. starvation, but I prefer to see this as a change of pace, a bit of variety, or a touch of moderation.
Last night, I enjoyed an excellent meal at one of the world’s best three star restaurants. The food was plentiful and included taste sensations that are difficult to produce. Anyone not understanding costs of the best ingredients or cooking processes would not understand the price of such a meal. I found the cost to be reasonable, considering the ambience, service, and...well, every aspect of the experience.
Tonight, on the other hand, I enjoyed a meal fit for a...peasant (one with good taste). I sliced a tomato, sprinkled it with Fleur de sel, the best salt you can use, and added mayonnaise--not the product of a chemical plant, but the French variety with a touch of Dijon mustard added. With that, I had baguette and butter from Bretagne. Heaven, as simple often can be.
Many years ago, we ate at a one star restaurant in France. I was surprised to be served a sliced tomato with mayonnaise...until I ate it. One expects elaborate creations from starred restaurants, but Nouvelle Cuisine dictates simplicity...as long as that simplicity is the best you can serve. That meals taught me to enjoy simple, like I did tonight.
Both meals were excellent, but each required a suitable setting and state of mind. That’s what makes food so great: variety and contrasts.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.