Thursday, 23 October 2008
The black Delia contains a single recipe for vegans, and despite my devotion to the culinary arts, it's always made me wince a tiny little bit when I read it. It's the same kind of wince you see when people are told that lobsters are boiled alive (and appear to scream) in order to be cooked, only much harder to spot. Whereas I have no love for vegans, who appear to despise their lives and seek to make themselves miserable by depriving themselves of all flavour and taste, the recipe is a little extreme.
It does taste fantastic when it's cooked, however. And in the final reckoning, the end always justifies the means when you're cooking. Certainly when I'm cooking, anyway.
I reflected briefly on this as I took the third leek and forced it into the vegan, who was now unconscious and curled into the fetal position. This is what is referred to in the book as an Advanced recipe, which means that the chef will require greater-than-average upper body strength, mostly to subdue and tenderise the vegan prior to stuffing it. There are two stuffings; one a vegetable based one and the other a standard farce made from pork. After that it all gets a little more complicated, and the culinary code of conduct prohibits me discussing it further.
I'd not intended to cook vegan at all; for the assassination I'd been hired to carry out I'd intended to use a basic food poisoning using elements of the cutlery polish to ensure that I was above suspicion. In fact there were seven ounces of chrome and an ounce-and-a-half of thorium in my chef's kit that I'd been expecting to add to a veloute that I'd serve with a Blanquette de Volaille aux Champignons. When I arrived though, and was faced with a whey-faced steward with a crooked back, a hooked nose and a mealy-mouth who informed me only then that the banquet, to start in a mere five hours time, was to be vegan, I saw red. The same red I saw when I passed the first practical at Chef School.
The steward is in the pantry on a meat-hook, bleeding out, waiting to be made into an andouilette. The guest of honour, a speaker for the rights of carrots, is now dish of the day instead. It pains me that probably no-one will get to taste how good this dish actually is, as my new plan is to mould the dish around a hedgehog of carrot spears, which is turn will be set into a small lump of C4 with a radio-detonated fuse. There will be collateral damage, but the contract clearly states that the kill may be a little untidy if necessary.
There have to be limits in my profession, and vegetarianism is definitely a step too far.