Would you pay $160 to cook yourself dinner for 3.5 hours? What if you could hang out in an office building lobby while doing it? OK, but what if I told you that you’d be hanging out with some really awesome, hip dudes in custom suits and pointy shoes?
If you answered yes, hell yes, and good God sign me up, you’ll be happy to know that a group of New York entrepreneurs, Michael J. Cirino, Daniel Castaño, and Jonny Cigar, have been traveling the country staging communal dinner parties much like the one sketched above. Wine and cocktails included. Collectively known as a razor, a shiny knife, they let guests try their hands at science-y cooking methods like liquid nitrogen freezing, meat glue, and sous vide. Might sound like fun—after all, if you’re not a pro chef, you don’t have access to the high-tech equipment needed to do this stuff, right? *
A story in the LA Times about one such dinner staged a few nights ago in a Wilshire Boulevard office lobby, however, promised something much more sublime than a cooking demo. So that you don’t have to read the article, I have abridged the good parts for you here for you, in poem form. Every word in poem taken verbatim from article.
Croquettes at the Tar Pits
McCarren Park in Brooklyn. The year was 2007
They were hungry
“smelled like hipster.”
Michael J. Cirino
dark-haired, heavy-lidded performer
old-fashioned silver spoon in his breast pocket.
The Clown by Heinrich Böll tucked into his outer side pocket
This poem pairs well with the wine
A giant cluster of satellite dishes
emit a rapid, electronic beeping noise
Condensed duck leg bonded with Activa
White Elephant cocktails “gently muddled”
* (Actually, you can cook sous vide at home with a Food Saver, you can rent a liquid nitrogen tank from most welding shops, and transglutaminase, a.k.a. meat glue, can be found online. Or you could just pay $160 and not worry about it.)