Faith and the Fancy Feast

My favourite restaurant in Kansas City is Bluestem.  It's the kind of place that appeals to my champagne taste.  The sort of food that's almost too pretty to eat, and there doesn't seem to be enough of it for the price.  And a good cocktail to go with it.  Drinks with edible flowers and international ingredients.  Where the wait staff is formal and I do not interrupt them as they tell me what the next course is, because they've taken time to memorize 8 things that will be lost in my eye teeth in a few seconds. The kind I want to simultaneously suck down with a straw and enjoy slowly, intravenously.  You get the picture.  


Here's what I love about a fine dining experience.  I love how temporary and elusive it is.  Stay with me here.  I love that I only have it for just those few minutes.  I love that I can put it inside my body and it becomes part of me.  But for just a little while.  It's indulgent and worldly and makes me feel alive.  In the same way that one would enjoy owning a famous piece of art, or an antique car, or expensive jewelry.  The difference though, is that those things are not as temporary.  You can keep them for a long time.  Fancy food doesn't last.  I am acutely aware that with every bite, I will never get that very same experience again.  It's like doing something for the first time over and over.  It gives me a rush.  But it disappears before I can make it an idol.  

Nothing pleases me more than sitting near the kitchen and seeing the white chef jackets and hat, head bent in concentration as each micro-green is placed meticulously by tweezers, next to some cilantro foam over a piece of sous-vide salmon.  Yes, please. The edge of the plate is wiped clean and the Chef inspects it before it gets to my table.  Such care in his craft.  Thoughtful creativity.  It's as artistic as it is scientific.  And only moments later, it's flooding my body and mind with a new and exciting experience.  Yes, take this right arm in payment if you must, but give me that feeling again and again.  

This is a spiritual. It reminds me of how fleeting life is.  I think of the Creator, working behind the scenes while all I see and touch are His creation.  Each friend a micro-green, placed just so to delight me, lighten things up.  The foam, a new perspective on a familiar situation.  A puree, comfort and ease when I need it.  I never see when He redirects and hairy situation before it ever reaches me.  Not good enough, He says.  I don't always love everything that I get and I'm not always sure what to do with what I'm served. Tongue terrine to get me out of my comfort zone? Ugh, can I pass on that please?  What do I do with this bone broth in a tea-cup, God?  This may be a stretch for some, but this is my thing.  Faith in food.  The Father in the fancy.  Feed me five courses 'til I want no more, until my cocktail overflows. 


  1. I will never eat a fancy feast the same. The elegance of your words and precise descriptions are nourishing as well. Thank you. Ryann


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