Remains of the Day
The Interview – Part 1
“My name is Jacques Montana Pettifers,
I am by birth an American, but lived in France,
For many of my younger years,
Whilst my parents lived away by some distance,
I have always enjoyed cooking and creating new recipes,
But was becoming bored with everything,
Way back in my mid-twenties,
So l took a journey of south sea exploring,
Where l had hoped l might discover some new inspiration,
And this would lead to me creating some hidden secrets,
To cooking in a specific way and making new sensations,
For the tongues of my awaiting palettes,
“However, my crew and l became beached,
Marooned in reality off the coast of Papua New Guinea,
Which was ironic really as we were trying to reach,
The Asmat tribe who were known for their own specialities,
In the cooking of rare game meats and other such trifles,
And l believed if l found them, they might introduce,
Me to their secrets of creating within the tribal,
Way of cooking meats and using the juices!
Chance it was that we were quite literally in their neck,
Of the woods, for my crew and l were rescued,
By some of their longboats and soon were upon their decks,
Alongside some of their recently captured foods!
“Once ashore we were taken to their gathering,
A mixture of somewhat quaint little huts,
Quite a commotion we caused and the whole tribe was chattering,
And l realised then that we had in fact found the Asmat!
Sadly my crew did not survive this expedition,
All of them fell for one reason or another,
But l did well, for l followed the tribe’s tradition,
And soon the chief was calling upon me like a brother,
As l had been a chef back in France,
It was easy for me to intermingle with their own cooks,
And by doing so, we were able to enhance,
Their own recipes with my knowledge from books,
“Soon we were creating some very fine faire game,
From their choicest of meats, fruits and vegetables,
And concocting dishes of no name,
For the tribes population at the dinner tables!
It was here in fact that l adopted the idea for my own hunters,
A term we use here in Magura,
Where upon my own team adopt the Asmat culture,
And locate the finest game meats using sharp arrows,
We are adverse using lead from the gun as it can stain the flesh,
But a razor sharp arrow head in the right spot,
Is much less damaging and the meat still remains fresh,
Allowing our cooks here to receive the meat before the blood clots!
“My main hunter here is Herr Worr Wulvf,
A fine German of much hardened experience,
Excellent procurer of game meats if l say so myself,
He can bring down these beasts on the edge of the sixpence!
I left the Asmat tribe a year or so after my arrival,
And continued along my merry way,
Of discovery to the secrets of fresh meats revival,
Known only by these small tribal buffets,
And over the next five years l became acquainted with many more,
From the Papua, to Africa and even Australia,
All of these small tribes and communities swore,
Me to secrecy of their cooking and of course their paraphernalia!
“And this l have upheld throughout all of my years of comprehension,
Of understanding, of knowledge gleaned,
And it is here in Le Café Cannibal and the invention,
Of the supporting complex that all my learning’s are screened!
Armed with all these fine secrets and mysterious skills,
Soon l started to create my own dishes for those, whom l worked,
Finding myself in some very fine eating houses in Brazil,
Indeed it is here that l met Lecter, which has always proved a major perk!
He and l decided seeing as we had similar tastes,
That perhaps we should open up our own little bistro,
Of which and where upon we could baste,
Meats of our choice and choosing to the paying gringos!
“Indeed this is where l was for many a year to come,
And it was where he and l, seriously started to flourish,
Starting to develop our general codes and rules of thumb,
To how we could further explore the wide possibilities of how to nourish!
Soon he and l were to part ways for a while,
Allowing us to further expand our worldly ways in delicacy,
We were wealthy men at this time and lived in style,
And were able to continue along most gentlemanly,
We did agree that we would both travel the far reaches,
To find others like us who shared the likeness of fine meats,
Or those whom were not adverse to our teachings,
And would like to come together in an idea that would make us complete,
“It was over the years in fact that both he and l,
Did so find our small merry crew of cooking specialists,
Who are all here today enjoying the splendours of our stir fry,
Found amongst many other styles within this restaurant,
All of us present in the here and now of the café,
Are chefs within our own rights,
Each specialising in specific dishes and bouquet,
Constantly still in the search of acquiring new heights,
My Fine Young Cannibals as they have come to be known,
Are named in memory of the lost tribes finest cooks,
Who themselves specialised in the developing of home-grown,
Ideas and concepts in the cooking of rare meat and what made it good!
“Introducing them to you by name,
We have myself of course chef de cuisine, Lecter, Herr Worr Wulvf,
You recall is in charge of procuring game,
Lizzie Bathzory and Fronken Steiner from the gulf,
Martinia de Sade, Vladr Acula, Shania Bean,
Swonny Todd also doubling as the barber here,
Ginio from the Leopard Society, and Edward Gene,
The latter is also our clothier!
We are a fully fitted and kitted out kitchen,
French in style with all of our titles,
Sous, chef de partie, sauciers, poissoniers and grillardins,
All of which are essentially vital,
Rôtisseurs, frituriers, entremetiers, garde manger, pâtissiers,
Everyone has their role within the kitchens here,
Not forgetting the sommeliers, game manager and Boucher,
Nor of course not forgetting the commis and the head Expediter!
In order for our fine young cannibals to create their sensations,
It was called for to have the finest selection,
Of cooks and chefs present and not to ration,
The staffing and not to stifle our collection!
With additional cannibals present such as Geoffrey Dammer
Richard Mindlessly, Toole Gocht,
Plus the Royal Countess herself Duchess Bombassa
Who have l forgot?
To add in this ticking off of some of the world’s finest,
Masters in culinary delights,
Known to many as simply the best,
In slicing, dicing, chopping and butchering with the knife!
No, l think l have now listed them all,
Fifteen including myself,
We all pitch in to help where it is needed so as not to fall,
Behind and leave paying clients upon the shelf,
Awaiting our specialised services,
So that they can order from our extensive a la carte,
A menu l must say filled with sumptuous purchases,
Indeed truly a sincere work of loving art!”
© Rory Matier 2012
Guy or Bloke, Your Choice