Culinary Espionage: Tales of a Secret Food Critic, Part 1

So far, so good. I press my palms together in anticipation, watching an elite militia of cooks perform food surgery in a kitchen that’s open to the bar and dining room, hands piping and fiddling and finishing, brows furrowed and glistening. I can smell demi-glace, cioppino, and an obnoxious perfume put on way too liberally by my young perky server.

I gently lift the last bright red petal of bresoula (air-dried beef) from my app plate and put it in my mouth. It dissolves luxuriously; I can hardly feel myself swallow it.

“Service please!” The chef’s voice is appropriately curt, laced with urgency, but not enough to seem overbearing. He rotates the plate in the service window with a critical eye and garnishes it with a tall nest of fried sweet potato threads, silently cursing the server who is still making his way over to the window…


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