The steak was succulent. The chicken juicy. The entire meal had a certain…character to it. He tucked into it with unusual abandon.
She finally spoke when he’d finished licking his fingers.
“You like it?”
“Like it? It’s magical! Where did you find such a genius chef?”
“Oh, he’s good, no doubt. But the magic here lies in the ingredients and also,” she hesitated before adding, “the meticulousness with which they were sourced.”
“Stop!” My companion smashed his fist on the bar counter, spilling some of his beer in the process. “I’m not going to listen to any more of this tripe. I can see the twist coming a mile away. She served him a human being, didn’t she?” he asked.
I smirked in that annoying way which always got on people’s nerves.
“No, she didn’t. How predictable would that be? And who said anything about there being a twist anyway?”
“Fine. Continue then,” he said.
“Where was I now…oh right…the source.”
“Where do you source your food from?” he asked.
“We grow it ourselves,” she replied.
“What’s your secret?” he asked as he not-so-discreetly mopped the remaining juices off the plate with his fingers.
“Our farm animals are on a special diet. So are our vegetables. We don’t use ordinary feed or fertiliser.”
“She grinds humans up into the fertiliser and the feed, doesn’t she? Is that it? It’s even lamer than I thought!”
“Why are you being so morbid? And I do agree — that would have been very lame. Now, if you don’t have any more ‘theories’, shall I continue?”
He nodded. A cold, steely determination had crept into his eyes.
I smirked again.
“I’d love to meet and compliment the chef in person. This was the best meal I’ve ever had in my life,” he said.
“I’ll summon him immediately,” she made a couple of gestures at the server.
A few seconds later, a voice coughed behind him. He looked up to see a tall slender man in a chef’s hat standing over him.
“Well, that was quick,” he said.
“Meet The Count, our head chef. He has apprenticed under a lot of culinary masters and is now a man who possesses the sum of their skills. He’s absolutely lapped up their talents, so to speak,” she said.
The Count smiled at him. He smiled back. The Count’s teeth glinted.
“This, sir, isn’t chic-lit!” I said with as much indignation as I could muster.
“What’s your secret?” he asked.
“Would you believe, cauldrons? I always cook in cauldrons. And I like to sing with the other chefs while I do it,” The Count replied.
“That’s…interesting,” he said.
“Surely, there must be something else?” he probed further. He knew The Count was hiding something.
The Count hesitated for a bit, then leaned into his ear and whispered.
“Salt. Lots of it,” The Count said. “And a shitload of MSG,” he added with a wink.
“You’re horrible at spotting the twist,” I said. And then I ate him.
Telling that story always gives me the munchies.