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What chefs crave
October 24, 2007 11:24 AM   Subscribe

My Last Supper Famous chefs and their final meals. [slideshow]
posted by GrammarMoses (50 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Interesting, but I'm sort of disappointed that they didn't take pictures of the actual meals, prepared by the chefs (although I guess superstition would preclude widespread participation).
posted by saladin at 11:34 AM on October 24, 2007


As opposed to these last meals.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 11:37 AM on October 24, 2007


Before I clicked the link, I expected to see a slideshow full of hospital food. Can't tell if I'm relieved or disappointed.
posted by shmegegge at 11:43 AM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm disappointed that they don't tell us why they're all being executed. Was there some conspiracy to commit culinary high treason? Have we been invaded by chef-hating extraterrestrials, bent on gourmandicide? The unspoken hypothetical needs a bit more work, Time magazine.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:45 AM on October 24, 2007 [3 favorites]


I was actually more impressed with the few chefs who preferred to take a simple approach to their last meals, rather than the predictable, ostentatious meals most of them went for.

For some reason, to me, the simple meals showed a deeper appreciation for the meaning of food to the chefs than any of the long lists of oh-so-precious fare.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:47 AM on October 24, 2007


Grits, sauerkraut, butterscotch magic shell, nato, scrapple, and lots of fresh meth.
posted by kosem at 11:53 AM on October 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


A bowl of Casper's chili and a grape soda, and I'm out.

(Actually, whenever I imagine my perfect death, it alwasy involves me cooking a huge meal for my friends and families in a quiet house overlooking a lake before dying in my sleep. Although I would never pick fish as my last meal, in said death fantasy I'm always preparing whole fish, perhaps because of the lake house. i dunno.)
posted by Bookhouse at 11:54 AM on October 24, 2007


I agree, thorzdad, but I also appreciated the one who wanted to have a super-decadent Roman Empire style feast. I mean, if you're gonna go, that's gotta be the way to go.
posted by InnocentBystander at 11:55 AM on October 24, 2007


I was hoping for a list of the actual last meals of dead chefs. What was the last thing Julia Child ate?
posted by The World Famous at 11:58 AM on October 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


I doubt I'd be able to enjoy even my ideal meal if I knew I was going to die tomorrow. Can I ask for a simple Prison Breakout Cake with extra file filling?
posted by DU at 11:59 AM on October 24, 2007


What was the last thing Julia Child ate?

Onion Soup!

Julia's Last Meal
"She'd always fantasized about it. Foie gras to start, she'd say, and oysters, a little caviar; pan-roasted duck; the finest wines; Roquefort and Brie; a rich dessert with Château d'Yquem. But her nephew David, at her bedside, said no--said, rather, it was...onion soup. Of course."*
posted by ericb at 12:01 PM on October 24, 2007 [4 favorites]


Brilliant. Thanks.
posted by The World Famous at 12:04 PM on October 24, 2007


"In the end, though, early Friday morning, the woman who taught generations of Americans how to master the art of French cooking -- and have fun doing it -- spooned into something gently ironic: French onion soup. Her final meal had been made from scratch by her longtime assistant, using one of the food legend's own recipes."*

Truly comfort for a legend!
posted by ericb at 12:06 PM on October 24, 2007


Martin Picard
For this Canadian chef (left), the meal would start with one kilo of caviar and blini, a Russian pancake, followed by fresh bluefin tuna from Nova Scotia, served raw with a soy sauce and self-hunted snipes (a type of wading bird), prepared classically.


Eh?
posted by Mamapotomus at 12:08 PM on October 24, 2007


Snipe.
Recipes.
posted by Floydd at 12:18 PM on October 24, 2007


It's the kilo of caviar that I'm curious about. A whole kilo?
posted by The World Famous at 12:19 PM on October 24, 2007


After cleaning the snipe, remove skin and eyes from the head, draw it down to the legs and skewer the bill through the lower part of the legs; pin a thin slice of larding pork around each bird and string them on a skewer. Season with salt, cayenne and black pepper. Roll the ends in melted butter or salad oil. Broil on either side 5 minutes. Serve on hot toast moisten with Maitre de Hotel butter. Garnish with watercress.
posted by kosem at 12:19 PM on October 24, 2007


I like the fact that Julia Childs went out on a simple bit of homemade comfort food.

Me, if I'm going and it's going to be comfort food, it'll have to be a grilled cheese sandwich like I always reach for when I need to feel warm and like a kid.
posted by drewbage1847 at 12:34 PM on October 24, 2007


Oh YAY fun food posts. It is interesting to see what the different chefs would pick. Kind of like asking them for their all time favorites.

Tender thought about Julia Child's last onion soup. aww.

Some of the last suppers surprised me, like sea urchins. ? Gak.

But "roast beef with Yorkshire pudding and red wine gravy", mmmmm. Some made me want to go out and find out about what the heck that is, "poached onion marmalade" and "parsnip purée and crispy parsnip chips", sounds delish. Heard of turnip puree, yum, but parsnip puree sounds great. Want to know how to make that, must google.

Some of the photos are hilarious, like this one.

"handmade tortilla chips with guacamole made from organic tree-ripened avocados, spit-roasted lamb from the Sonoma Valley, served with potatoes cooked in ashes, followed by ice cream sandwiches made from shortbread, served with wild strawberries" sounds divine.

Today mine would be global: an eel sushi to start, Chicken Kurma, an avocado with really good tomato salad, French bread with butter, pecan pie and Zabaglione. But it could also be Eggs Benedict followed by butter pecan ice cream. :)

Hmmm, what would yours be GrammarMoses?
posted by nickyskye at 12:37 PM on October 24, 2007


Honestly, I'd eat as much Wendy's as I could cram. If I'm dying tomorrow, what does it matter?
posted by shmegegge at 12:43 PM on October 24, 2007


If that's a snipe, then what's the thing when you take someone out in the country and abandon them under the pretext of hunting?

(Thank goodness I've only been horribly embarrassed here, and not in public or anything.)
posted by Mamapotomus at 12:43 PM on October 24, 2007


Wow, nickyskye, I don't think I could narrow down my immense list of favorites. (Some possible menu items: smoked sable, oysters on the half shell, hush puppies, mangoes, curried lamb, gnocchi, broccoli rabe, sourdough bread, hazelnut pralines, onion chutney, Moroccan carrot salad and oatmeal the way my husband makes it.)
posted by GrammarMoses at 12:45 PM on October 24, 2007


Intended addendum: If I leave the menu vague enough, maybe I don't have to die.
posted by GrammarMoses at 12:48 PM on October 24, 2007


I'd bake myself a loaf of focaccia with rosemary, pour a plate of evoo for dipping, maybe a few chunks of parmesan on the side, and open a nice big red wine.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:51 PM on October 24, 2007


Am I missing something? How can an avocado be "tree-ripened"?
posted by onhazier at 12:52 PM on October 24, 2007


A really good burger, really excellent fries, and an beer matched to them would be great. Nice piece of fluffy chocolate torte for desert, no impurities like fruit jelly or other impurities added.

I too was disappointed in the predictable menus of most of the chefs.
posted by maxwelton at 1:00 PM on October 24, 2007


That's easy: PEZ. Cherry-flavored PEZ.
posted by mattbucher at 1:01 PM on October 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


(I think horrible grammar and numerous typos may be a sign of approaching death, in which case I should go over to Gordon's for that burger.)
posted by maxwelton at 1:02 PM on October 24, 2007


GrammarMoses, if it's avoiding death you're after, you should totally make your last meal Elixir of Immortality

then wish for more wishes
posted by Greg Nog at 1:06 PM on October 24, 2007 [3 favorites]


Looks like Martin Picard would have no problem packing away a whole kilo of caviar.
posted by Floydd at 1:07 PM on October 24, 2007


Bring me two dinosaur eggs over easy
Fried in the butter an' not too greasy
Muskees and bean, black-eyed peas
An' a little small dish of buttered bee-balm beans
I want-a zebra tooth, a tiger steak
An a whole hippopotamus, well baked.
posted by Floydd at 1:13 PM on October 24, 2007


"...self-hunted snipes..."

Surprised he didn't whip out poutine or tortiere.

But serious props for the self-hunted snipes...
posted by From Bklyn at 1:31 PM on October 24, 2007


I'd opt for thousand year egg hatched today - that would buy me about 100 days and then I would probably want to die after eating one anyway.

Ok, ever mind, then. A fresh salad with goat cheese, a nice creamy pumpkin risotto with grilled shrimp on the side, a berry torte and a cappuccino. Lots of red wine.
posted by madamjujujive at 1:32 PM on October 24, 2007


I was prepared to praise Time for this very clever idea for an article, until I took a look and found out, like the rest of you, that it's not actually about actual last meals of actually dead chefs.

Which brings me to what I was going to say anyway, regardless of how good the article might have been:

About a week ago I read a real-life dead-tree tactile copy of Time for the first time in my life (I'm not American so this isn't exactly shocking), and one thing stunned me. The headlines in that magazine are absolutely useless. You've got page after page of shortish pieces, and you try to quickly scan for what's interesting, and it's impossible because all the headlines consist of semi-witty wordplay that tell you nothing at all about the paragraphs that follow. I don't get it.
posted by Anything at 1:45 PM on October 24, 2007


Am I missing something? How can an avocado be "tree-ripened"?

When you pick it off the tree when it is ripe, rather than picking it early and shipping it to a store, allowing it to ripen on the way.
posted by The World Famous at 2:00 PM on October 24, 2007


I love the idea of the self hunted snipe, just because I keep imagining an elderly death bed ridden chef.

Sir, what do you want for your last meal.
*Cough* *Wheeze* Snipe... but... let me get my hunting - *Cough*... jacket...
posted by shmegegge at 2:13 PM on October 24, 2007


Am I missing something? How can an avocado be "tree-ripened"?

When you pick it off the tree when it is ripe, rather than picking it early and shipping it to a store, allowing it to ripen on the way.


I have a couple of different types of avocado tree, and the fruit doesn't ripen until you pick it. It might fall off, or the squirrels might knock it off, but it won't get ripe.
posted by padraigin at 2:19 PM on October 24, 2007


I have a couple of different types of avocado tree, and the fruit doesn't ripen until you pick it. It might fall off, or the squirrels might knock it off, but it won't get ripe.

That's interesting. I've always been able to pick them at a good ripe stage and take them straight to the kitchen for cutting. Must be different trees (or maybe I'm eating them prematurely).
posted by The World Famous at 2:52 PM on October 24, 2007


That's even better than the thousand-year egg trick, then. You request one of those for your last meal and they never get to kill you.
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:54 PM on October 24, 2007


A grilled cheese sandwich here, as well.
posted by ericb at 3:07 PM on October 24, 2007


Two scoops of gelato on a brioche. Cantaloupe and panna cotta.
posted by The World Famous at 3:11 PM on October 24, 2007


I was prepared to praise Time for this very clever idea for an article, until I took a look and found out, like the rest of you, that it's not actually about actual last meals of actually dead chefs.

Actually, TIME is merely reproducing some excerpts from photographer Melanie Dunea's new book: My Last Supper: 50 Great Chefs and Their Final Meals / Portraits, Interviews, and Recipes.
posted by ericb at 3:13 PM on October 24, 2007


I don't think this is about imagining the involuntary slaughter of chefs and their choosing meals under duress but if they had a last meal before any kind of death, what would it be. But maybe facing death, even if natural, is duress.

GrammarMoses, never heard of or had "smoked sable". Did a google and it looks like a kind of smoked cod. Is that right?

Where have you had that? Any local recommendations?

Food anecdote. I'd been in India for about 8 years non-stop, without leaving the country and had left my Himalayan meditation retreat life for a job with a NYC fashion designer in New Delhi, running his clothing business there. On one of his trips to NYC he went to Barney Greengrass on the Upper West Side and picked up what he called Jewish Soul Food, a traveling pouch with smoked sturgeon, smoked salmon, chive cream cheese and bagels that he brought back to New Delhi. I'd never eaten or knew about any of these foods.

One of our mutual friends and old India hand was a hash smuggler, who had just come back from Afghanistan with antique Afghani rugs full of hash and a suitcase full of Russian caviar, since the Russian army had invaded caviar was incredibly easy to get in Kabul.

In New Delhi of the mid 80's there were the three d's of the expats who spent time together. The d's were designers, diplomats and drug dealers. So an East West lunch on the verandah was arranged and the usual suspects gathered.

I was asked to prepare omelettes stuffed with caviar, toast the bagels and add the smoked sturgeon, salmon and cream cheese. That was a feast I will never forget. If it had been my last meal that would have been ok, it was that delicious.
posted by nickyskye at 3:33 PM on October 24, 2007 [5 favorites]


Appetizing derail:
Smoked Sable in these parts is usually not actual Sable, but Black Cod or some other type of Cod, which is a Sable relative. It's outstanding.

Best places to get good smoked sable in New York City:

1. Russ and Daughters (on Houston)
2. Sable's (On 3rd Ave in the low 80s)
3. Barney Greengrass (86 & Amsterdam)
4. Zabars (80th and Broadway)

Only 2 and 3 are restaurants.
/Appetizing derail.

And that was a great anecdote, nickyskye.
posted by kosem at 3:48 PM on October 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


/under the derail umbrella

Excellent response kosem! Thanks a million. Now I can try out what GrammarMoses likes so much. And thanks for liking the anecdote. Am due for an Upper West side meander. Zabar's here I come.
posted by nickyskye at 3:57 PM on October 24, 2007


/still under the derail umbrella
nickyskye, that sounds like a feast for the ages. And kosem has it just right; I've had it from Nos. 3 and 4 and it is just silken and delectable. Bon appetit!

Meanwhile, Greg Nog, where do you get your Elixir of Immortality? Any convenient NYC sources?
posted by GrammarMoses at 4:05 PM on October 24, 2007


Somehow, I think if these chefs were faced with actual, impending death, quite a few of them would pass on the fresh wankberry soufle with spit-roasted crunkfish cutlets in favor of a grilled cheese like mom used to make.
posted by bookish at 4:57 PM on October 24, 2007


Yeah, but that's the fun of the game, imagining a favorite last meal...knowing what those chefs know, with their experience and exposure to rare edibles, what would they pick? some picked the familiar and some the exotic. I liked the balance.
posted by nickyskye at 5:53 PM on October 24, 2007


And keep in mind, the exotic to us is often what they grew up with, to them. I think I'd want a pretty serious bento box (tempura, miso, toro, uni, unagi, beef teriyaki, etc etc), and a foie gras burger with a side of poutine. (And yes, lots of red wine.) Mmm Vancouver.
posted by mek at 8:45 PM on October 24, 2007


Looks like a really good, very easy, roasted parsnip puree recipe.
posted by nickyskye at 9:19 PM on October 24, 2007


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