Work The Line

Work The Line

Jeremiah stood bleeding. His fingers was missing, blood was running down his arms, and the shock of it all had rendered him mute. This was not what he expected when he agreed to take a cooking class with Naomi.

She sold it as a great experience, a chance to bond, some time together drinking wine and making their own Michelin star dinner for half the price. Initially it presented itself as that. The online reviews were solid, the chef was notable, and this was an actual restaurant with a Michelin star. The first of its kind to receive one, since no one else had ever opened a place designed to offer free meals to the needy and underprivileged, all paid for and made by those attending the cooking classes. What better way for Jeremiah and Naomi to reconnect as siblings who were now adults.

Chef Arkady welcomed them and the rest of the class with a big smile. Once everyone was gathered he nodded and without a word lead them to their stations. There were no words of inspiration or greeting it was straight to business. Jeremiah and Naomi followed after the others, washing their hands first before they took their place.

The kitchen was an amalgamation of your seasoned restaurant sections with the grills, ovens and other elements, the space of a class room, and the neon-highlighted decor of a television show. The guests asides from getting a free meal were also entitled to a show. And while the glass wall separating the kitchen from the rest of the restaurant was a gaudy, flashing, kinetic display it would soon dim as the first patrons entered.

“Today’s menu is before you,” announced Chef Arkady, “you will find your instructions and ingredients for your station.”

Jeremiah raised a hand, to which the Chef merely raised an eyebrow in acknowledgement, “Is that it?”

“Yes and no,” said Chef Arkady. “You will find a sample of each element here before me. Try them. Ask any questions then. But get to work, you must prep now.”

The class which had been bubbling with excitement and chatter quickly quieted. Everyone, Jeremiah and Naomi included, set about preparing their ingredients. They had, unbeknownst to them, selected the meat station. So they were tasked with dressing and cleaning what seemed to be countless braces of hares. 

The rabbits and there were a lot of them, were stacked in boxes beside their station. They’d been gutted but hadn’t been skinned. The station also had a large wooden chopping block and easily the biggest cleaver either Jeremiah or Naomi had ever seen.

“You could kill a horse with this thing,” Naomi said as she struggled to get the cleaver clear of the table. 

Jeremiah chuckled. “I imagine other classes have had to, given the Chef’s preference for fresh produce.”

“Do you really think so?”

“Well horse isn’t that common an ingredient, so who’s going to butcher it?”

“A butcher,” replied Naomi as she set the knife down and turned to the hares.

Chef Arkady chose that moment to step before their station. “Enough talking. More chopping.”

“But how? It’s such a small creature and you gave us a big knife,” said Jeremiah with a smile.

“Delicately,” said the Chef, not returning the smile. With that, he went on his way.

Naomi stuck her tongue out at the chef’s back. “Guess he’s from the school of throwing you in the deep end.” And with that Naomi picked up the cleaver once more.

Today’s art is courtesy of Bryant Grizzle from Burbank/Dallas, USA

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