by Frank Ferri
CHAIRMAN: It’s an honor to be sitting here in front of such an accomplished Chef. Furthermore, it’s quite humbling to be the new Chairman of this Ways and Menus Committee. Now, I’ll turn things over to the distinguished Senator from California for questioning.
SENATOR: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think I speak for the entire Congress in saying that as the newly appointed Chairman, we know you’ll wield your meat tenderizer-shaped gavel in a fair, judicious and delicious manner.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Senator.
SENATOR: Chef, thank you for being here. And for supplying each of us with these fluffy, one-whole egg/two-egg-white omelets. I’d like the record to show that I cannot tell the difference between a traditional three-whole-egg omelet and this healthier version.
CHAIRMAN: Duly noted. Let the record show that the Senator from California is a fan of the Chef’s omelets. Now if you’re done, can we move on?
SENATOR: Of course. Chef, your qualifications are impressive, especially your schooling and apprenticeship at a Michelin three-star restaurant in Lyon. But you were recently head chef at Tres Tehran: An Iranian Bistro, Enoteca & Waterslide Park. I hate their appetizer selection.
CHEF: I’m sorry to hear that. But let me say it’s an honor to be considered for this position, and I thank each of you for taking the time to be here today. By the way, a little secret to those omelets? Dash of Tabasco as I whisk them.
CHAIRMAN (banging meat tenderizer-shaped gavel): Order! Order! Our take-out order is here. Who got the Honey-Roasted Turkey Sub?
SENATOR: Vinegar, no oil, and hot peppers on the side?
CHAIRMAN: Looks like they put the peppers right on it.
SENATOR: Damn it!
CHAIRMAN: Just pick some of them off.
SENATOR: Fine, but when you say, “peppers on the side” — ah, what’s the use?
CHAIRMAN: Senator, anymore questions? I’m getting hungry.
SENATOR: Chef, were you ever involved in the Hawaiian Pizza trend?
CHEF (clears throat): Yes, uh, I was.
CHEF: It was the 80s, I was young and we were all doing silly stuff. So I threw some pineapple and ham on a pizza. Other chefs were doing much worse things. Like cocaine.
SENATOR: With all due respect, “other chefs” aren’t going to cook for the first family and heads of State.
CHEF: I understand that, Senator.
SENATOR: I don’t think you do!
CHAIRMAN (banging meat tenderizer-shaped gavel): Senator, calm down! This isn’t some Law & Order trial, which I DVR’d and we can watch in my office during recess while eating.
SENATOR: Apologies, Chef. Can you please talk about your 1995 arrest at LAX airport?
CHEF: I don’t see how that’s relevant.
CHAIRMAN: Answer the question.
CHEF: I was returning from a fund-raising dinner for a charity that makes it possible for today’s youth to appreciate different salts. We expose the underserved —
CHAIRMAN: If you ask me, whenever I’m in a restaurant I’m underserved. Ha! Just kidding. Today’s servers are doing a great job. God Bless America’s servers.
CHEF: The charity introduces people to grey salt, Hawaiian red salt, Fleur de Sel, which is hand-harvested off the shores of Brittany using —
SENATOR: You’re avoiding the question. What did you have on your person when you tried to board that plane?
CHEF: A blowtorch.
CHEF: A small crème brulee blowtorch to ensure the sugary coating of the dessert we served was dark and hard enough so that you could hear the crack of the spoon as it penetrated the surface.
CHAIRMAN: Mmm. My word, I could go for a proper crème brulee. Smooth, creamy interior juxtaposed with that crackly exterior —
SENATOR: Mr. Chairman, please. Chef, have you ever eaten foie gras, the fattened liver of a goose or duck — fattened by a brutal force-feeding process called gavage? Remember, you’re under oath.
CHEF: I chewed but never swallowed.
SENATOR: I find that hard to believe.
CHAIRMAN: So do I. Foie gras is so dang good. How could you not swallow?
CHEF: It’s fattening. I just wanted the taste and then I’d spit it out.
SENATOR: Great, we have a White House Chef with an eating disorder. Moving on, it’s admirable that you’re active in the Slow Food Movement.
CHEF: A philosophy dear to my heart.
SENATOR: And your heart might be in trouble given your potentially clogged arteries.
SENATOR: Cut the tenderloin chef, you know what I’m getting at. Explain these photos that recently surfaced on the Internet. They show you at a McDonald’s drive-thru at 11 p.m. ordering heavily from the Dollar Menu. Three Double Cheeseburgers, Chef? Really?
CHAIRMAN (banging meat tenderizer-shaped gavel): Mmm. Double Cheeseburgers. We’ll pick this up after recess. Let’s eat!
Frank Ferri is a copywriter who thinks he’s funny. His work has previously appeared in McSweeney’s, Yankee Pot Roast, and The Big Jewel. You can visit him at frankferri.com.