Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Next Pop Up: Your House

The morning started like any other weekday morning. I awoke to my alarm at 5:30, put on a robe and headed quietly toward the kitchen, trying not to wake the rest of my family. Once I turned the corner from the hallway, I noticed there was someone in the kitchen. My first thought was that it was a burglar, but then I saw that this intruder was cooking, and as he turned around, I recognized the face of a well known, local celebrity chef.

"What are you doing here?", I asked, perplexed.

"Zis is pop up!" the chef responded.

"A what?"

"Ze traditional restaurant is dying. Soon there will be only food trucks and pop ups. Zis is your pop up breakfast."

"But I thought pop ups were just where you cook at someone else's restaurant..."

"Wrong! A pop up can happen anytime, anywhere to anyone."

"How did you get in here?" With that, the chef shoved a plate in my face, "Zis is an amuse bouche: a cured baby scallop in a puff pastry shell with an uni-fennel foam." I popped it in my mouth. It was very good, but I did have to get ready for work.

"You know," I said, "I usually just have coffee and toast for breakfast, and..." The chef pushed another plate toward me, "First course, a deconstructed fingerling potato and cheddar zoup inspired by potatoes au gratin topped with caviar scented truffles, paired with a German Riesling."

"I don't usually drink this early either, I just..."

"Nonzense! Now where do you keep your liquid nitrogen?"

And so it went, a tour de force of a menu, a breakfast unlike any I'd ever had. It consisted of nine courses plus wine pairings. The chef cooked furiously, only stopping for the occasional tweet. Just as the rest of my family was getting up and wondering what was happening, the chef disappeared as quickly as he had arrived. My wife looked around quizzically and asked, "Have you been drinking wine?" I sighed, "It's a long story."

So don't be surprised if sometime, somewhere, someplace when you least expect it, someone steps up to you and says, "Zis is a pop up!"

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