The chicken option
“How’s the food? Are you enjoying the food?”
“Have you enjoyed yourself?”
With limited personal time on his most ceremonial of occasions, my Average Food Blog co-conspirator Joshua Seigal, in his interactions with me, cast himself in the role of nervous food industry PR supremo at the opening of a new restaurant or bag of crisps.
Rightly so. The cuckoo clock of fate had turned around, and betrothal boy is facing the full critical force of his own co-creation.
I retained a non-committal air in response to his entreaties, for I had cast myself as a meandering, increasingly vague guy with no plus-one, eating and drinking excessively, for free. The increasing vagueness seems to unnerve Josh further – he displayed far greater anxiety in these brief chit-chats than he did during the wedding ceremony itself, where he appeared collected and utterly confident in his life decisions.
The ceremony itself is, however, not what we’re here for. So, to the consumables.
As is customary, before the sit-down face-stuffing, guests were offered snacks on platters in a phase of forced socialising, table-setting, and speedy front-loading of alcohol. The offerings were at the mildly fancy end of pretty standard fare; mini tartlets, spring rolls, bit of fish on a stick. Nothing to either be too interested in or too concerned about. This gave me a degree of hope that Josh was truly living up to his Average Food roots. Yet he was to reveal his hand in due course.
Kids’ poet and wedding guest extraordinaire Neil Zetter was more enthusiastic about the appetisers than I
My selections were duck to start, chicken to middle, the dessert selection that everybody got by default.
The duck was sweet, crispy and compelling. The chicken was tender and juicy, with a spinach and blended carrot accompaniment that was disappointing only at the side of the meat. The dessert selection was undoubtedly the pièce de résistance, and the cheesecake the pièce de résistance of the pièce de résistance. An assault of fruit and dairy flavours ravaged the palette.
What I am saying here is that this food was not average. It was not even average by wedding standards. I felt more than a little betrayed. I wanted more.
Sadly my credentials as a food critic were not acknowledged by the venue staff, so I did not get to try everything. The items I couldn’t select I will report on using the overheard quotes of others on my table:
“some sort of weird salsa, possibly a ratatouille.”
“The tomatoes were prone to spraying”
“A meal and a puzzle.”
“If it were socially acceptable, I would like the plate clean.”
“That is all the vowel noises.”
Another piss-poor picture of food taken by a wine-drunk man
I am unable to properly critique wine, but I will comment briefly thus: both white and red were good, but the red was noticeably better.
It is hard to sum up this eating experience, or keep this blog to a length that could be considered reasonable by our 10-15 regular readers.
Never in all my years of consuming and reviewing average food had I been faced with such a multi-layered assault of undeniable quality, and left with so many questions. Why were white chocolate fingers or bacon-flavoured pop chips not on the menu? Has Josh sold out entirely, or is this an isolated occasion where average must be abandoned in the name of social cohesion? How can love win in an age of casual hate? Why was there no gravy?
An epilogue to this blog will follow, in which I review the Travelodge all-you-can-eat breakfast, my pivotal and formative experience in the morning after the nuptials.
JOSHUA’S WEDDING OVERALL CONSUMABLES RATING: 8.5/10