We gathered up our things and made our way out. We chatted little during the short walk to The Collared Cabbage; Which I hoped was a misspelling of Collard. It was a small place and people were already sitting down for lunch. We were guided to a table and sat in awkward silence for a minute or two as we checked out the menu. “What’re you going for Kat?” I asked hoping to stir conversation. She looked up from the menu her eyes darting each way before resting on me.
“The um, mushroom risotto and rooibos tea. You?” she countered.
“The Portobello Burger. I mean it’s a burger right? How bad can it be?”
We ordered our food and the waiter brought us our drinks. Taking a break from sipping her tea Kat said, “You really don’t like mushrooms?”
I nodded. “I mean they don’t even fit the theme of the restaurant. I mean at least broccoli could be trees, walnuts could be brains. What do mushrooms look like?” I said. Kat blushed, spat most of her tea out and choked on the rest. Ignoring my rant she said.
“Well there are plenty of interesting things you can do with them; Stuff them, saute them, make them a burger.” she gestured to our food as it arrived.
“That was quick” I said.
“Yeah they’re really good here & it’s cheap!” she replied.
We tucked into our food. I grabbed my ‘burger’ and imagined cow, and nothing but cow as I took a big bite. Chomp chomp chew…. spit! Argh it tasted just like shiitake…. I giggle to myself then grimaced. How was I going to do this? Kat must of seen the look on my face. “Cook what you enjoy.” She smiled as she raised her tea towards me. “I’m doing mushroom tea & sandwiches, as a starter.” She said.
“I want to be a pastry chef.” I said trying to match her smile but failing.
“Oh… that might be hard” She replied. We ate the rest of our meal in relative silence. Kat jotted down some notes while I sulked, trying to come up with ideas. Mushroom cookies? Cupcakes? Creme caramels?
After awhile Kat got up. “I’m going to head back & make a start. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!” She said paying her half of the cheque and leaving. A few minutes later, frustrated, I left my burger and decided to go for a walk. Maybe I wasn’t cut out to cook? Chefs had a large pallet right? Kenneth’s crazy experiments proved that. My stomach growled. One bite for lunch wasn’t enough. Beside me two kids walked out of a building with an ice cream in each hand. I mean literally two ice creams each. Instantly I wanted one.
I walked into the parlour and was astonished by the amount of flavours they had! Mint, chocolate, mint chocolate, coconut, walnut, broccoli…. wait broccoli? That’s when the idea hit me.
I took my ice cream, orange chocolate, and ran back. Well I say ran but have you ever tried to eat and run?
When I got to Oddity lunch service was already underway so the hostess led me to the kitchen through the back entrance. A few of the other candidates had already started on their dishes. I hadn’t noticed any dessert or sweets yet. I saw Kat kneading bread with one of the main chefs. I smiled at her and received one in return. I moved over to the counter with my name on it and a man in a tall hat came over “What do you need? I’ll get it for you.” He said. I listed off the items
“Whole milk, cream, dried shiitake, chocolate & bacon..” I continued to list off my ingredients.