Wilmot Barclay is a culinary explorer traveling the world to help define the cuisine of his fledgling country: Liberia. He thinks he has tasted it all until he lands on a mysterious island off the coast of Japan, harboring all the ingredients of the world within an incredible castle. Earth’s greatest cooking competition is just about to begin there, but some of what’s on offer is leaving a most suspicious aftertaste.
(reading time: 1 hour, 25 minutes) (reading time for entire novella: 2 hours, 7 minutes)
Countless words are lost in the ecstasy of a good meal, their structure overpowered by much more ancient and instinctive sounds. Exquisite becomes ehhnnn. Scrumptious becomes sfffshh. Magnificent into Mfff! In this way it can be extraordinarily difficult for a master of cuisine to receive helpful criticism. They know their work is good, so good it can’t be put into words, and that prevents them from progressing in their passion.
This presents a culinary ceiling. The barrier where words fail, where the tongue cannot be tamed enough for syllables, was the threshold Wilmot Barclay set for himself. He would need to perfect a number of dishes that made words fail, and they had to fail in a room full of equally fresh diplomats and statesman… but he was getting ahead of himself. Continue reading