The Banquet

His lordship’s usual order is kroot adrenal gland, as “usual” as any order from a renowned chef of the sapient can be. The preparation of this is delicate and, as such, is out of the price range of the majority of even my clientele; not so the High Governor of Hive Kileon. You have to get the kroot whole, a common butcher will ruin the gland while harvesting the more profitable, and prosaic, flank steaks. Only with care, can it be removed and prepared. The gland is covered by a thin cartilaginous membrane over the soft tissue that must be peeled off. This takes a steady hand and a sharp knife. If you puncture the skin, the oxygen entering the interior gives the meat the taste of sucking on a copper coin. While the proscribed method of cooking, for those in the know, is through sous vide method, I find that this weakens the effect offered by the meal. The feeling of virility and potency is the reason anyone would order this delicacy, why tone it down? It is a disservice to the meat. No, the way to prepare kroot adrenal gland is a light sear served on a bed of riced starch-flower and drizzled with a spiced-berry glaze. This attention to details: is why I’m the greatest xeno chef planeside, is why the elite have me prepare their meals, and is why the Governer trusts me.

Tonight, is unusual. I have never before offered my services as a common caterer. I feel that cooking beyond an individual meal divides the focus and lessens the quality. A direct request of the governor is not to be denied, however, and I will prepare his birthday banquet. Our bargain is that he would restrict the guest list to only his most trusted advisors and close family members. The menu has been approved and I have secured my ingredients.

The meal begins with the reception in the salon, this is an opportunity that other chefs ignore. As it is part of the event, it is part of the meal. I seize the opportunity by preparing a complement to the exact brand of amasec the governor enjoys. Loxatl eyes poached, marinated and fried in oil. The frying crisps the nictitating membrane to perfection while keeping the insides juicy.

After the notables sit, the soup course will be brought. While I find it to be of common taste and would never prepare it otherwise, Haruspex Nest Soup is always a hit. The name is a bit of a misnomer, they have never been known to build nests with the sticky saliva extruded from spinnerets located in the mouths of the species.

Finally, the main course (I say finally as the governor has elected to serve an ostentatious, oversized pastry made for him for dessert). This is the meal I have been waiting for, the one that will test all of my skill. Ymgarl filet served over Catachan greens. The filet is a narrow strip of meat from the torso. Only one can be extracted from each carcass. Proper spicing and marinating is the key to this meat. Always, always, always use citrus to sink the flavor deep; un-spiced filets can be unpleasant, often described as pork that has gone bad. The next trouble is the hue of the meat, a common hurdle for any in this line of work. While meats with lighter unappealing shades can be tinted through sauce, the purple color of the filet is resistant to that. For this I use a black truffle puree applied to obscure the portions uncovered by the greens. I will serve this meal personally, waiting with extra puree and a light dusting of spices to be applied to the individual tastes of the guests.

To say I am pleased with this meal is an understatement. This meal is my purpose, my reason for being, and my Patriarch agrees. I can feel his pleasure at the notables that we will soon have to replace the members of our brood from which the filets came.

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