USS Vesta

A Play-by-Nova roleplay game.

Previous Next

Adding to the Culinary Arsenal

Posted on Thu Oct 26th, 2023 @ 9:55am by Lieutenant Alistair Nicholas & Rear Admiral Yoshi Minawara

Mission: Shakedown Shake-Up
Location: Esquimalt Station
1589 words - 3.2 OF Standard Post Measure

It might have been the fourth or fifth course that Quadrant renown chef Vohela Sweetius had served the Admiral. She may have pulled a connection or two, grateful her son had found himself on a flagship to an Admiral who actually seemed to have some culture to him. Too many times had she been told she had no business being in the middle of Starfleet or Federation affairs, but she argued there was no more finicky a palate than a tired Starfleet brass member who simply wanted a taste of home.

Even if this current taste of home was doused in red eye gravy and served with deep fried ginger-polenta bites. But the buttermilk-basted tonkatsu pork was dry on its own; it needed the sauce, she would argue. Granted, she might have said the same about the pimento-topped cucumber sushi rolls and the agedashi tofu that was doused in Nashville hot sauce, but it was likely she would not have heard any argument on the matter even if it was spoken.

She put her foot down when Alistair suggested he warn the Admiral she was coming, agreeing only to let him tell her next victim that he should fast at least a day before she appeared to feed him. But if she was going to make a good impression, she wanted it to be of (mostly) her own doing. At least Alistair was easy enough to bribe by way of homemade biscuits he could share with his friends on that flagship.

"I hope you've got room in that stomach of yours for this. I haven't had to do up my special tonkatsu in awhile." This was mostly a lie; Alistair tended to agree with her experiments and she had reformulated the recipe many a time. And he had his favorites. "Now don't worry either, Admiral. I've got many a trick in my book. Living in America has just given me inspiration to be all the more wild about it."

She set the dish down in front of Yoshi, and while it was a deep fried dish of doom, it was still masterfully plated with a small decorative wasabi flower on the side. "But I've always said that tradition always needs a little flair from time to time, and sometimes ambassadors like the idea. Sometimes."

The Admiral had been unsure of the gentle, and slightly cautious suggestion to be hungry come lunch on this particular day, but Yoshi was nothing if not a man swayed by a tempting meal. It had earned him a wife, and many an ally had been gained over a shared dish. Yet, he would be remiss if he didn't mention that at this exact moment he wasn't feeling a bit more curious than cautious as he stared at the meal. Pairings were a thing to be considered, as with all meals, and he could hear his wife tutting somewhere aboard the station at changing some recipes. She was a bit of a traditionalist when it came to certain things, and meals that had been considered traditional were always ones to be cautious of changing. With the practiced grace of man who'd practically been born holding them, he picked up his chopsticks and placed them neatly in front of him. Those who were improper rushed to a meal, he would be damned before letting his Sobo catch him so recklessly diving in without asking questions first.

"Please," he said, politeness a mask on his face, as he indicated a chair at conference table, "sit, and tell me more." It was a veiled comment, both of requesting they sit and talk more of food, but more of person as well. "May I?" he asked, indicating the dish in front of him.

Vohela gestured for him to eat with a giant smile. "It would be torturous of me if I put food in front of you that you couldn't eat." She sat herself down across the table, folding her hands in front of her on her somehow magically pristine white chef's coat. She was pleased at his politeness, but also surprised. There were many well-fed Starfleeters in her path who saw food and nearly forgot their manners. But then again, how many Admirals did she find herself feeding verses the enlisted and those that her children made friends with?

"Now you have to give me your full and unadulterated opinion of everything you've had," she continued. "There will be absolutely no chef ego out of me; this is the first time I think I've made some of these dishes to a willing audience. To this day, I am still surprised of the amount of culture that comes from regional Earth dishes. Not that that is all I can cook, but I do like to attempt to cater to those eating my food."

Taking his time to carefully sample the food placed in front of Yoshi, he thought it over. He carefully let food rest on his palet, and explored the flavours a little as he pondered it. "Agedashi is prepared well, but I think the hot sauce is the wrong pairing. It's oddly sweet, in a way that contrasts with the tofu," he said, pointing to the dish. "It is by no means bad, quite the opposite, but it isn't quite what I was expecting." Addressing the polenta, he smiled, "this was a dish I enjoyed. I thought it would feel too overwhelming, but the flavour balanced out really well, and it made for an excellent addition to the meal." He offered a polite smile. "Overall, I am impressed, even if my wife might balk at some ideas."

Tilting her head to one side, Vohela thought upon Yoshi's critique. As she did, her smile widened, and she leaned forward. "If I ever have the honor to prepare a meal for your wife, I'll be sure to do my research. But I did not simply want to cook you a meal, I had a proposition for you, Admiral." Resting folded hands on the tabletop, she waggled her prominent eyebrows. "I have had the pleasure of serving my fair share of traditionalist foodies, as well as those who's standards lie not in the accuracy of the food, but the quality of what they are eating. But! I have always catered to people individually, and in isolated cultural situations. Rarely have I had a chance to confront the challenge of appeasing multiple palettes at once. Certainly, with the varied cultures on Earth, I have had to open up my own experiences and delve out of my comfort zone, but I feel boxed in now."

Nevermind that all of her children were out living their own lives and having adventures. There may have been some envy of that. "But when I heard of you and your exploits, I thought - well, there's an opportunity! A chef with a passion of exploring all the food that every culture has to offer, and a newly-minted Admiral in charge of a Starbase. A starbase that has many diplomats to cater to, and while I suspect you have quite a compliment of experience amongst your crew, why not add a chef who has experience not only in multiple types of cuisine, but one who may add a different perspective?"

The tips of Yoshi's face belayed his amusement at the proposal, as he kept a straight face, but took the time to wipe his face politely. "I am sure there is an opportunity to talk with Captain Penner about seeing about having an assigned Chef - though they may have some questions of their." He carefully placed his hands on the table and studied the woman for a moment, his eyes carefully seeming to be examining her face with the same level he might explore a damaged junction. "I can't seem to find a good reason to say no, however. Having a Chef on hand for diplomatic dinners at the starbase would be something that a few other Admirals might balk at, but it gives us our own control state. And if your meal here today is anything to go off of, then we would be putting our best foot forward. Would you give me some time to discuss it? Maybe you submit something of a formal proposal for me to work off of?"

"Oh Admiral," Vohela started with a sly smile, "I am a patient woman. There was an old addage that was echoed throughout my culinary life; you cannot rush perfection. As long as everyone is amiable to me staying awhile to take in all the sights this station has to offer, I will be more than happy to patiently wait. And a formal proposal? That is a formality I am happy to oblige. Consider it done by the end of the day today."

"Take in what Esquimalt has to offer," Minawara said, smiling. "The station is in the early stages of being ready for civilians, but is getting there. And if in that time you happen to find space a restaurant might be to your suiting, let me know and maybe we can work it into the agreement." The door chimed, and a Lieutenant walked in, pausing to look at the scene before her.

"Apologies sir, they are preparing to do the transporter tests. You said you'd wanted to be informed?" He nodded, and waved a dismissive hand.

"Apologies Miss Sweetius, duty and all that." He stood, stretching slightly, and extended a hand. "I look forward to what you have to offer."


Previous Next


Powered by Nova from Anodyne Productions. This theme was designed by Emily Wolf.