By Steven Goff
Enough is enough, motherfuckers! I’m sick of catching flak for serving offal. People are always sticking their noses up at variety meats: liver, kidneys, sweetbreads, and the like. People have even called myself and my restaurant “pretentious” for what we serve. But I don’t want to serve everyday food.
I don’t really know when cooking sustainably and using all of the animal became “pretentious,” but if that’s what it is, then I’m one pretentious son of a bitch. I want people that come to my restaurant to try new things, to leave having experienced something extraordinary. When a patron looks at my menu and makes a fake vomiting sound, I just want to shake the fuck out of them. It’s worse when we are serving a dish such as duck liver pate at an event and people scoff.
I know you have eaten McDonald’s, or hot dogs, or other various and questionably processed foods, but you won’t give a different part of a locally and sustainably-raised animal a chance? To shun the noble organ meats after eating pink slime in your cheeseburger, or the assholes and elbows they process into commercially-produced hot dogs…you’re not just an ignorant first-world snob but I would guess slightly daft as well. An animal gave its life for us to eat it, so we owe it to that animal to use up every bit of it; and not just utilize each part, but also to make it a damn good meal.
The United States is literally the only country in the world that condones such wasteful eating habits. We’re not just smacking the animal we killed in the face by not using everything, we’re insulting starving people across the world. We are ignoring thousands of years and hundreds of different cultures’ histories and traditions, just so we know we’re eating something that we ignorantly consider “safe” or “normal.” The world absolutely cannot go on the way it has for the last seventy or so years. Populations are growing exponentially, and we have to utilize everything. We cannot condone factory farming anymore. It isn’t working. We can’t survive or keep the planet healthy eating literally just poultry breast and only popular cuts of steak while discarding the rest.
We have to think about what were eating in an intelligent fashion. Keep an open mind. When you finally let go of your false pretension and—very likely–preconceived notions about a product and give it a try, you may find it to be the best meal of your life. At least it could be a couple new go-to’s in the dishes you once snubbed!
Let me put it this way: if you were killed for your meat, and I just ate your loin, then threw the rest in the trash, wouldn’t you be at least a bit annoyed? You’re dead and gone because I was hungry, and I didn’t even bother to use everything you were made of, because I’m “above” eating things like that. Just saying.
Steven Goff is the head chef of King James Public House and an adjunct professor at AB Tech’s Culinary Arts Program.