Our friend and favorite lardcore correspondent Josh Ozersky has written a smart, and uncharacteristically dark, essay for literary journal Gastronomica tackling the design, service and menu strategy at an imaginary restaurant made “exclusively for fat people.” You can read the entire essay, via Google Doc, here. (Gastronomica apparently isn’t so down with the Internet.) And you can put down your pitchforks. Ozersky—who’s “been various degrees of fat for most of his life,” as he writes in the essay—isn’t fat-bashing, but pointing to how several facets of our skinny-jean society have crossed into the restaurant world.
Some key lines:
You may be thinking, aren’t all restaurants designed for fat people? They’re not, not really. For one thing, almost all good restaurants are designed by slim androgynes wear-ing Buddy Holly glasses…The servers are slim and winsome….The cooks themselves, who in happier times were the very images of portly mirth, are now sinewy whippets, the cords of their young muscles visible beneath full-sleeve tattoos.
The restaurant should be cold, too cold for thin people. This will have the doubly benficial effect of driving thin people out, because, really, who wants to look at thin people? And of course fat people, their swollen, unhealthy bodies working hard just to pointlessly stay alive, are fiery furnaces deep within, churning and chewing away beneath troubled brows.
Speaking of sexuality, there sh0uldn’t be any. Dining here is a solitary and celibate experience, in which both sexes are protected from even a hint of having to socialize.
Large joints of meat-most notably the shoulder, leg, buttock or round, saddle, baron, and ham, suitably burnished with a luminous glaze, to dazzle the weak, beady eyes of gourmands, and bring a temporary sparkle to them.
Grilled cheese prepared on the conceivable bread, thin and diaphanous to the point of abstraction, orgiastically slathered with oleomargarine, and containing nourishing, viscous, mild and rich slices of bright-orange American cheese, such as gluttons remember from the faint mists of their childhood, when a future entombed in necrotic, immobilízìng tallow still lay unimagined.