This story was first published on The Pastiche Post.
SWILLY CORN VALLEY, CALIFORNIA — At Maison Des Gens Stupides, Chef Roy Ardi says his culinary inspiration is the “refined and the stupid.”
“We want the refined and the stupid to enjoy a fine dining experience that is truly transformative,” Ardi told us. “So we tailor our menu to people who look and sound normal, until you ask them a seemingly easy question like, ‘Hey, do you try to keep your kids from contracting debilitating, life-threatening, species-endangering illnesses?’ And they’re all like, ‘Oh, no! Why would we put CHEMICALS in our kids?”
Ardi’s California restaurant whose clientele are anti-vaxxers — people who do not believe in vaccinating themselves or their children — announced over the weekend that they will be rolling out several new menu items they hope will take advantage of a new food craze sweeping the Internet — laundry and dish detergent gelpacks.
“I won’t be eating the things, and I damn sure won’t be tasting my menu items as I create them like usual,” Ardi said, “but a trend is a trend. So who am I stand in the way of culinary experimentation?”
Ardi says living in the Bay Area, he’s encountered lots of highly-educated, progressive people who also don’t believe in vaccinations. Ardi says that while he vaccinated his own children, he still wanted to give people who didn’t a place to have a great meal. Ardi sources only locally-grown produce and tries to keep the distance that the animal proteins he uses in his meals have to travel to his restaurant under 25 miles.
“Catering to anti-vaxxers isn’t any different than average people. I just have to put after every item’s description that there aren’t any extra chemicals in the food, even though food itself is a chemical, but whatever, nothing matters anyway, right,” Ardi asked us rhetorically.
Chef Ardi says that it was a “gut feeling” that made him want to try gelpacks on his menu. He isn’t sure that his clientele will take to it, but he has a “strong suspicion they will.”
“Something tells me if you don’t vaccinate yourself or your kids, you might want be inclined to dine on a gelpack or two,” Ardis said.
Gelpack Primavera and a gelpack confit — a gelpack roasted in its own plastic shell — are among two of the dishes Ardi is most anxious to have customers try.
“We have so many body bags on order,” Ardi told us, “that I hope I didn’t just make a huge waste of time and money on this venture. Still, I think the panko crusted gelpack will be big hit, regardless.”
We asked Ardi if he’s worried about essentially turning his restaurant into a mass murder factory, should enough people order the new gelpack menu items. Ardi thought about the question for a bit, then responded.
“I mean, if they get their way, billions of people are put at risk death too, so I don’t know. I guess we’ll see how well the new menu does,” Ardi explained.
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