Port holes of the double black doors were fogged with moisture, obscuring the actions beyond, and yet telling the tale of a temperature out of sync with the cool dining hall the guest finds themself in. They had been lead here in a manner of high secrecy, no knowledge of what awaited them, nor evident tells from their subterranean surroundings. The place setting was formal, but not ostentatiously so. The lighting was dim, without being dark. If asked, they would have said maybe 10 minutes had passed since the nameless attendant lead them from their room to here, saying only that dinner would be served promptly, though it became more difficult to be sure.
The time flowed interminably. No clock sounded out the passage, no features of the room relieved the boredom of sight. As the guest began to fidgit in the plain seat, the doors, abruptly, swung open. Two figures passed through, the bland attendant from before, carrying a covered platter, and a second, much more formidable figure, clothed in white and possessing a tall hat – the chef. The guest had been told that this chef was one of great renown, a gourmet, known to prepare meals the likes of which could not be matched in a life-time of effort.
“I use the same recipe, and yet, each meal is individual,” said the chef.
“No two are alike, and yet all are incomparable, sustenance for a life-time.”
The attendant positioned the tray in front of the guest, lifting the domed cover off the platter. Steam momentarily obscured the contents, heightening the guest’s anticipation. The dish became visible, onset of confusion. Laid out before them, beads of water dappling it’s surface, a silver mirror was propped. “Autophagy” carved into its ornate rim. Their face reflected in the depths.