Smaller Plates – a bit of food humor

By Alice DeLuca

“…I really, truly, absolutely, do not care about you or your food. I don’t. Sorry. Take more pictures of your cat. That might keep me interested.”  Katherine Markovich  An Open Letter to People Who Take Pictures of Food With Instagram.

As you can see in this photo, a few months ago my cat’s super power was to read books that made the bestseller lists. Here you can see Tucker pointing to his summer reading material, in a photo taken by his roommate, the dog:

What the Dog Saw and the reader is the cat, Tucker


Reading was a gateway drug for Tucker. After reading this sentence, “Most happy snappers, let’s face it, shouldn’t give up their day jobs and can make a meticulously plated dish resemble a dog’s breakfast,” Tucker first took offense, bristling just at the mention of dogs and their breakfasts. Then he took up the challenge and now he uploads his photos helter-skelter to websites for user-submitted-pictures-of-food.

Cats dominate the internet and Tucker is a trendsetter among them.  Which of the other millions of cats are photographing their food? Tucker is teetering on the feline technological cutting edge.

Tucker is sitting on 3 Ipads in the summer of 2012

Tucker just posted a photo of “Catfood Two Ways”, with both an Amuse Bouche (or perhaps amuse gueule) and a Catfood ‘n Catnip Wrap.  The 2 individual kibbles used in the stacked amuse bouche set this dish apart, offering a crunchy dimension to the dish. So bold and appetizing, you would not guess the ingredients!

This little appetizer item cost Tucker a pretty penny at a trendy little neighborhood bistro, but price is often of no consequence in the ratings war for trendy bistros; these days the ratings can depend only on the appearance of the food, the locally sourced ingredients and the cocktails. For heaven’s sakes, the restaurant doesn’t even have to appear to be open for business and it can be successful. For Tucker the cost of his restaurant adventures is measured in cell-phone-cost-units, not dollars nor the gold standard.  This meal cost only a nickel in cellphone currency units, or 1/20 cellphone.  He makes his choices and he pays the price.

Catfood Flight or Catfood Two Ways


Here, Tucker demonstrates that a simple crystal goblet can add a bit of flair to an Asian Fusion Wedge Salad En Gelée. This gelled wedge salad has the retro-Mad-Men-edginess of a gelatin salad from the 1960s, composed from just a sliver of Cowboy Cookout cat food garnished with a tiny organic catnip leaf – a classic combination.

These dishes are called  “Small Plates” instead of tapas, as if cats can’t handle the Spanish language. Clever food display techniques make the “small plate” attractive, and so much kinder to the waistline! Tucker ordered his small plate at a “tall table” near the bar. He ate the garnish first, then became inexplicably overwhelmed by a sudden urge to roll around to impress his date and fell off the very tall chair. Fortunately for him, that embarrassing moment was not caught on camera.  It’s difficult to look macho while tumbling through the air, squirming to land on all fours.

Catfood Wedge 2012

What do you know? Tucker was recently seen again at this same bistro that serves tiny portions of food at the same price as the formerly ginormous servings that yielded 2 “doggie bags” (who named the “doggie bag” anyway?). He tried a “Flight of Catfoods” that included three items:  a simple coupe (or scoop) presented on a Chinese porcelain soup spoon, a slivered Catfood Chef’s Salad, and of course the ubiquitous wrap. You just can’t get away from the lettuce wraps these days; so paleo and heart-healthy!

The plating was simple yet spectacular, down to the lathe-turned toothpick. Nothing extra, but somehow 2 tablespoons of catfood became so much more. If less is more, then nothing may be everything, as one astrophysicist has noted.

Catfood Three Ways with Wrap

Tucker, barfly that he has become, enjoyed a purrfect finish to the meal – an after dinner cocktail created as a complementary pairing to the “Flight of Catfoods.” The “Gato en la Casa” was an infusion of the very same catfood, dramatically hand-shaken by the bartender with natural spring water and homemade artisanal liver bitters that are kept in a mason jar out-of-sight behind the bar (is that even legal?) Tucker lapped up the little drink – again caught on camera by the dog and then tagged on Facebook.  They are both at it now, and we may get a chance to see the dog’s breakfast soon.

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