In the previous events of The Menu. Erin, after having broken into the Chef’s house, found out about his past, where he was still enjoying his cooking career. With that knowledge, she tried to manipulate the Chef by asking him to cook her a classic meal – a cheeseburger – which he knew doing in the past. This reinvigorated the sullen spirit of the Chef who was visibly tearing up while enjoying every moment of creating Erin’s order.
After letting Erin go, Chef Julian Slowik executed his final dish. But before that, he gave a speech, like he usually did before a meal, where he pointed out that the rich people who were with him today were the very reason why he lost his love for his craft. He worded it as if they ruined his life and art. Now with his art destroyed, he intended to include those people in his ruined art.
Like most complete-course meals, the dinner ended with a dessert. However, the dessert was not something served on a plate. Instead, the guests themselves were the dessert.
The kitchen staff began to adorn the remaining guests with vests made of marshmallows and hats made of chocolate. The way the hats look is similar to a fez but without the tassel. Some more kitchen staff began to assemble the dessert as if the dining area was the whole plate. They sprinkled graham crackers onto the tables and the floor, and they poured dessert liquids on the floor as if arranging them in a beautiful pattern. There was then a large pile of crushed graham crackers in the middle of the floor, to which five impaled marshmallows were placed circularly as if in a campfire.
Chef Slowik introduced that the last meal is a dessert, particularly a dessert that had become the “most offensive assault on the human palate ever contrived,” the s’more. He took out a piece of charcoal from the oven, went into the center pile of crushed graham, and threw the charcoal down, igniting the whole place and killing everyone in it.
What does the s’more mean?
Let’s begin analyzing the meal through the course that went before it. Chef Slowik introduced the s’more as the most unethical and the epitome of food injustice. Moreover, for him, a s’more is an “unethically-sourced chocolate and gelatinized sugar water imprisoned by industrial-grade graham cracker.”
In that quote, the unethically-sourced chocolate represents the sweet life that these rich people are experiencing while committing unethical actions. The sugar water is an easy-flowing sweetness symbolizing Chef Slowik’s art, whose “sweetness” could have been appreciated before. However, it was “gelatinized,” and it was no longer free-flowing. It became stagnant. And because of that stagnation, he did not get further in life, as he only tried to please the picky rich customers.
On the other hand, the “graham cracker” was given a unique adjective – industrial-grade. This evokes his feeling that he was only confined (imprisoned) in the industry, that he was no longer able to cook just for fun or to be enjoyed. Not only he lost his soul (gelatinized sugar water), but he also lost his passion (imprisoned in an industrial-grade graham cracker).
With the s’more being the most appropriate metaphor for his anguish, he decided that he would end the night by making it. And he made it using these rich people as his ingredients. He intended to use his guests as s’more material, reducing them to food. It was an allegory to the fact that the rich like them were able to pay more than a grand, yet they did not even appreciate the food. They just berated or ignored the effort he put into it. Meanwhile, there are those in the lower echelons of society that could not have enough money just to buy something as simple as a cheeseburger. This act was to make them bow down, to make them feel the fire and hate in him through the very thing that was supposed to be his art – his cooking. By turning them into food, he made them realize how much he had wasted his life for them, and now he was wasting their lives as much as they wasted his food.
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