James McCrone.

A Comedy in Three Acts

What meal would you serve if your life depended on it?:

Culinati continues McCrone’s exploration of the plight of desperate people forced to navigate desperate times. This time in a lighter, if ultimately no less serious, light.

Culinati is a play in three acts about two cooks at a fashionable restaurant who feel stuck and stifled in their jobs, their career paths stunted. Craving recognition and acclaim, they have so far satisfied themselves with games with the other cooks — pranks, one-upsmanship, and they concoct fictional menus for outlandish (equally fictional) feasts/dinners/occasions and then critique them.

When the chef is tricked into going on vacation by his wife, the two are left in charge, and they begin ordering the ingredients they could only ever dream of. They become bolder and more creative as they transform the menu with rare ingredients, whimsy and difficult-to-achieve technique.

The chef returns early. He’s dismayed and angry at their profligacy.

He challenges them to create the perfect meal for himself and three other chefs: “What would you serve if your life depended on it?” he asks. “Because yours does.”

Culinati © 2002, J. McCrone

*   *   *