DRAFT SUMMIT UPDATE
After two weeks of what appeared to be promising Tuesday and Thursday meetings, the Draft Summit talks have stalled, according to A.P. Civet, president of The Park’s Society of Concerned Park Cultivators, Planters, Growers, and Farmers (SCPCPGF).
[pullquote]All the BulbBeacons, FoodFinders, SpinachSpotters, and TulipTrackers will come to nothing if we don’t take back control of our farmlands.—A.P. Civet, SCPCPGF president, on Human Direct Investment in The Park[/pullquote]
“We’ve come to an impasse,” Civet wrote in a press release on Friday morning.
But the issue that has stalled the talks—Human Direct Investment in The Park—has “absolutely nothing” to do with the problem the Summit was called to resolve, a frustrated Kalliope Sun Bear told Mammalian Daily Radio this morning.
Sun Bear, who represents the Weather Makers, Producers and Sellers Alliance of The Park (WMPSAP), one of the three groups participating in the Summit, said that while she understood the SCPCPGF’s concerns about HDI, she thought the talks should focus on the issue at hand.
“The Summit was called to discuss the effects of technology on The Park’s food supply, but it’s now veered off in another direction entirely,” she said.
But Civet insists that unless HDI is dealt with swiftly, there will be no food to find, with or without apps.
“Unless we convince the Archons, the Park Finance Office, and the Department of Well-Being and Safety that allowing Humans to farm in The Park is a danger to our food supply, we have nothing to discuss with regard to technology. All the BulbBeacons, FoodFinders, SpinachSpotters, and TulipTrackers will come to nothing if we don’t take back control of our farmlands,” Civet wrote in the press release.
Human Direct Investment dates back to January of 2011, when the sitting Archons, in conjunction with the Park Finance Officers, agreed to “rent” out portions of The Park’s farmland to Humans for their personal use. The agreement explicitly allowed for use of the land for the purpose of growing food for the exclusive consumption of Humans. An investigation conducted five years ago by The Park Police Force’s Undercover Operations Unit (UOU) concluded that the HDI deal was responsible for some of the food shortages experienced in The Park. The Archons have never revealed what the PFO does with the monies collected from the rent.
In the press release, Civet wrote that he will not resume his place at the Summit table until he has met with the Archons, the PFO and the DWBS to discuss the issue. No meeting has yet been scheduled.
Never one to back down from a fight, celebrity chef and award-winning author Tab Tricolore has announced that he plans to use Wednesday’s Chitter Radio Literary Awards to take down his latest enemy, Yannis Tavros.
Tavros, who last month accused Tricolore of discriminating against the non-striped at his pub, The Tabby Club, launched his #BullintheTabbyClub campaign in earnest last week when he encouraged his listeners and Twitter followers to boycott Tricolore’s restaurants. Instead, he told them to follow him to Mikko Tikkeri’s The Feeding Station.
Tricolore did not respond immediately to the challenge. But today he announced that he would be serving his newest creation, the #LiberationLibation, to all attendees at Wednesday’s Chitter Radio Literary Awards.
“It’s Enforced Domestication Awareness Month. Come and see what real freedom tastes like—not the kind that Tavros is serving up on the radio,” Tricolore posted in an online open invitation.
The popular chef, who won two Chitter Radio Literary Awards in 2013 for his cookbook, The Feral Roots of Our Festive Cuisine, is reportedly “incensed” that Tavros accused him of discrimination.
“Tab was born to a feral mother and experienced the kind of discrimination that Yannis Tavros can’t even imagine,” says Tricolore’s former saucier, Barry “Béarnaise” Burmilla. “It wasn’t even his idea for The Tabby Club to be an all-striped pub. It was the original owner’s— who, by the way, was The Park’s first leader.”
Burmilla describes Tab as a “tough but fair” boss who “absolutely believes” in the equality of all species.
“About that, he’s never had a second thought,” says Burmilla.
The Society of Concerned Park Cultivators, Planters, Growers, and Farmers (SCPCPGF) says it will boycott Friday’s annual Anixi Agrarian Jubilee unless The Park’s technology sector comes to the table to discuss its concerns over the proliferation of food-finding apps.[pullquote]The issue is not whether technology should be involved. Of course it should. The issue is where and when, under what circumstances and for what purpose.—A.P. Civet, SCPCPGF president [/pullquote]
In a statement released to media this morning, SCPCPGF president A.P. Civet called on tech companies to listen to what his group has to say about the future of food and its availability in The Park.
“The issue is not whether technology should be involved in the production and distribution of food. Of course it should. The issue is where and when, under what circumstances and for what purpose,” Civet says in the statement.
The dispute between the two sectors dates back to the beginning of Tulip Season in March, when apps such as Bulb Beacon and TulipTracker became available. The SCPCPGF expressed its concern that the apps had been released too soon and Park farmers hadn’t had a chance to amp up food production in order to meet the growing expectations of our population. Civet contended that the “natural” ways of finding food allowed for a more even distribution of food.
“If all Park residents were to use these apps, our food sources would dry up within days and we would be forced to import even more food from outside The Park,” he said.
In the media statement released the morning, Civet expressed his disappointment that technology companies hadn’t responded to his many invitations to discuss the issue.
“We are all in this together. I don’t understand why they’re not willing [to discuss the issue].
As of this morning, none of The Park’s technology companies that produce food-finding apps has responded to the threat of the boycott.
Historians may look back on it and jokingly call it the “Tulip War,” but at present it’s a tense situation that could cause irreparable damage to The Park’s food and technology sectors.
It started last month, when the Society of Concerned Park Cultivators, Planters, Growers, and Farmers (SCPCPGF) complained in a print advertisement that The Park’s technology companies were encouraging Animals to abandon their natural practices of finding food in favour of letting apps do the searching for them. The SCPCPGF maintains that this negatively affects what it calls the “natural pacing” of food finding and will inevitably lead to uneven distribution, more food imports, and food shortages.
The Park’s technology sector laid low for a short time, hoping to wait out the controversy. But when the SCPCPGF refused to give up, SINCAP Technologies president Peppi Orava took to the airwaves to vigorously defend her company’s app, Bulb Beacon, and assert that SINCAP and other technology companies make it their business to support access to food in The Park.
“We all take access to food very seriously. I know from personal experience that it can be very frustrating and terrifying not to be able to find enough food, or to forget where you stored your food over the Winter. I’ve had relatives who almost starved and that was the impetus for me to develop our app,” she told Toro Talk Radio’s Yannis Tavros in an interview.
But that did not placate SCPCPGF president A.P. Civet, and a few days later, he called for a moratorium on the development of food-related technology.
Now, the anger that has been brewing for weeks threatens to spill over. As both sides begin to issue threats and accusations, experts say the issue could come to blows in May, as planting begins and the Park Finance Office turns its attention to the 2017 budget.
“What’s at stake here is not just peace in The Park, but the food supply itself,” says Kalliope Sun Bear, president of the Weather Makers, Producers and Sellers Alliance of The Park (WMPSAP).
“We all should be very scared.”
In a bold move that is sure to spark controversy, the Society of Concerned Park Cultivators, Planters, Growers, and Farmers (SCPCPGF) has called for a moratorium on the development of all food-related technology.[pullquote]Peppi Orava spoke out of ignorance, and I’m here to say that ignorance will feed neither the stomach nor the spirit.—A.P. Civet, president, Society of Concerned Park Cultivators, Planters, Growers, and Farmers[/pullquote]
Society president A.P. Civet took to the airwaves this morning to announce that his members had voted unanimously last night to make the call for a temporary halt to the development of food-related technology and food-finding apps in particular.
The hastily-arranged vote came in response to remarks made yesterday by Peppi Orava, president of SINCAP Technologies, the company that released the food-finding app Bulb Beacon last year.
As a guest on the Yannis Tavros radio show, Orava disputed the Society’s claims that her app encouraged Animals to abandon their natural ways of finding food.
“The SCPCPGF claims that our technologies are meant to displace the old ways. Quite the contrary. What we were aiming for—and what we’ve succeeded in doing—is allowing Animals to do what they do naturally, but without expending as much time and energy doing it,” she told Tavros.
Orava went on to say that she believed technology would enable Animals to become more efficient at finding food.
“But if we do discover a shortage of food, that is not the fault of the technology; it is the fault of the farming community. It is their job to provide for the needs of Park Animals.”
It was that last comment that so incensed Civet that he immediately arranged the SCPCPGF membership meeting that resulted in the call for a moratorium on food technology development.
Today, on the radio, Civet was unapologetic about his hasty response.
“We believe these technologies have a use, but they’ve been made available too soon. They set up expectations that can’t possibly be met by any food provider,” he said.
“There are so many factors that go into the cultivation, planting, and growing of foodstuffs. It’s as impossible to blame one group for shortages as it is to praise one group for bounty. Peppi Orava spoke out of ignorance, and I’m here to say that ignorance will feed neither the stomach nor the spirit.”
Once known primarily as Tab Tricolore’s main rival, Chef Mikko Tiikeri has come into his own with the opening of his new restaurant, The Feeding Station.
The restaurant, which had its soft opening in late October, welcomed the public for the first time on Thursday night. And what a welcome it was.
To begin with, the new establishment’s interior is stunning, in more ways than one. Last Spring, Tiikeri commissioned the services of Tagma Design, who not coincidentally had just completed Tricolore’s PurrBoy Café at The Park Museum.
The firm, which is known to do cutting edge interiors, went beyond expectations this time. And the results are heartstopping.
The new eatery boasts what Tiikeri calls a new concept for The Park: communal dining. What Tagma did with that concept is likely to give many an Animal pause, especially those who have experienced enforced domestication or come to The Park from a farm. In fact, it took this reviewer a few minutes, after experiencing “fight or flight” syndrome, to settle into the concept.
The bespoke tables span the width of the restaurant and each has thirteen holes carved out of it. It is into these holes that wait staff place bowls of Tiikeri’s fine fare for their diners’ pleasure. Yes, diners sit beside one another while they eat Tiikeri’s delicacies out of their own bowl only.
Tiikeri admits that the concept isn’t all his own and he’s quick to credit Tricolore with introducing The Park to the idea of Animals peacefully eating together. He does take credit for tweaking the idea, though, by stealing a little something from the domestic and industrial worlds.
“Some might say it’s not natural for us to eat in this way and I would agree with them, up to a point. But many of us are used to this, having lived elsewhere, in different circumstances. And there’s an argument to be made that our life here in The Park, with so many species co-existing, is not natural, either,” he says.
Still, Tiikeri understands that many Animals will not want to participate in his new venture. For that reason, The Feeding Station offers an extensive takeout menu, which the chef hopes will whet Animals’ appetites enough to get them to his tables.
With appetizers such as Mélange de Noix, Herbes Béarnaise, and Feuilles de Papier, and mains such as steaming hot Goulash Verde and Camión de Barro, it’s hard to believe it could fail.
One question remains, though, which this reviewer poses at the end of our interview: Just what is the idea behind the main course called “String Theory?”
Tiikeri’s eyes shine and his teeth glisten as he smiles.
“Enforced mastication,” he laughs.
The Feeding Station is open for dinner only, Monday to Sunday, 6:30 until midnight. Reservations are recommended.
Tab Tricolore, Chef and Restaurateur
“Evolution” is a dirty word in the Animal world, but The Park’s most successful restaurateur is not afraid to use it. As he prepares to open his fifth restaurant, he muses about the attitudinal changes he has witnessed and the rôle that chefs have played in those changes.
Tab Tricolore (pronounced “tree-caw-lore-ay”), famous “bad boy chef” and The Park’s most successful restaurateur, has dust up his nose, but he doesn’t seem to mind. Having refused the offer of a mask and a tour guide, he walks stealthily through the unfinished space that will soon be home to his newest venture. Eating was a very private activity before. Now, it’s become not only a public one, but a social one, as well. We go outside of our own dwellings to engage in it. We eat in front of others. And, not just in front of them, but with them. That difference in habitude is huge.
“This one is special,” he whispers, surrendering his signature monotone to the emotion of the moment.
The PurrrBoy Café at the Park Museum, which will commence service a few weeks before the museum officially opens, has been designed by Tricolore’s favourite firm, Tagma Designs. Though their work isn’t yet evident, Tricolore is confident they will stay true to his vision.
“They know me and they know my tastes, even as they evolve,” he says.
Tricolore talks often about seeing himself as the prime educator of Park Animals’ palates. Indeed, in his recently completed book, “The Evolution of Taste” (to be published in 2015), he admits to giving himself a huge dollop of credit for the success of the restaurant business in The Park.
But his interest these days lies less in palates than it does in what he calls the “evolution of habitude.”
What Tricolore is talking about is the way in which Park Animals now schedule their lives and the new way in which they view not just food, but eating.
“For thousands of years, it was basically the same: find food, eat, sleep, mate, find food, eat, sleep, die. It sounds bad, but that was the way we lived. Most species of Animals didn’t forage together, let alone eat together. We take it for granted now, but eating was a very private activity before. Now, it’s become not only a public one, but a social one, as well. We go outside of our own dwellings to engage in it. We eat in front of others. And, not just in front of them, but with them. That difference in habitude is huge,” he declares.
And that difference has made all the difference to The Park’s restaurateurs. But it has presented challenges, too.
“It’s a cliché but it’s true: chefs are creative types. And we like to see our creativity appreciated. But we’ve had to push for acceptance in The Park. We’ve had to push Animals to try not only our food, but our ideas about eating. That evolution of habitude that we see evidence of now…that is the result of our efforts and we’re still at it. We’re still having to map it out for our customers,” he says.
Map it out?
Tricolore answers with a mocking tone. “Yes, you can eat even if you’re not hungry. Yes, you can eat more than once a day. Yes, you can eat something you haven’t found yourself. And you may even like it.”
Despite his tone, the Chef says he’s sympathetic to what he calls “the novice diner.”
“It’s a whole new world and, depending on your experiences and your species, you may not want to participate. I understand that. But it’s my job and my colleagues’ job to convince you that it’s a positive thing. And if I can’t do that … if I don’t do that … if you don’t enjoy my restaurant and my food and I mean both, then I’ve failed and I deserve to have failed,” he says.
But isn’t that a bit harsh?
“Not in the least,” Tricolore argues. “Because I’ve let you down. I know how wonderful the experience can be and I haven’t been able to show that to you. And, for a chef, that’s the worst failure of all.”
The PurrrBoy Café is scheduled to open later this year.
Tab Tricolore, The Park’s most famous (and infamous) chef, has confirmed that he is collaborating with a group of Park chefs on an interspecial cookbook.
The busy chef and author won the 2013 Chitter Radio Literary Award in non-fiction for “The Feral Roots of our Festive Cuisine,” a book that is part memoir and part cookbook. Tricolore also owns and runs four restaurants in The Park and is planning to open a fifth (The PurrrBoy Café at the Park Museum) in the near future.
The other five chefs involved in the project hail from different species, but all have one thing in common: they are generally long-lived Animals. Hence, the working title of the book: “Recipes for a Long Lifespan.”
“That title has a double meaning, though,” Tricolore said in an interview recently. “These recipes all come from a fairly long-lived group, but they are also recipes for foods that are good for you. If you use them [the recipes], you can have a longer lifespan, too. But, of course, there are no guarantees,” he warned.
What is guaranteed is that the meals cooked using these recipes will be delicious.
Tab Tricolore, Chef and Restaurateur
Part two of a three-part series. Click here to read part one.
Knowing how to cook is just the first step on the path to becoming a successful restaurateur. The challenges are enormous for any chef, but for a chef in The Park, those challenges can sometimes seem overwhelming. How do you convince Animals who are used to securing their own sustenance that your food is worth paying for?
“When I started in this business, there was no such thing as fine dining in The Park,” says Tab Tricolore (pronounced “tree-caa-lore-ay”).
The Park’s famous “bad boy chef” and its most successful restaurateur hands his interviewer a drink while he hosts a tour of Klo, The Park’s and his first fine dining establishment.
“What you’re drinking there isn’t just something to quench your thirst,” he says proudly, as he explains the genesis of Klo’s signature drink.
One hot day two Summers ago, he says, he and his entire staff went on a reconnaissance mission. They were searching for the purest water they could find in The Park.
“We had a permit and when we found it [the water], I was going to dig a new well. Just for Klo. But it wasn’t easy. We spent the whole day tapping into every water source we could find, but none of it was as pure as what we could get from the Wishing Well. And I knew we couldn’t take water from the Wishing Well. It’s everybody’s water, and I didn’t have permission to use it,” he says.
Then he had what he calls a light bulb moment. “I asked myself, ‘Why am I planning to serve plain water at all?'” He explains:
“There are some Animals who think they will only drink water but it’s your job as a chef…as a restaurateur…to nudge them away from their routine. If you don’t try and if you don’t succeed, they might as well eat at home. No Park Animal is going to go out to eat — and pay for the privilege — unless they’re offered something different, something superb, something they couldn’t possibly get by themselves. The flavours, the texture, the presentation…you have to offer an extraordinary culinary experience or Animals will not dine at your restaurant.”
Tricolore says that Klo offers all that and more, every day that it is open. And his other restaurants, though not billed as fine dining spots, offer food that adheres strictly to his formula for success. And that is the four “Ls”: local (the food must be locally sourced, that is, grown inside The Park), lovely (to look at, as Tricolore contends the eyes are the gateway to the palate), luscious (in texture, a very important aspect to Tricolore), and lickable (you must want to continue to savour the flavour long after you have finished your meal).
Tricolore talks often about seeing himself as the prime educator of Park Animals’ palates. But the proud owner of The Park’s first fine dining restaurant bristles at the interviewer’s suggestion that Klo was intended to be an exclusive establishment.
“We exclude no Animal,” he says emphatically. And then he turns the conversation to The Tabby Club, which he purchased a few years ago.
“The Tabby Club, now that’s exclusive…and always has been. And I understand that. Jor (The Park’s first leader and the founder of modern zoocracy) opened it for Tabbies, when Tabbies couldn’t get a drink or a meal anywhere else. You can’t get in if you don’t have stripes. You don’t have to be a Cat, but you have to have stripes. And when I bought it, there was all this talk about whether I would change it, whether it would lose its character. But, look, I’m a Tabby, too. I know how the world works. I have no intention of opening it up completely, though it will change along the way. It has to; everything does. But I’m not against keeping it exclusive for a while, just to remind us that this Park is a work in progress. We’re not finished, by any means. And The Tabby Club kind of proves that,” he says.
Then he asks for an opinion of Klo’s signature drink.
The interviewer hesitates, then obliges: “It’s bold, it’s different, full of richness and flavour and it goes down smoothly.” And, if the interviewer may add an “L” to the Tricolore formula, it lingers in your consciousness, much like the chef, himself.