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Gastronomy Worship
Chapter 1LN1 infobox
Chapter 1

Episode 01: Meditations de Gastronomie

Japanese Name

美食礼賛

Romanized Name

Bishoku Raisan

Volume

1

Release Date

April, 2008 (The Sneaker)

Pages

50

Adaptation

N/A

"Gastronomy Worship" is the 1st chapter of the The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, the 1st chapter of volume 1. It's divided into six parts and contains one illustration. The chapter is labeled as Episode 01 in the story line.

Hugh and Dalian are invited to a dinner party at the Graham Atkinson's mansion. The man, a reputed gourmet, will do everything to savor the most delicious dish.[1]

Summary[]

The little girl in mourning dress was standing in front of a recently built grave. She was staring at a carriage, asking for knowledge and power. There was a doll placed by the window. A book is presented to the little girl through the door of the carriage. According to the man inside, the Phantom Book had chosen her. She would be its owner until the return date arrives. He reminds the little girl that there are things in the world not meant to be known by mankind. The carriage disappears into the dark of the night.

Part 1[]

The car was stopped in a rough mountain road far from the capital. Dalian is bored and hungry, waiting for Hugh to fix the vehicle. She complains, accusing him of not only getting them lost, but also of killing the car. Hugh reminds her that she was the one reading the map. He needs proper tools and materials for the maintenance, but the region seemed deserted. Luckily, a carriage draws closer. Dalian hides behind Hugh, nervous like a little animal. The young woman at the cart tells the middle-aged driver to stop the carriage. She offers help. Hugh informs that they were Graham Atkinson’s guests at tonight’s dinner party. The woman introduces herself as Leslie, a servant at Mr. Atkinson's mansion. She would give them a ride and provide workers to repair the car. Leslie convinces Dalian to enter the carriage by informing there were some fried breads aboard.

The carriage was filled with high-quality ingredients such as vegetables, fruits, fish and meat. All that food would be used for Mr. Atkinson's dinner. He only accepts the freshest and finest items. Leslie tells Hugh and Dalian that, in the past, a chef was dismissed for using slightly injured ingredients. Leslie works as a kitchen maid. She seems very capable, since she was entrusted with the task of purchasing ingredients for dishes that built Mr. Atkinson's reputation as a gourmet. Powerful people try to employ Mr. Atkinson's current chef. However, the chef’s only purpose is to offer Mr. Atkinson the most delicious cuisine. The lord has the best kitchen, staff and ingredients. During Hugh and Leslie's conversation, Dalian savors the fried breads. The pastries are remains of the goods presented to an orphanage. Leslie always gives the remaining breakfast she prepared to the children. After all, she knew hunger, since she had lost her parents early in life.

Part 2[]

Wealthy people are everywhere at the dinning hall, conversing about tonight’s dinner. People are invited every month to taste the special cooking. Dalian is in a bad mood, receiving curious gazes from them. A noble-looking man approaches, boasting about attending the dinner several times. According to him, the recipes are splendid. It’s rumored that the chef is able to cook animals alive without letting them feel any pain. That way, the chef prevents the animals from emitting adrenalin, which aggravates flavor and texture. The techniques allowed the chef to work for Mr. Atkinson for several years. The man leaves after the brief exchange. Dalian suggests that such skill is inhuman.

Hugh and Dalian reach the huge library, packed with rare books. Hugh recognizes a few of them. A man was occupying a comfortable seat. He was expecting such knowledge from Wesley’s grandson. Graham invites Hugh and Dalian to have a conversation over tea. The gourmet lord knows about the Biblioprincess. He deduces that Hugh inherited the Labyrinth Library. Graham exposes his passion for food. He reads for the sake of making food more delicious. His muscles are trained in order to make the body request more food. Graham wouldn’t be dining with his guests. The people invited never stopped talking during such a holy time. The dinner party was only for business. The cooks preparing the dinner were not giving their best. Perfection was not achieved as a way for the guests to understand the taste. A healthy body is required to savor the best cooking. Hugh admits he isn't capable of appreciating food at the same level.

Hugh asks why Graham have invited them to his study. The lord wants to borrow the Book of Meditation of Supreme Cooking. His life goal is to savor the ultimate gourmet food. He offers all the money they wish. However, the Phantom Book has already been borrowed thirteen years ago. Hugh learned that from Wesley’s diary. Hugh and Dalian thought Graham was the user of the Book of Meditation of Supreme Cooking, since he got widely famous as a gourmet after that day. The lord deduces that his head chef has the Phantom Book. The chef, employed thirteen years ago, was responsible for creating all the recipes. Even so, Graham becomes frustrated for being unable to taste the cooking of his dreams. Dalian asks where the chef is. She and Hugh leaves for the kitchen. Graham asks what was their purpose there. Hugh explains that the Book of Meditation of Supreme Cooking should return to the Labyrinth Library that night.

Part 3[]

Lesley

Leslie threatens Hugh and Dalian.

The guests are savoring the dishes. They knew that Graham usually serves endangered species in his parties. There’s even a rumor that human bones were found in his garbage. However, the wealthy people can’t contain their admiration.

Hugh and Dalian reach the large kitchen. The chef was showing unbelievable skills while moving utensils and ingredients. Leslie expected they would come someday. She is the one who received the Book of Meditation of Supreme Cooking from Wesley thirteen years ago, right after her father’s funeral. The Phantom Book had allowed her to work for Graham. Leslie affirms she’s ready to give the Phantom Book back. Hugh and Dalian follow her to an underground room. Dalian explains that Phantom Books choose their owners. Those without qualifications are engulfed by its magical power. Not everyone could hold a Phantom Book for so long. Leslie does not feel proud. According to her, she was only following the Phantom Book instructions. Leslie knows that Graham was not satisfied with her cooking.

Leslie grabs a bottle from a shelf and pours a fine powder on Hugh. She tells Hugh and Dalian to not leave the room. Hugh means to chase her, but she threatens them with a knife. She will do everything to serve the cooking she has been preparing for thirteen years. Leslie locks them inside the room.

Part 4[]

Hugh uses his lighter to illuminate the dark room. Dalian kicks the wall, furious. Leslie might have slowly crossed the boundary after thirteen years, ending up corrupted by the Phantom Book. Hugh shoots twice with his revolver to open the locked door. Several cooks hear the gunshots and run to check what was happening. As they get near Hugh and Dalian, they seem hypnotized. They show a primitive desire, as if they want to savor Hugh’s body. The spice used by Leslie is deluding them. The guests and the servants of the mansion were also approaching, attracted to Hugh. The latter opens the Labyrinth Library at Dalian’s chest. Those enticed by the spice rush towards the couple.

Part 5[]

Graham Atkinson is dining. He had been served several dishes with extravagant cuisine. The main dish is a freshly cooked and sliced meat dipped in sauce. The gourmet lord is in a state of total bliss. Leslie was working as a waitress. Hugh and Dalian enter the room. The Biblioprincess has a huge book in her hands. They had saved themselves by using the Hezār Afsān to put the attackers to sleep. Leslie grabs the Book of Meditation of Supreme Cooking from the wagon filled with dishes. She tells them about her father. He worked in the mansion thirteen years ago, but he was fired when he used injured ingredients by accident once. As a consequence, he drank too much alcohol and died shortly after. She was after revenge at the beginning. But the gourmet would notice if there was poison in the dish. Furthermore, he would never accept the cooking from an amateur. Leslie then read the Phantom Book and polished her skills day after day. Soon, she agreed with Graham about firing an incompetent cook. Then, she started to look after the best dish. Tonight, she had made it.

Graham asks for more. Leslie opens the container and uses her knife to cut the meat. She places it on the plate with a new serving of sauce. Leslie explains her findings. The Book of Meditation of Supreme Cooking teaches that the best taste comes from raw materials that are not hurt. An animal should not feel pain while being cooked. More than that, they should feel pleasure. Humans are delighted while tasting gourmet food. The human brain while eating delicious food is the best ingredient in the world. Leslie does not need the Book of Meditation of Supreme Cooking anymore. Dalian accepts the Phantom Book. She tells Leslie that the fried breads were enjoyable. Leslie freezes for a moment. Hugh and Dalian leave the room. Graham requests more food. The chef opens the gourmet’s skull once again to cut the meat. The man smiles as he savors a piece of his own brain.

Part 6[]

Dalian is bored, waiting for Hugh to fix the car. They had collected some replacement parts at the mansion and walked back to the vehicle. The morning sun was illuminating the horizon when a carriage drew closer. The peasant gives Dalian two large steamed potatoes. He leaves after seeing her smile. Hugh finishes the maintenance and manages to start the engine. While driving, Hugh asks for a potato. Dalian acts selfishly. The two argue in the car, disappearing slowly into the morning fog.[1]

Trivia[]

  • In The Perfumer, Hugh will be attacked once again by a female character using a substance created with forbidden knowledge.[2]
  • "Meditations de Gastronomie" is a reference to the 1825 literary work The Physiology of Taste: or Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy by French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.[3]
    • Graham quotes Brillat-Savarin when he says "the discovery of a new dish confers more happiness on humanity than the discovery of a new star".[1][3]
    • Graham's mentality is aligned with the idea of Brillat-Savarin's famous aphorism "tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are".[1][3]
    • Graham consider cooking the driving force for civilization progress.[1] Brillat-Savarin says "cooking is one of the oldest arts and one that has rendered us the most important service in civic life".[3]
    • Graham has Brillat-Savarin's work in his library.[1]
  • Other books are seen in Graham's bookshelves.[1] Apicius is a collection of Roman cookery recipes, usually thought to have been compiled in the 1st century AD. The recipes are geared for the wealthiest classes, and a few contain what were exotic ingredients at that time.[4]
    • Le Viandier is a recipe collection from an unknown author. It's generally credited to Guillaume Tirel, alias Taillevent. The earliest version of the work was written around 1300.[5] Tirel, known as Taillevent, was an important figure in the early history of French cuisine, cooking for French noblemen and kings.[6]
    • Qimin Yaoshu is the most completely preserved of the ancient Chinese agricultural texts, and was written by the Northern Wei Dynasty official Jia Sixie, supposedly completed in 544 C.E. It contains 280 recipes, besides records about Chinese techniques in agronomy, animal husbandry, cooking, etc.[7]
  • In 2001 American psychological horror film Hannibal, the homonymous serial killer feeds Paul Krendler with a part of his own brain. The latter's faculties are negatively affected[8], as seen with Mr. Atkinson.[1]
  • The first chapter in the series already mentions all Hugh's notable possessions: his car, lighter, revolver, coat and golden key.[1]

References[]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 1, volume 1.
  2. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novelChapter 4, volume 4.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. (2020, March 1). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 13:27, April 4, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Jean_Anthelme_Brillat-Savarin&oldid=943393411
  4. Apicius. (2019, September 29). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 13:42, April 4, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Apicius&oldid=918626930
  5. Le Viandier. (2017, December 3). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 13:51, April 4, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Le_Viandier&oldid=813405954
  6. Guillaume Tirel. (2019, December 3). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 13:51, April 4, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Guillaume_Tirel&oldid=929002557
  7. Qimin Yaoshu. (2019, March 30). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 13:57, April 4, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Qimin_Yaoshu&oldid=890105642
  8. Hannibal (2001 film). (2020, March 25). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17:02, April 5, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hannibal_(2001_film)&oldid=947381440
  9. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 4, volume 1.
  10. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 4, volume 7.
Previous N/A Light novel Next

Volume 1

Gastronomy Worship - Pedigree - Book of Wisdom - The Dictator's Book - Turn-Up Book - Book of Lifetime - Libricide

Volume 2

The Briar Princess - Queen of the Night - The Lovers - Book of Equivalence - Book of Fetus - Winning Strategy - The Mystic Archives of Rasiel

Volume 3

Book of Soul Exchange - Book of Oblivion - Book of Twilight - Book of Sleep - The Magician's Daughter - The Beautiful Woman's World - Book of Atonement

Volume 4

Book of Gap - Phantom Score - Book of Relationship - Book of Hypnosis - The Perfumer - The House-Elf's Rough Time - Phantom Book Thief

Volume 5

Timetable - Waterside Flower - The Cat and the Biblioprincess - Book of Fools - The Logbook - The Observer - Book of Connection

Volume 6

The Template Book - The Working Man - Book of Coffin - The Real Me - Book of Humanization - Paradise

Volume 7

Disaster and Temptation - Catalogue - Book of Wisdom II - The Girls' Long Night - Book of Imitation - The Key-Keeper

Volume 8

Phantom Book of the King - The Last Book - Vignette of Eternal Twilight
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