Declan, a chef at a four star restaurant, was deeply conflicted over what to do about his best worker, Elvin.
For years, Elvin, who a large mass of mold, had worked in the dumpster, breaking down the garbage into compost that Declan could use to fertilize his garden. It was in Declan’s garden that he grew the finest herbs with which he added spice to his creations. Yes, other chefs used the same spices that Declan used, but somehow, the addition of Elvin’s special fungal composition gave them a character not found anywhere else.
Time and again, Elvin begged Declan to teach him to cook, and Declan, who felt sorry for Elvin each time he failed, unfailingly tried to coach him toward some degree of success. It never worked out, however, for whenever Declan prepared a meal, a bit of him always managed to make its way into the mix, and by the time he plated it, it was always a mass of fuzzy spores.
“It’s no use,” said Elvin, who made it a point to cry outside so that his tears wouldn’t leave trails of himself on the restaurant’s tiled floor. “Everything I touch becomes spoiled. I’m doomed to a life of breaking down refuse into fertilizer.”
“Oh, there, there,” said Declan, patting Elvin on the back, and then making a point to wash his hands several times. “You’re a vital part of this restaurant. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
Yet just then Declan, who, like most chefs, has a keen sense of smell to match his sense of taste caught wind of a captivating culinary scent. He followed his nose to a mold covered sandwich, and peeled away the bread.
“What’s this,” he asked excitedly.
“Oh, nothing,” said Elvin, “just a cheese sandwich I was trying to make. It’s another failure.”
“No it isn’t,” said Declan, “this is the secret to a whole new blend of recipes.”
So it was that Elvin became a key member of Declan’s cooking crew, adding just amount of mold to a series of cheeses, creating delicacies that made Roquefort, by comparison, taste like something that came out of a spray bottle.
It wasn’t long before he was teaching cheesemaking to other clumps of mold, much to the delight of chefs everywhere, who often sat in on classes, wearing hazmat suits, and furiously scribbling out ideas for new and exciting ways to stimulate the taste buds.