Seven Courses of Profanity
Lessons on cuisine from Chicago’s chic anarcho-nihilist supper club
Our Chicago apartment has recently become the venue for a recurring dinner party – the Anarchist Gentle Person’s Supper Club. Discontent service workers, state-hating lawyers, filthy queers, and communard chefs1 frequent our suppers. The suppers are currently fundraisers for anarchist legal funds, tending to favor purveyors of illegalist and nihilist thought. We set a fixed price for each dinner based on what will cover our expenses and how much money the legal fund needs.
Our cuisine is not unlike our fashion. What’s in season? What’s easy to find for free? We find oxalis, or wood sorrel, in our backyards. This herb makes a wonderful, slightly tart, ice cream. We hear that the factory down the street has apple trees so we head over with empty bags. A coworker gives us a flat of cherry tomatoes. We slice them and dehydrate them, knowing that we will need them two months from now, when the vines have dried. Should a dish be missing that final component, we pool our dwindling food stamps and head to the markets.
Our interest in cooking and dining is something we share with one another, but something we haven’t always been able to share with fellow anarchists. We profane high cuisine by trying to understand where the cooking techniques and recipes come from. Duck confit, for example, is found on countless Michelin star menus. But at its core it is a dish created by peasants who wanted to preserve duck meat through the winter. We served duck confit at our first dinner, and shared the history and technique of this dish with our friends. This is at the heart of the Anarchist Gentle Person’s Supper Club – the decadence of good food and wine, fused with experiments in communization; you know, not giving a fuck about property and sharing all that wealth.