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Ending my series of blogs from Ireland, I wrap with the final thoughts from our return flight home.  We are a highly distractible family, admittedly.  Okay, not my siblings and all, but me and my husband and kids, yes.

A favorite line from The Holy Grail that personifies us, at the Bridge of Death while facing the Gorge of Peril:  “Whaaaat is your favorite color?”

Us:  “Blue… no, yellow!”

On our flight home from Ireland, we watched a movie, and then television shows.  It was a disappointing contrast to our flight over the pond two weeks prior, where we had individual televisions and millions of movies to choose from.  And empty seats to lie down in.  ADD bonanza!

But the last show before landing back in the US grabbed my attention, as well as our for son, Dennis.  It was Top Chef Masters, the 2012 season finale.

Dennis and I will regularly sit down to watch the cooking shows.  Gordon Ramsey in Hell’s Kitchen makes you want to eat, but never have a career in the business.  (And Dennis laughs at the amount of swearing that takes place during service.)  Top Chef makes you sit back in amazement at what home aficionados can do.  Here is a covered basket – lift it and make a meal in one hour.  Wow!

The show we watched was, as I said, the 2012 Season Finale.  The assignment for the two professional chefs was to create a four-course meal, on the theme of letters.  One letter was to be a love letter.  Another was an apology.  The third was a letter of thanks, and the final one, the final food these chefs would put in front of the judges, was a letter to themselves.

Chris Cosentino NAILED the final letter.  The first three were a dead even heat, but the letter to himself was interpreted by him as his final meal on this planet Earth:  blood sausage that he made on-set, poached oysters and a perfectly fried egg.

WOW!!!  He cleared out all the BS and came up with those flavors and sensations that were critical to who he was and where he came from.

I think I can speculate on what my family’s last picks might be.  Stephen: oysters, lamb (maybe with orzo), nary a thought of vegetables, but maybe a KitKat for dessert.  For Grace, pasta and seafood, but she would start with oysters and octopus (preferably from Athos).  Dennis would be our big ticket man, starting also with oysters and maybe clams and octopus and, yes, chicken wings, followed up with lobster.

What would my last meal be on this planet Earth?

Without a doubt, a homemade (by my Grandma if magic were possible) Italian tomato sauce that spent all day Sunday on the back burner, then used lightly in a Zucchini Flower Parmigiana.  I would have a salad on the side – tomatoes and cucumbers straight from the garden, still hot from the sun, with a bit of burrata and some dandelion greens picked from the front lawn.

The wine selection would be more difficult for me, and I might need to request some flights of what I most love: Fino de Jerez, Friulano (click here for the post on that!), Albarino, and then an Oloroso sherry; the red flights might require a recommendation from friend Greg to start, but then I would need, necessarily, the Baron de Ley Maturano and a Malbec (or Camenere???), and again I might ask Greg to find the last red wine I would taste on this planet.  Might be a “donkey a**” wine, might not, but if he paired it with cheeses, I would be blissfully happy.

If you had to choose…  Okay, so usually only death row inmates can do this… What would be your last meal on this planet Earth?

Thank you Chris Cosentino for asking this question.  I have named my last supper, but I still have to work on the love letter, the apology and the thank you.

About Claire Ziamandanis

Claire Ziamandanis is Professor of Spanish at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. Over her 20 years at the college, she has been a champion for study abroad, establishing the first affiliation for Spanish students, and then working with the Study Abroad office to open the doors to students from other majors. Claire loves travel, food, wine and Spanish but not necessarily in that order!

One comment

  1. Here’s my “blue, no yellow” answer: Blue Pt. oysters with a mignonette sauce and glass of Pol Roger Rosé Champagne OR my Grandma Ruth’s Sunday fried chicken dinner with succotash, biscuits and baked mac n’ cheese. Or maybe just my brother’s hand-cut French fries and a glass of Champagne. Jeez, this is hard . . .

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