If you were around to experience it, you know the loss that I feel. If you missed it, live now knowing that your life will forever be incomplete. The Delly's Chef's Corner — a brand new, reasonably-priced dish every day from 11 a.m. until it was gone — came to us in the cold of the December exam season and, for a brief but wonderful time, showed us what happiness and inventive food could be like. My heart thawed when I tasted that first mouthful of tandoori chicken poutine. I knew the flavours of hope when I returned to the office bearing a saucy chili dog like fresh kill from the hunt.
If you've ever been waiting in line at the Delly and seen that strange advertisement on the television screen for the Chef's Corner special that no longer exists, you know the tip of the tragic iceberg that is this story.
Every day, for a small window of time, one chef – the Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni of culinary delights at the Delly – would take to his station and create the most beautiful concoctions to ever grace the campus.
His eyes alit with the glow of creation as he prepared banana french toast with walnuts, chocolate and vanilla ice cream, or fried oyster po boy sandwiches and many other masterful achievements of human ingenuity. The few that knew of the wonders he produced – his chosen ones – cut the line for curry and went to his corner by the sandwich station, where the true magic happened. Like disciples drinking the offered blood of a prophet, we gained the sacred, divine wisdom of his genius in the form of cooked meats and zesty sauces.
And then it ended. We went home for the holiday and returned to find the Delly empty and devoid of the life that we had so briefly known. We lined up expecting fresh prophesies of food and instead were turned away or directed to the assortments of stale samosas and wraps. The great age of Delly-enlightenment had ended.
I went back to my curry-eating ways. I heard that some went back to turkey sandwiches or tuna, while others found refuge at some strange wasteland called The Soup Market. As for the chef himself, one day, weeks ago, I saw him sadly reheating a large pot of buttered chicken, the light sapped from his eyes.
To the Delly managers: You have deprived an artist of his craft. Like a painter without their brushes, he is lost – adrift in a sea of pre-made curry. The Nest is empty without him and our stomachs have not known happiness in so long. Bring Chef's Corner back... please?