When I was a kid, my sister and I absolutely annihilated our VHS copy of Jurassic Park. We had that thing working day and night during the summer, and we could never get enough. It’s still not hard for me to admit that it’s the greatest movie ever made.
What I do have trouble with, though, is admitting to myself the failure of believing that Chilean sea bass was a meal destined for greatness. Every time we watched the movie, there it was in that weird dinner scene, offered up so prominently by one of Dr. Hammond’s chefs (who hopefully made it to the docks to catch that boat). In that bizarrely dark room, lit only by the numerous surrounding projector screens, I knew I was watching something special.
Such a peculiar dish you are, Chilean sea bass. I had never heard of you before; you existed nowhere but in the vacuum of this scene, a witness to the cautionary warnings of Dr. Ian Malcolm. But I knew you were destined for something more.
I was entranced every time. I knew even you would scoff at Donald Gennaro’s lame idea for a coupon day at the park. You are a dish for the elite, but this was John Hammond’s Jurassic Park, and he wanted everybody to experience the park and everything it had to offer. You were the key to it all, an escape from these “normal” lives constructed for us.
I knew I would soon be eating Chilean sea bass to my heart’s content. Having all of the Jurassic Park toys, comic books and video games was great, but nothing could compare to eating the SAME meal that was actually served there. I braced myself for the eventual rise of Chilean sea bass in restaurants everywhere. I envisioned a world where we’d be ordering the dish off the value meal and discussing how to make the world a better place over a fresh plate of it.
But you know what? No one gives a shit about Chilean sea bass! No one ever has! It’s a nearly nonexistent footnote in the culinary landscape. How is this possible? Where did the marketing and direction for this dish go so wrong in the months – even years – following the release of Jurassic Park? This should have been the most special meal in the world, a meal that changed the course of our society. Now I sense nothing but its vast absence.
To this day, I have never had Chilean sea bass. I think much of that is due to me being so sure about the dish’s future that I buried my shame deep within and subconsciously refused to seek it out. But I’m a grown man now, and it’s time for me to face my own demons. I must try Chilean sea bass. The problem is, I have no idea where to get it. The dish that should have been all the rage of the world has instead faded into cultural obscurity, its opportunity for the spotlight faded like a Jurassic Park poster that saw too much sunlight beaming through the window.
I’ll soon find a way to try this dish, and while I’ll always think of Chilean sea bass for what it was, I will also always remember what it was supposed to be. It deserves at least that much from me.
Chilean sea bass, you deserved more
From a cold and callous world
More, more, more.
You will live for eternity,
But your greatest curse
Is that it’s not in reality.
Chilean sea bass…