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October 25, 2007

Your Last Meal...Ever

Did you know that Marilyn Monroe ate guacamole and meatballs at a Mexican buffet before she died, or that Julia Child headed to the great beyond with a bellyful of French onion soup? I learned these fun yet freaky details while researching my recent story, Last Bites, which I wrote for the Halloween edition of Seven Days. The coolest part of putting together the piece? Asking local celebs what they would want their last meals to be, given the choice.

Most of the high-profile folks I spoke to, including Weatherman Tom Messner and
Film Director John O'Brien, chuckled at the concept. Health Inspector Al Burns made sure to let me know that he doesn't plan to eat his last meal for a long, long time.

Now I want to know what YOUR last meal would be...would you select a voluptuous assortment of dainties or an all-you-can-eat buffet of comfort foods? Unlike inmates on death row in Florida, who have a $20 spending limit on their final feasts, you can spend as much virtual money as you wish.

To get you started, here's mine. I realize that this list will mean an eternity in the 3rd circle of hell, in which gluttons lie in the mud during a perpetual rain and hail storm. That's gonna suck.

I would share this meal with my husband, who is the best (dining) partner a girl could ask for.


A selection of sashimi, mostly o-toro
12 West Coast oysters on the half-shell with just a drizzle of mignonette sauce
Kobe beef tartare. I've never tried Kobe beef, but it's now or never
A rather large slab of foie gras, prepared in some creative fashion by Thomas Keller (I know the hate mail will be forthcoming. Look, there's not a single factory farmed chicken on this menu, nor milk from any cow treated with Monsanto's rBST, etc.)

Mesclun greens, roasted walnuts, cherries and slices of a bloomy-rind goat cheese, sprinkled with sea salt and dressed with olive oil and an older balsamic

I'd want really small servings of five, super-creative soups. I don't know what they would be.

Chestnut ravioli in a truffle cream
Roasted Duck with port and fig sauce
Brussels sprouts with shallots, bacon and blue cheese
Potato and celeriac gratin

An extra large cheese course, featuring at least 30 of the best artisan cheeses in the country plus accompaniments such as honey, nuts and fruit, along with appropriate beverages. I know I'd want Humboldt Fog, Beecher's Flagship Reserve, Cobb Hill Ascutney Mountain, alongside a variety of cheeses from Willow Hill, Lazy Lady and Jasper Hill. I'd let Jeff Roberts pick out the rest.

A dessert wine tasting, including ice wines, Tokays and Sauternes, which I'll sip as I wait for eternity.


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Cat Woodward

What? No fugu? Talk about now-or-never dishes... :)


Hi Cat -- You're totally right! Why not add fugu to the list? And while I'm at it, I'd also sample durian: The tropical fruit that tastes like heaven and smells, by many accounts, like rotting flesh. Which would be apropos.

What would your last meal be?

Lisa Crean

Oh boy, I'm going to have to give this one some thought. But I could make a whole last meal out of raw fish dishes. A wonderous selection of sashimi--fresh caught by my good friend David, who lives in Hawaii, of course. Some poke (pronounced "POH-kee"), which is a Hawaiian salad with chunks of raw fish, seaweed, and seasoning--like chile flakes, sesame oil and soy sauce, for example. Another Hawaiian fish staple, lomi-lomi salmon--raw salmon with onions, tomatoes, lemon juice and sea salt. A little ceviche--chef's choice. Plenty of sushi--surprisingly the low-rent saba (mackerel) is one of my faves, as well as ikura (salmon roe). Maybe a little smoked fish too, for good measure: trout and mackerel are yummy options.

Perhaps some palate-cleansing microgreens, dressed with raspberry vineager, olive oil and sea salt, in between fish-orgy courses. I like Suzanne's idea of little bowls of soup--I love creamy, pureed veggie soups that have no milk or cream in them. (Sweet potato, fresh pea, etc.)

And then just kill me by drowning me in bittersweet chocolate.


foie gras? being a vegetarian for 10 years I have learned to be very tolerant of the practice of eating meat, I really see no problem with it- as long as the animals are treated and killed humanely. shoving a tube down a baby goose's throat and force feeding it grain 3 times a day so that its liver is 3 times its natural size is not humane. you're basically eating diseased liver. I am all for delicious cuisine, but can you really justify eating foie gras, veal, and various other things knowing that the animal suffered so inhumanely to produce the product?


Mmmmmmm...Humboldt Fog....YUUUUUM!

Gimme some Humboldt Fog and a brioche from the Cheeseboard Collective in Berkeley and throw in a BIG ass cappucino from Peet's up the street, a pizza, also from the Cheeseboard and perhaps a bowl of matzah ball soap from Saul's - oh, and some bread pudding as well - and one of the pickles they put on the table! North Berkeley cuisine at its tastiest.


Hahaha! I don't even recognize half those foods.... I feel ashamed of myself.... LOL!


Just give me pizza... with the toppings that I never get to have, cuz no one else ever wants them :P LOL!

Casspia Neko

Wow.... this a very difficult descion. Hmmmm.... I think I'd ask for a ton of potato dishes; mashed, baked, twice baked, scalloped, fried, cheesy, saunteyed with mushrooms, potato gratin, potato salad, home fries, french fries, hashbrown, potato soup, and anything else I can come up with. I really like potatos.

John Branam

You'd probably have to be a native Angeleno to understand and appreciate my last meal, to all others I'm sure it will sound like a boring choice. A double chili cheese burger, chili cheese fries with extra onions and peppers on the side, and a large Pepsi from the original Tommy's burger on Beverly and Rampart in Los Angeles. For those who know I don't have to explain, for those who don't I couldn't explain.


Apps: Hot crab dip
Homemade chex-mix
Bacon-cheese fries with homemade ranch dressing

Salad: Just a triple portion house salad from Outback with
tangy tomato dressing

Soup: Minestrone soup from this little Italian restaurant
in San Francisco that I love

Meal: Arrabiatta over fresh-made pasta
Kobe steak, medium
Homemade chicken and dumplings
Veggie Lo-mein that my neighbor makes
Country fried steak in onion gravy
My homemade mac and cheese
Mix of collard, turnip, and mustard greens with onion
Real mashed potatos and gravy
My Yorkshire puddings
Sauteed extra fine green beans

Bread: Homemade yeast rolls with honey butter
Skillet cornbread with homemade butter

Dessert: Sit me in the chocolate fountain at the Bellagio
Las Vegas and bring me three each of every
dessert in the pastry shop, the Bellagio
buffet, an entire one of my chocolate ganache
cakes, and five industrial-sized pans of baklava
made with pistachios and orange blossom honey

Beverages: Sweet iced tea
Dr. Pepper in glass bottles
Coca-cola in glass bottle
Riesling (sweet, from Germany only)
Orange juice
A bottle of 99 Peaches
A bottle of Ciroc vodka
A six pack of Jones Root Beer in glass bottles

Yes. Its total over-kill, but I'm going to take my time and finish clogging my arteries if I'm going out anyway!


I'd want McDonald's 10 pc chicken nuggets w/some fries and a chocolate shake


The foie gras is the only thing that makes you deserving of eternal damnation. Everything else sounds great!


Wow- decisions decisions! Ok here I go!

Lobster bisque soup from Red Lobster (believe it or not)
(2) Chicken Elegant crepes from the Magic Pan
A Monte Cristo sandwich from the Blue bayou (Disneyland)
Surf N Turf from Monahan's in pasadena CA
Creme Brulee french toast from Goofy's kitchen
Potatoe cheese soup from Marie Callendars
crab stuffed mushrooms
Tommy's chili cheese fries

Not in that order...

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