Verily verily, thou shall not be deceived: food is life, food is art, food is everything.
Now that we have this disclaimer out of the way, let’s get down to the gist that has everyone on a chokehold on social media. On Valentine’s Day, Chef Stone organised a cosy, one-of-its-kind, super fine dining experience for 10 couples. This experience consisted of (according to the The Burgundy NG insta-stories) 12-course meal, signed pictures, and take home hampers for the guests. Now (here’s the bone of contention for social media people), this experience, in total, cost each couple $1,000, roughly about 570,000 naira.
Ah! Immediately Twitter people heard $1000, their brains did griii griiii griiiii – “how can I pay 570 taozand just to goan eat food?” But the question some other people asked is, “why not?”
If you have the money, what’s the big deal in paying a thousand dollars for a 12-course meal, one that is specially made by a finely skilled chef – which means you may not get to eat these meals anywhere else. Besides, when people pay to eat in very exotic restaurants, many are not just paying for the food, they are paying for the experience, art, ambience, class, and everything in-between. Even if it is just the food gan, kini big deal? Food is art and the artist decides the value he’ll place on his art. “You’re simply not the target market if you cannot afford it.” Case closed.
But others are saying “abeg abeg, the thing too cost”. They are claiming that for most Nigerians, ‘luxury’ is usually overpriced basics. Like landlords charging more for a “nice apartment with a wardrobe”, as if the apartment isn’t meant to have a wardrobe in the first place. They claim that under no circumstance should meals be that expensive, in a country that is dubbed to be the poverty capital of the world. People also claim that the bar restaurants are setting, when it comes to their charges, is getting too high, and is causing artificial inflation. Restaurants are now competing to have the most expensive meals, not necessarily the most tasty meals or best customer experience. They also say there are better experiences one can have with a thousand dollars.
But even if that’s the case, how do we decide the kind of experience(s) people choose to have? If you choose to tour countries with your money, another person may choose to eat with theirs. In the end, it all boils down to people’s choices, right? In the same vein, will actions like this have ripple effects? Like housing that is no longer affordable for average Nigerians, will we get to that point where people can no longer have a fine dining experience if they don’t have plenty of cash?
Anyway, over to you, how much is too much for you to pay for a fine dining experience?