Letter from the Editor: Do not eat. Devour.
This is the letter from the editor which opens the March print issue of The Pitch, introducing the stories and themes of our Cheap Eats magazine. You can find copies of our latest physical release in boxes and restaurants across the city, or digitally here.
“Over the next few hours, you will ingest fat, salt, sugar, protein, bacteria, fungi, various plants and animals, and, at times, entire ecosystems. But I have to beg of you one thing. It’s just one. Do not eat. Taste. Savor. Relish. Consider every morsel that you place inside your mouth. Be mindful. But do not eat. Our menu is too precious for that. And look around you. Here we are on this island. Accept. Accept all of it. And forgive. And on that note… food!”
These are the first lines spoken in the 2022 thriller-satire The Menu by the film’s antagonist, a manically fixated chef played by Ralph Fiennes. Like many other elements of the movie, this line is played for laughs, and also… he’s right. So much of art/culture/life is now a transaction, engaged with for the sake of engaging. The passion, joy, and so much more often get bulldozed by how little focus our little broken brains can allot to one thing at a time.
You’re kicking ass out there, and you deserve to savor every win in your day. It isn’t that hard to shift from rote mechanical patterns into kickstarting a bit of well-earned delight. Not everything needs to be a race to the finish.
As Agent Dale Cooper says in Twin Peaks: “I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it, don’t wait for it. Just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the Men’s store. A catnap in your office chair. Or two cups of good, hot black coffee.”
This brings us to the March magazine you now hold in your hand. Our big theme in this issue circles around “Cheap Eats” and all the thrills they inspire. The title is a bit of an oversimplification: While price is certainly an element in all of this, it is by no means a measure of quality, nor the primary definition of what we’ve highlighted for you in our feature story. Everything in our expansive spread has a low fiscal point of entry, but a high reward for the little extra time you give it, especially if you give it focus.
It’s easy enough for everyone here at The Pitch to order lunch from one of the same three places we love to frequent. They already know our order, or it’s pre-saved on our delivery app. When we get into that habit, we leave so many opportunities unused, and it’s certainly easier for office lunch to fall into the background when we’ve gone with a staple. Just like the many Netflix shows on our TV screens at night that get a fraction of our attention because we’re more actively scrolling TikTok.
With a little extra effort, we can make time in our day to try something new, daring, delicious, memorable—and that only lands hard when we give ourselves the space to enjoy. That’s the only difference between eating and tasting: a bit of celebration.
This letter is being written a few days after the massive Chiefs Super Bowl victory and the ensuing parade. The parade itself was, in its own way, a reminder of why this Cheap Eats issue made so much sense to us. It was a chance for the entire city to hit pause. To take to the streets en masse and simply… celebrate. The joy radiating off each and every person in the crowd, from a dancing Patrick Mahomes, down to the guy next to us who was too cold to cheer but was still pushing through to share in the excitement, tickled the parts of our brain that remind you we’re always capable of creating this kind of dopamine release. It just needs that intentionality, the choice to celebrate.
What is this celebration, with Mahomes shouting from atop a bus and then walking among the people, if not a reminder that celebration is inspiration?
During the parade, while waiting for the heroes of the day to drive by, a group of KC kids started their own pick-up game. There’s something grand, something special about the shot captured by our photographer Jim Nimmo, making this photo feel like a portal to the future. It’s a moment that few people caught in person, but that has resonated with all who saw it on our social media. Personally, we prefer a world where a group of people in this city could break into a pick-up football game at a moment’s notice.
Maybe this food issue is just like that. Perhaps the visual introduction to the delights awaiting you in our culinary scene will kickstart your journey into joy, offering a celebration that you can simply choose to give yourself.
Devour. Empower. Inspire. This world is never that dire.
Pitch in and we’ll make it through,