In a vignette, a young man in a group of prominent-looking businessmen expresses his passion for food at a seafood restaurant. Oddly, the older men all hastily order the same items. They have serious or bored expressions, and it is evident the restaurant is a mere business setting to them, picked only for the business’s reputation. In contrast, the seemingly despised youth shows his true colors here; taking his time to thoughtfully order and describe the French dishes, he illustrates his vast culinary knowledge. He exemplifies how thinking of food is another form of enjoying it. Moreover, he dives into his own foodie world, detached from business and untouchable by ignorant, hypocritical gentlemen. It allows him to elevate his character above the others and call the restaurant home, and thus ignore the comical kicks, grimaces, and other displays of embarrassment by his party.
Even in the gravest of situations, food still commands its own attention, seen by the story where a mother cooks one last meal before dying. Itami juxtaposes an enjoyable dinner environment with death, creating a comedic effect. During the meal, the family concentrates on eating and there is little other noise than the clatter of chopsticks. For this moment, all other concerns are forgotten, displaying how eating is an escape from life. They even do not see the mother teetering into death. When she collapses, reality hits hard: the girls start bawling, the father yells at them to eat, and only the men painfully wolf the food down. The dinnertime atmosphere vanishes and they can no longer eat properly. After this significant meal, they will no longer be able to break from everyday life.
Through these three situations, Itami conveys appreciation of food as a unique, revered dedication separate from daily life.