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  • Writer's pictureBob Bjarke

The Last Croqueta

At the Last Supper, Jesus and 12 of his closest friends sat down to a meal. At some point (hopefully after the mains had been served), Jesus revealed that one of his guests that night would betray him and this betrayal would lead to his death. The familiar Bible story was most famously imagined by Leonardo daVinci in his painting found in the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. This painting is one of the high marks of the Renaissance and is world famous. But daVinci omitted several important elements from his masterwork: what did these guys have for dinner? Which establishment was lucky enough to get the call for Jesus, party of 13? No girls, really?

Leonardo daVinci's criminally incomplete masterpiece.

Thankfully, AI is here to help answer these important questions. I used the image-generating software called Midjourney to create imagery that fills in some of the details conspicuously absent from daVinci's work, helping us better imagine the best dining situation for the Last Supper.

Option 1: Tapas

Tapas restaurants are great. Small plates mean everybody gets to order what they want, with lots of variety at the table. The vibe is usually pretty casual and social, with the feeling of being on a Mediterranean vacation. However, tapas restaurants have their detractors. Some folks don't want to share, and a frequent criticism is that the small plates are overpriced and you really don't get that much for your money. Jesus would have known this, of course, and if he went with tapas it would have surely been to teach his disciples a lesson about the selfless nature of Christianity and the practice of denying yourself earthly pleasures to ensure a happy afterlife in heaven--the ultimate teachable moment.

Option 2: DINER

There's nothing like a greasy spoon for home-cooked comfort. Known for their simple menus and generous portions, a diner could be a great spot to deliver some important news to the guys. It's easy to imagine Jesus and crew walking into their local diner, grabbing a few booths and filling up on bottomless coffee. Many diners are open 24 hours, which would give Jesus' party quite a bit of flexibility, especially dealing with tricky schedules maintained by the apostles. Tasty, reasonably priced and comforting--sounds like a winner. One potential problem is most diners don't have large seating options, meaning the large party would be split up into at least three booths. I could see the apostles jockeying for position in Jesus' booth, which frankly sounds like a nightmare.

Option 3: CAFE

Was Jesus looking for a more low-key vibe? He knew he had a bombshell to deliver--was he hoping to soften the message with a casual catch-up session at his favorite third-wave coffee shop? Cappuccinos and avo toast are a great way to indulge in something tasty without overeating, but you're definitely paying a premium--each disciple would be on the hook for at least $15-20, without the convenience of table service and refills, and without even considering alternative milks based on dietary restrictions. It's also tough to get a large party into a coffee shop--it's easier to imagine Jesus & co grabbing their coffee and snacks to-go, maybe chatting through Jesus's big news as they strolled through town or at a local park.

Option 4: Fine Dining

This one seems like a stretch. Not only was Jesus famously not a fan of high-dollar events (see temple destruction, etc), he was pretty squarely opposed to fancy meals, much preferring the basics: bread, fish, maybe a local wine. Also I don't think anyone in Jesus' orbit had the kind of wardrobe expected at a fine dining establishment. Jackets and ties were likely not in their closets. But I could see Jesus going this route for the seating options (maybe pulling some strings to get a private room), and the service, which was one of Jesus' favorite ideas ("...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” might have been printed on menus in Jesus' time).

Whatever route Jesus went, it's clear that he had some compelling options available that aren't quite explored in daVinci's painting. While daVinci was know for his genre-busting creativity, it appears he may have mailed this one in a bit--perhaps he felt limited by the genre or was just extremely busy at the moment. Either way, we're lucky to live in an age in which AI has emerged as the creative partner daVinci never had.


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