Your irregular extract from that invaluable compilation of the overlooked arcane.
For those who cater to the tastes of others, the fickleness - nay, the mendacity! - of the customer is an eternal poltergeist: bursting forth unpredictably, often in the midst of what was otherwise a pleasant conversation; impossible to pinpoint, and extremely difficult to prove; unwelcome, noisy, frustratingly stubborn once roused; and of course, liable to begin hurling crockery at one's head. The chief distinction is that the application of a simple Persuivant's poltergeist parlay can compel such spirits to honestly set forth their complaints and how they might be remedied. For customers, alas, the host has no such convenient method.
A particular burden for many establishments, be they public house or the marble halls of an elven palace, comes in the form of over-demanding diners. No sooner is their bespoken dish set before them than they are overcome with dissatisfaction, envy, curmudgeonliness or base self-importance. Scorning the cook's sweated labours over a hot stove, the delicate ministrations of the pâtissier, the hours that may go into preparation of the dish specifically ordered by the customer, they instantly demand a change.
The dish is inadequately cooked, they proclaim. The sauce is too thick; the vegetables too cold; they did not expect fish in the Seafood Supreme. In the most flagrant cases, they resort even to the bare-faced "No, I ordered the venison". Deaf are they to the evidence, thrice-confirmed, of the waiter's little notebook, or even their more shamefaced relatives across the table.
The genesis of the following spell was undoubtedly in such a case. Nothing more can be ascertained; indeed, mages of the culinary inclination generally refuse even to discuss its existence, fearing rightly that publicity might only make customers more suspicious. I present it, however, to the discreet and discerning scholarly eye of the subscribers of this little publication.
School transmuation; Level bard 1, lackey 1; Servitude 1
Casting Time 1 minute
Components S, M (a drop of saliva)
Target one touched serving of food
Saving Throw none Spell Resistance no
This spell proves its value in restaurants and great houses, where diners insist that they actually ordered the veal flechettes. You invoke a meal that might have been, gradually transforming the chosen meal into another of the same or lesser cost. The meal must be one that could have been prepared by the chef with the ingredients available.
As part of the spell, you can choose the arrangement of the dish (though highly complex arrangements require a Craft [cuisine] check) as well as determining its temperature and freshness. Common condiments of negligible cost can be applied. The form of the dish’s container changes to suit the chosen meal.
It’s generally considered polite to go around the corner before casting this spell, giving the patrons at least the illusion of having been pandered to.