Untangling the Storied Past and Volatile Future of Chef Mike and Chef Don

Graphic by Zoe Davidson

“They say blood runs thicker than sauce… but for my brother Mike, that sauce wasn’t marinara; it was Italian dressing.” -Chef Don

To understand the shocking—yet unreported—schism in the Columbia Dining community, we need to travel back through decades across land and sea to the quiet Italian countryside. It was here that two culinary prodigies were just heating up. Brothers Mike and Don were national cooking champions by age nine and contenders in the European circuit by sixteen. They had what other duos would never be able to replicate: chemistry ordained by blood. It was said that Chef Don would have the ingredients Chef Mike needed before he even knew he needed them. Together they clinched a total of four global championships with their signature sub. Yet in the darkest hours of the night, Chef Don was working on a new recipe that would shock the world. Forever the traditionalist, Chef Mike insisted they remain faithful to their tried and tested sub recipe for the 2019 championship. While Chef Don had his concerns, he didn’t voice them. 

Perhaps Chef Don was right. Chefs Mike and Don were dethroned in the ‘19 championship by two Grecian rookies. This was the first crack in their sibling synergy. While Chef Don suggested they experiment with new foods, Chef Mike disagreed and ferried the pair across the Atlantic to Columbia’s Uris Hall. Here, Chef Mike began drudging away on a fresh take on the classic sub. 

“When the world forgets all that the sub has given to them, elevate the sub so none can dare ignore it any longer.” -Chef Mike

For years, Chef Mike continued to push the limits of the sub. Yet in the shadows, Chef Don had finally perfected the very recipe he had begun in Italy all those years ago: The Personal Pizza. At first, Chef Don wanted to proceed as a pair with Chef Mike, subtly suggesting adding pizza to the menu of Chef Mike’s Sub Shop. At this time, students in Schermerhorn reported hearing explosive arguments between the two break out. On the eve of Chef Mike’s Newest Sub premiering at the Global Culinary Competition, Chef Don announced the grand opening of his new establishment—right next door. 

“My brother’s obsession with subs quickly became unreasonable. There would be nights I would wake up to use the bathroom and hear him in the kitchen, slicing bread for hours on end.” -Chef Don

Ultimately, without the support of his brother, Chef Mike would take another devastating loss. Chef Mike declined to comment on Chef Don’s Pizza Pi and was not seen at the opening of his own brother’s restaurant. Despite all of the success, according to Chef Don, the two haven’t spoken in weeks. What could be next for brothers with such an impressive and tragic history? Will Chef Mike stick with subs or reconnect with Chef Don? Can Chef Don be forgiven for abandoning his brother in his time of need? Only time will tell. For now, this reporter suggests a simple solution: pizza subs.