While he's shopping in the Paris market, Hassan gets a call from his sisters saying that Paul has died in a car crash. Furthermore, he's been found in his crashed car at the bottom of a cliff, which seems suspicious.
Hassan remembers the vivid smells and sensations of food as he walks through the market after the news; he feels like an era of French cooking has died with Verdun.
His memory takes him back to a road trip through Alsace (where France borders Germany) with Paul. The scene is full of fresh air and happy friendship, and Hassan remembers that Paul, the legend of food, tells him "'nothing we do will ever be as good as this simple bowl of tripe'" (14.22).
The next morning Hassan wakes up, exhausted from misery, and goes to meet up with Marc Bressier, an acquaintance of his that manages a three-star restaurant. They talk about Paul. It seems from the evidence at the scene of his death that the car was driven off the cliff.
He leaves Marc and walks through Paris, remembering a trip that he took with Paul to the Musée D'Orsay. He had stumbled across Paul Gauguin's painting called "The Meal," which is simple and bright, and then had found Paul lost in front of a painting of a king and queen who had just been excommunicated. He was really moved by this painting, though Hassan doesn't know why.
Hassan returns to his own place and inspects the restaurant. Jacques is freaking out about identifying a couple of possible restaurant critics, while everyone else is scurrying around preparing for the night.
He finally gets to his own office and closes the door. And then he comes to terms with the fact that he is not well himself.