Wacky chef Jeremy Barlow has gone a little Monty Hall on us. This week over at tayst, ordering off the menu will be a little like playing Let’s Make a Deal. Instead of choosing what’s behind the curtain, you choose a protein. But you never know how it’s going to be prepared. (Of course, the regular menu will be available if you don't feel adventurous.)
Consider this: You’re given choices of clams, pork and beef. You choose clams, then Jeremy tells you what the pork dish would have been and asks you if you want to switch to beef. Should you switch?
Suddenly, your relaxing dîner à deux turns into a culinary version of the mind-numbing Monty Hall Problem. Debated by everyone from C.I.A. to M.I.T., the conundrum goes like this:
A contestant on a game show is given the choice of three doors: Behind Door No. 1 there’s a car; behind the other doors are goats. The contestant picks Door No. 1, and the host, who knows where the car is, opens Door No. 3, which has a goat. He then asks if the contestant wants to swap for Door No. 2. What should the contestant do?
Mathematically, the question has been expressed like this:
Let the doors be called X, Y and Z.
Let Cx be the event that the car is behind door X and so on.
Let Hx be the event that the host opens door X and so on.
Supposing that you choose door X, the possibility that you win a car if you then switch your choice is given by the following formula
P(Hz ^ Cy) + P(Hy ^ Cz)
= P(Cy) P(Hz Cy) + P(Cz) P(Hy Cz)
= (1/3 1) + (1/3 1) = 2/3
…whoa. Whatever. Pick all three and order a cocktail. tayst is pouring a few absinthe drinks these days, so sit back, relax and leave the math to the Green Fairy.
Located at 2100 21st Ave. S. (Phone: 383-1953), tayst will serve the Surprise Menu tonight through Thursday. The restaurant will be closed July 4th weekend.