I guess it’s awful to make light about a guy in Kentucky shooting half a carton’s people because he didn’t like the way his wife made his eggs. Details on her deficiency were scarce. But it would be sadder still if he had wanted them runny and she had just been trying to comply with Egg Board warnings to cook his breakfast until the salmonella was done. Lock up the guns if anyone wants steak tartare in the middle of the next inevitable E. coli recall.
Archive for September, 2010
I reTweeted a link to a news story on a dog park in Boston that is turning scooped poop into energy, enough to power one streetlight. If only someone could do the same with all the horseshit generated over a single restaurant opening in Manhattan, one 99 percent of a certain paper’s readers will never experience. The place should have been named Arturo, for its biggest media benefactor.
Speaking of which: Years and years ago we met a filmmaker couple at a dinner party who said they hated Sunday Arts & Leisure because it was nothing but promo pages for whatever movies/plays/concerts were opening that week. But at least it made sense for that section to do a huge fall-season blowout every year — Broadway gears up after touristy summer, and the Film Festival kicks into gear, and music venues have their schedules set for cold nights. But restaurants, let’s be serious, are a different sort of animal, not least because people gotta eat no matter what month it is. So it’s always sad to see Dining reduced to whipping up excitement for a bogus phenomenon as if it were just another weekly magazine (before the internets, I used to keep copies of fall preview issues just to see how many restaurants opened way past schedule or, too often, not at all). I guess you can fool some of the readers some of the time. And it did manage to sell four times as many ads as usual. As in exactly four.
I didn’t bother with the gray print, but I did stop to wonder: If a cake is so awe-inspiring, why not credit the source? (And will there ever be any escaping that fucking torte? It’s a newspaper. No need to report the swallows are returning.)
I was happy to learn I’m not the only one who looks at Seconda Venuta and remembers DDL Foodshow. Both productions should have taken the Costco tack: Open out in real America and get the sophisticates salivating in envy, then bring the spectacle to town.
And I always hate to say anything positive, but “Soul Kitchen” is not just an exceptional movie but can be seen at IFC, which has the best popcorn in town. It’s about a chef and food and a restaurant but about so much more. At a time when America is looking rather grim, this makes you feel more hopeful for the world. It’s a multi-culti place, and hot gazpacho has no place in it.
After reading about Dubliners’ egg-throwing reaction to the Poodle’s memoir, I’m thinking the salmonella eggs should never have been pasteurized. Doesn’t the Chimp have a book tour scheduled this fall? The evil Iowans could have cleaned up, so to speak, selling yolked missiles.
And speaking of rotten eggs, it’s both amazing and not really surprising that wingnuts have decided the real culprit in the great half-billion-egg recall is not the factory owner who extracts maximum profits with minimal sanitation. It’s the “illegal immigrants” who are paid very little to tend the many, many hens. So give their overlords more tax cuts. And wonder why you order a burger and never get to specify whether you want shit with that.
One good thing about being culled out of the herd flocking to the Seconda Tenuta is that I can wonder about the ethics of others. And marvel at whether the best man at an infamous wedding has gotten more blow jobs for his product than any bride will ever have to give. As the Marquis de Sade observed, only the first murder is hard. You get away with promoting a friend once, you’ll do it everywhere.
The week started with a report that sea lice is killing farmed salmon. And ended with news that the FDA has no prob with salmon genetically engineered to grow uncontrollably. Once again, my big fear is reincarnation. I do not want to come back to a world where food reproduces cells the way cancer does. And where nature can’t run fast enough from greed.
Speaking of unnerving sourcing, one of my favorite restaurants is looking far less alluring since a friend emailed to say she had spotted a Perdue delivery there. I don’t know if it’s true, but it does make me wonder how I could be so dumb as to think you can eat so well for so very little in a sit-down joint, even one that does not allow asses to linger in seats.
I used to justify continuing our subscription to the WSJournal by saying my consort prefers it to the NYTimes. But I’ll admit I’m addicted not just to the feces-flinging monkeys on the opinion pages and the slovenly copy-editing in the local section but to the increasing transparency of how the paper’s overlords perceive the other 98 percent of America. One piece, on Restaurant Week, carried a hed referring to “the great unwashed.” Yes, only the little people go out for bargains. Another focused on the wines in first class (not even business class) on various airlines. There’s news you can use while swilling box pours back in steerage.
Lately I’ve been thinking and Tweeting a lot about Richard Thompson’s prescient song “We’re All Working for the Pharaoh.” Who could ever have imagined pennies would wind up as the new dollars, if you were damned lucky? Food aggregators are apparently offering $12 a post, which is $12 more than the Huffington Post is paying as its founder flogs the Big O to do more about job creation. But things could be worse for the gainfully unemployed: We could have big jobs.
In both my stints at the NYTimes, the restaurant critic was always a protected species, a creature devoted mostly to one vital gig, finding and rating the best places to eat in a city with more than 15,000 choices. I’m still stinging from the acid flung the morning I had to call the PS to plead for a critic’s notebook when we were light on copy. It was way too much to demand (although we got it). So I guess it’s no wonder the JGold Wannabe appears to be so overstretched he’s cranking out stuff for the magazine that would take the Bulwer-Lytton trophy. That may have been the most pretentious lede in the history of food writing. Obviously, you can’t answer readers’ questions, chuckle over your fud and round up recipes without something having to give. Straining at stool can be lethal. Ask Elvis.
Worse was the profile of the guy who swears “The Pot Knows.” And not just because of the grammatical errors (you miss badly, not bad). One of the most vital and vibrant voices on Twitter was reduced to a pitiable old man whose ingestion of nutrients was made to seem unsavory. The Esquire profile was, clearly, an impossible act to follow, but why make someone with so many struggles do your standard cook-and-pony show? All my assumptions about the guy were eradicated by the great time suck where we surrender so many hours. I know he’s tough enough, rich enough, in love enough. And he must have thought the same in agreeing to this stunt. Unfortunately, it turned out to be about as palatable as the Chimp running for the cameras with Iraq veterans fitted with prosthetic legs. Readers who had no back-story were probably blown away, but it was telling how many comments elsewhere lamented that “I miss his movie reviews.” Earth to the clueless: He is not now a food writer. He never stopped reviewing. Call it profile fail. Or, “powdered broth.”