Archive for April, 2011

Desperate in Normandy

April 2011

Finally for now, I’ll admit I do wonder if I, too, would be piling onto the Goop trashwagon if I had not been paid to take a look at “her” cookbook for a bit of a listicle on celeb recipe roundups and been rather impressed. For all its glitz, the book is solid. I would recommend it for any cook just starting out because it makes sophistication look accessible (there’s a reason she’s publicly whacking the ducks for ragu; you’d never mess with pork or beef in bolognese again). Sure, it can seem pretentious and silly and easily mockable. But what celebrity book does not? Does anyone really believe any “real” chef with 14 restaurants actually cooked up the type wrapped around “his/her” recipes? That was my point when a WSJournal reporter called to interview me about the “new” phenomenon of celebrities daring to do food books. I’m so old I remember Vincent Price had a cookbook. But mostly I said let anyone who has written alone cast the first stone. And not at Sheryl Crow. Chefs everywhere should be cheering that celeb for doing her book right by hiring a pro first in real life and then getting the book deal. Two ghosts may be better than none.

Root of Silhouette, indeed

April 2011

Woke up yesterday morning and something gruesome unfolded in my hometown paper. Something that almost took me back to a certain younger inconvenience. Clots is clots, is all I’ll say. That was it for me with that section, especially given how I did ribs-in-the-oven spin four years ago (parboil/sauce/bake/no beer can required). But then a Twitter nudge made me check out the alleged Brie Syndrome just to the left of it, and I suddenly found myself shoveling Barbero droppings out of my cranial sieve. Having actually lived through the “cold wheel of Brie” era, I wondered where the editors were. Certainly not reading the business press, which has been industriously pointing out that other people’s money is the same as it ever was — selling off assets and digging in deep with debt until the golden goose is damn near hollow. What killed the biggest scam in underripe fruit was not changing tastes, or even a world of Fast Company-anointed chocolatiers. Assholes bought a solid company and bled it dry. Just consider that Pat LaFrieda and a million “Farmer Clarks” have stepped right up to the FedEx scale lately, but it’s a rare week when I walk into the elevator in my building and don’t encounter an Omaha Steaks delivery. Maybe those organ-transplant boxes, though, contain the fixings for another food cliché — as I have written many times, fondue is the Scandinavian furniture of food: always on the verge of a comeback but never really out of style. The real news was in the third paragraph from the bottom.

Organic omission

April 2011

I repeatedly read the first Tweet from the sainted one (RTs are a digital form of genuflection) and could almost hear Mr. Stars chortling. Someone should come up with an @AliceDeen. The tweaked Tweets might at least be original.

Vincent Price had a cookbook

April 2011

Almost as depressing was hearing that a once-unique food magazine has decided to drive down a very potholed highway. Do the car-free Amish really care about eating crab cakes by the freeway lights?

Tell it to the blog

April 2011

While I await that correction on “dumpling holes,” I’m joining the hordes scratching their pates over the hit job on one of the good guys. How do you say “what was the point?” in WTFese? Of all the chefs in all of this overcheffed country, why pick on this one? Or at least: Why pick on this one without pegging the pick-on to any news? And there is very definitely a back story. Or two. Bring us the head of Larry Forgione. Or Patrick O’Connell. (No Vegas outlet? Loser!) Or just find us a guy selling his soul in a spa in the desert. . .

Beware the blurry app

April 2011

As I contemplate, for the 40gazillionth time, upgrading to more frequent posting rather than Twittering my life away, I do want to say my jaw nearly hit the 6 train floor last Saturday as I skimmed the WSJ: It actually had a great take on how exactly the calories in any given food are calculated. In all these decades of obsessing on food, I have never seen any MSM outlet act as explainer. Too bad there’s no way to link unless you subscribe. So much for Father of Smidge’s pipe dream.