I hate to differ with my uncharacteristically soft-hearted Biggest Fan, but somewhere Clementine Paddleford is weeping. Duncan Hines was driving the drive, eating the all-American eats long before a friend o’ the publisher got a regular gig. And speaking of spinning deads, I feel pretty certain that Pierre Franey in the big kitchen in the sky is feeling very pleased no marketer came up with frozen 6-minute meals while he still cooked among us. Also, too, is this the world’s worst title: “The Baby Cookbook”? Years ago, when the feet of a kid now in college sounded like hooves over my head, I had a dream about boiling a baby. What other methods would that guide suggest?
Archive for the ‘my biggest fan’ Category
Along with pie instead of cake, one of the best parts of the weekend was chatting over cheese with an uncle of the bride, in from Grand Forks, N.D., home of the world’s most infamous Olive Garden. My consort is the real reporter in this relationship, so he of course had to ask what someone who would know had to say about the internet sensation. First he offered: “North Dakota has a lot of unsophisticated but authentic people.” Pressed as to whether he knew the sensational “reviewer,” he just said: “I know of her. Her husband was the editor of the newspaper. She kept writing after he died.” Shoved as to whether he read her “reviews,” he cut it off with: “She writes about what she eats. It’s just not interesting.” Given that he started the conversation by saying he and his family had been Pentecostals before evolving, I was impressed. Eventually he responded to Bob’s “We’ve covered religion and politics. What about sex?” with: “I’m 77 years old. And I still enjoy it.” Give this guy a book contract! Or at least give his wife one.
People kept emailing me links to the sous vide of the Bitterman, and I first responded with tame thoughts like “everyone involved needs to take a Silkwood shower.” But then I started thinking maybe the food coven is not so bad after all — the circle jerk is demonstrably more despicable. If the guy’s a douche bag (I’d go with scumbag, myself), why even show up at an event for him? Taint is not just a body part. It’s communicable.
Also at the roundabout of politics and fud, I wonder how many cooks/chefs suddenly had a dream when the Big O said the right thing on marriage equality. After all these years of homophobia in whites, you have to wish the best to everyone coming out of the walk-in. . .
And I guess I have to wade into the melted butter even though my biggest fan (not in the Loudon sense) has defended himself well, and one of the best food bloggers out there crafted a verbal-Astaire response as well. I’ll just say what I did all those years ago when a guy whose strongest credential was having eaten at the McDonald’s near the Spanish Steps was first anointed to pass judgment on an art form that probably means more to the city’s bottom line than even theater: WTF were the bosses thinking? Eric Alterman had a good warning that the worst Chimp enabler ever should “stay the heck away from politics,” but letting him back anywhere near food has just been proven equally embarrassing. What the AA is selling is not cuisine for the noble heartlanders. It’s processed crap, tarted up. (Whored down?) I got an email within hours from a friend in Philadelphia who is not even in the food world saying he spotted at least four egregious overstatements, and of course anyone sentient is still waiting for the correction on whether Les Halles is a very busy bestselling writer/television star’s restaurant 10 years on. Mostly, though, the drivel illustrated how far removed your average op-ed writer is from the red states they all claim to celebrate. The rubes aren’t rubes eating from Applebee’s salad bars. They must understand Liberace is not Fannie Farmer.
My biggest fan seemed a bit miffed when I Tweeted that the Beard awards are not the Oscars of food but the Golden Globes. Apparently his great mind had run into the same gutter first. But it struck me on reading all the frothing coverage that the awards would be worth so much more if they were handed out the way the movie Oscars are, by a jury of peers. Instead, you get the industry, the dilettantes, the journalists acting like film critics from furrin countries. Nothing proved my point more than the pen wielder formerly known as Mr. Cutlets jumping into the fray with a “real” story on the awards. He nattered about the NYC winner winning more for her book than her restaurant, then segued into his butt-hurt over not winning for his “journalism.” The FlimFlammer must be so envious. Enron on 12th Street has come up with the perfect scam. Co-opt food writers and they’ll swallow whatever smoke you blow our your ass.
I had torn feelings on seeing a great outlet lose out on an award last week — on the one whisking hand I want the mastermind to rack up every honor imaginable, but on the other I know we’re talking Enron on 12th Street. It’s fool’s gold. And at least @RuthBourdain stayed the hell away from the orgy of self-congratulation, proving him/herself the Stewart/Colbert of the food world in showing “real” journalists everybody knows this is nowhere. In two sentences in the Gray Prison, I never really felt as if I had much impact on the hometown paper, but I did persuade the honchos that cooperating with this Beardshit was all wrong — and who cares if they based their decision on the idea that journalists who cover an industry should not be lauded by it? The important thing is that every year a third-rate newspaper wins is another victory for integrity. As my biggest fan asked: How’s the shrimp?
I know we’re not supposed to blame the Chimp for anything anymore in the United States of Amnesia, but I do want to note, one more time, that I was not the one who nicknamed Panchito Panchito. But if the diminution fits, why not run with it? I kinda like “Malto,” though. Misspell the second half as Eggo and you’d have a very Boehner-colored frozen waffle to accessorize the Crocs.
I doubt I was the only reader to have a very unseemly WTF? reaction to the kicker on Michael Batterberry’s obituary in the most self-important media outlet in the land. He was the courtliest gentleman in the food world, and he’s shipped off to that newsstand in the sky with a snarky dig at a failed magazine? The second title he founded also got short shrift, so good on My Biggest Fan for setting the record straight. The Batt was a unique visionary. And I sense that chefs are much smarter today partly as a result of how he chose to cover the industry. Of course I too thought he was brilliant for putting me on the masthead from the beginning, and for hiring editors who let me write it my way. Apparently something blithely snide I typed here got me kicked off the Christmas party list; I don’t think it was because I finally said I could not do the Year in Review any longer. (That was before pennies became the new dollars.) But he was unfailingly courteous whenever our paths crossed. We just never had an engaging conversation again. Which was too bad, because he was always entertaining, with a very dry wit, and smart as hell. Not least for shedding Food & Wine before it devolved into Gourmet’s more getting-and-spending shadow.
The ultimate sign that cupcakes have nowhere to go but down: Some flack pitched them as a gift suggestion for graduates. Unless the recipient is moving on up from kindergarten, I can think of many things more appropriate. Cash, say. At least evolve to macarons.
I probably should be more worried about the next book from My Biggest Fan, but what I won’t read can’t hurt me. (Some “friend” or reader will report, I’m sure; he’s very good for traffic.) And I did survive the Porcine Pantload’s straining at stool, after all. Until any acid hits, though, I am enjoying seeing one thing reaffirmed: It’s hard out there for a Schnorrer.
Glitch of the week: My Biggest Fan was described somewhere as “a former heroine user.” Guess that means he’s treating superwomen more respectfully these days? And in other silliness, I had to go and notice part of the URL for the public editor at the hometown paper is “pubed.” Given how much they resent him, tell me that’s an accident. . .
If I were the industrious type, I’d be working on a tell-all on how Twitter ate my life and made me fat and obliterated my bank account. (One day I expect to have to confess to my consort, Samuel L. Jackson-style, that “I Tweeted the teevee.”) But one reason it is so addictive is that it leads you to shit discoveries you would not have otherwise, no matter how satiated you always felt following 600 blogs a day. And the best sick highs are of MSM sites hanging out down at the corner of Ho and Puta. Could anything be sadder than well-established magazines on the block trying to save their irrelevant asses by dancing to manipulative readers’ tunes? Stop the Publish button, but “food blogs are having a serious impact” – that’s a story? Planted by a blog that needs hits like roaches need griddle grease? Really. If you want to show just how many years behind the curve you are, run a photo of my biggest fan in a necktie.
And since even I am obviously incapable of resisting the celluloid meth of the summer, I have to add that I’m a big admirer of Madeleine Kamman’s recipes; her roasted duck legs changed the way we eat. But I like a catfight as much as anyone else and so appreciated the dredging up of the old rivalry with Mme Child. It’s yet another gauge of character that the nastiness was kept buried until she was. Could you imagine that today? I Feel Bad About My Dreck should consider making a sequel: “No Reservations, Rachael.” Targeted at two such disparate audiences, it would be a blockbuster.
Now that the greatest cat ever has joined the choir invisible, I can’t decide who deserves more blame for jinxing him, the crazy-optimistic vet or my biggest fan. Whatever. It kicked the snark out of me. I could barely rouse myself to wonder what the hell an achiote pepper might be. (Can you say annato makes the cheese go orange?) Or why someone for whom English is obviously a second language is allowed to digest DI/DO with no intervention by a copy desk. (Can you say kill the fucking index and give A-section stories room to run?) And did an albino really take a dump all over the magazine? Talk about acid redux. . . .