It’s easy to walk into the field after the battle and shoot the wounded, but in all seriousness the fatal flaw with a food issue devoted to only the platinum links in the food chain really was the disconnect from a world of hurt. As I’ve been predicting, Walmart has itself seized the day to warn its shareholders to expect lower sales and profits thanks to the food stamp cuts; the Republican obsession with punishing the poors is already boomeranging on Big Biz. And it’s not as if advocacy in a cruelly unequal society isn’t glamorous — Mr. Top Chef himself has been everywhere walking the walk on getting kids nourished better; Mrs. O’s own has been recruiting marquee names to help upgrade school lunches; more and more chefs are signing on for hunger benefits. (And just as an aside, here’s how a kid raised around a soup kitchen turns out.) Instead you got the Egopedist abandoning his usual Mount to sermonize on chefs not staying close to their one-and-only kitchens to keep, yes, the 1 percent satisfied. Which was beyond pot/kettle rich. Are we to believe a cookbook celeb developed every single recipe while building his brand?
Archive for the ‘what were they thinking?’ Category
And I know yellowcake in the mushroom cloud set a low bar for what qualifies as front-page news, but was there really a day when a mayor not shoving pizza into his pie hole with his hands merited a refer and story? As MoDo went on to show, this was the BFestD with pizza since Bill Clinton stuck a cigar where the sun don’t shine Amid all the ridiculousness, I wondered why no one noted the new Fed boss was also photographed eating her slice politely. Of course that shot turned up in a magazine now notorious for cluelessness on the food front. Its “kohlrabi is the new kale” idiocy was like a tree falling in the forest and the pines sacrificed for paper silently weeping.
I have a lot of catching up to do, but in the meantime I have to note that I can remember every time I ate out, puked/squittered in. The third worst was after a waiter in Florence touched his runny nose while serving us lunch. The second was that time, was in another lifetime, when I took an inter-Appalachian bus to meet a friend for Thanksgiving dinner off a buffet and rode back on my knees, talking to Ralph on the big white telephone. (Well, little stainless-steel telephone.) But the winner was the day I brought home an outstanding felafel sandwich from a neighborhood joint where I chose to ignore the fact that a baby was sitting on the takeout counter. Within 24 hours, I thought I’d died and gone to liquid hell. So I guess it makes perfect sense that visionaries thought people waking up after the most alcohol of the year would want to see a diapered butt posed over a slab of salmon, with beans looking like turds shooting off to the side. The only thing more sickening would be tilapia paired with white chocolate and macadamia.
Panchito certainly has exquisite timing, lecturing his fellow citizens on overeating just as many millions risk losing their buck-forty-a-meal food stamps. And someone needs to alert him to why those poor souls don’t do their binge buying at Costco: Walmart doesn’t charge a minimum of a buck-a-week membership fee.
Almost as tone-deaf was the front-pager on chickens being raised on four-star food scraps imported from Manhattan. I’m a longtime huge fan of the innovator, but there’s a reason chickens in Third World countries have richer flavor than Perdue’s. They don’t get their protein from (undoubtedly GMO) corn and soybeans. I did like imagining Molto Ego fighting the hens for the last ort of carrot, though. From what I read in the New Yorker long ago, chickens would starve in that kitchen.
Speaking of the four-letter fud, we were just down visiting great friends in New Hope who mentioned they had had the opportunity to tour a model slaughterhouse out in California this summer, thanks to one of their great friends. And what they took away from the experience was that ground beef packed in a chub is the safest to buy, because it comes from one animal, not the bacteria hive you might pick up “ground fresh” at the supermarket. And it can’t have been more than a day or two later that I spotted yet another 25-ton “there’s shit in the meat” recall involving . . . chubs. Even better, a Twitter pal pointed out the brand name on each of those taut plastic casings: Naturewell and Naturesource. Sounds like something dreamed up in the same conference room where they decided to put adult heads on kids’ bodies and call it macaroni without cheese.
Funny to think how the fast the Butter Guzzler scandale went from all-N, all-the-time to nearly forgotten. So I shouldn’t be surprised the forthcoming cookbook is still forthcoming. I do wonder why there are no morals clauses in contracts, though. And I’m enjoying the notion of people mailing butter wrappers in protest when you know most fans can only afford margarine.
So Anntoinette Rmoney is getting a cookbook deal. Unless the meatloaf recipe calls for Rafalca, “Let ’Em Bake Cake” will head straight to the remainder table. As I keep noting, the super-rich eat very much like the condemned. Neither their palates nor their consciences evolve.
Meanwhile, the original weapon of misdirection still has a steady paycheck even as one of the smartest guys in NYC food has been shitcanned. “Freelance bloggers” are already being recruited, because everyone knows advertisers will prop up your site if there’s rabble-regurgitation going on on it. Not surprisingly, the hometown paper took an oddly passive tone in reporting the major upheaval, headlining and leading with “loses” and “leaves” rather than “shitcans,” but everyone working for the Pharaoh knows what that’s all about: Speak up/against and you might be next to find your ass on the curb. And so, just as with the Twinkies tale, readers cannot be informed that olds, like union members and the pension-promised, simply cost more. No joke. It’s just sad.
On the lighter side, touting kale salad as the new cool thing really had to be trollbaiting of the highest order. I mean. Come. On. Next they’ll be telling us raw fish on rice is what the skinny girlz prefer with their Cosmos.
I was happy to learn I was not the only reader feeling cheated by the Omnivore Goes to MetFood stunt misplayed as “let’s draw in our own staffer with his own book to obfuscate on how the fuck you make a pizza for lunch when the oven needs proper heating.” It had more missed opportunities than Trader Joe’s has processed crap. A friend out in Portlandia emailed to say: “thanks for letting me know that Berkeley is a Northern California (!!!!) town that is also home to Chez Panisse. THAT clarifies things. And for letting me know that you can make a decent meal simply by shopping in a supermarket. How does that garbanzo soup sound to you?” At least I had a response to the last point: Soup needs fermentation.
My first thought on hearing Roger Ebert had died: The lede of the obit had better not mention the rice cooker. But the worst part of reducing the rocket scientist to Mrs. Mom With Mushrooms was how the offending dis/dish was simply disappeared. From a paper whose policy is not to “unpublish.” Then again, fast food workers just went on strike all around Manhattan. And all they got was one stinking photo, with a single-line caption.
Nice to see the ghost of Time choosing only the Butter Guzzler as the fud world candidate for its 100 list. If it was trolling for linkbait, it succeeded. But surely someone, somewhere is doing anything more significant at a time when so much is changing for the better. I guess it could have been sicker, though: It could have chosen a ghost who was happy to slap her name on a spinoff of the cash-in on The Sugar. I guess we should never forget how James Beard made enough to buy that townhouse with the mirrored bathroom . . .
While I continue procrastinating about spelling out the flaws in a certain muddled doc on “food insecurity,” I have to present without (much) comment: NYT versus WashPost. The former natters. The latter matters, making such a great case for the simple solution without ever even spelling it out: Pay people a fucking living wage.
On the way to dinner in the East Village, my consort and I passed a line outside a new spot giving out free “Japadogs.” My first thought was that the name sounds like an epithet. My second? What makes the original snout-to-tail food Japanese? Irradiation?