And maybe we won’t have to wait around until the trashed planet totally melts down. Hog farmers, in their wisdom and greed, seem to be accelerating toward the Apocalypse all on their own. They’re feeding piglets pig blood, and what could possibly go wrong? Aside from piglet epidemic diarrhea virus? The story didn’t spell it out, but I assume the cute little critters poop themselves to death before they can grow into real Babes with chops just falling off ‘em. Oh, well. Cheap industrial bacon on/in everything was fun while it lasted . . .
I’m so ancient I remember when kids just out of diapers were being hyped as credible restaurant critics. Now it’s kids too young to drive as “chefs.” (How long till the Bitterman wangles a photo op, anti-narcissist that he has suddenly become?) The whole thing seemed so silly I didn’t read it, but I did wonder if this might not have been yet another exercise in pandering to the 1 percent to get the ads for the $25 million apartments. And I guess I wasn’t far off. The peasants will have to continue starting as dishwashers to work their way to the middle. Meanwhile, a certain previous cover kiddle should carpe diem right to it and do a piece advising the latest on how not to wind up eating frozen peas for breakfast while trading fame for notoriety. Or does that only happen to girls?
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?
Also, too, every time I use Aleppo pepper (like once a day) I feel sad for the actual place and people. Finally someone has addressed the horribleness, with a bittersweet angle.
All the buzz over Mr. Congeniality’s new restaurant almost makes me want to smoke a baguette. My consort and I were actually out the other week with one of his collegial collaborators and passed the scene of the first success, but none of us could recall the name, even though we all agreed the reviewer who set off his success was one of the greats. (Of course, I do know who that guy’s secret arme was.) And I could dwell on what it says about the fud world that after two incarnations as a 1 percent wine the joint is now saying “let ‘em eat bread.” Instead, I’ll just have to MT myself: Every time I see the name I flash on the sign at the 14th Street Garden of Eden: Olive Bastard. Which would, come to think of it, make a very good chain.
Speaking of names, here are two I certainly never expected to hear in the same sentence coming out of our kitchen radio: Dunkin’ Donuts. And Newspaper Guild. In all my years as a cursor-linked wretch, that union did me zero good, which is why I never joined, just paid the dues as I was forced to do. The stultified organization kept me from earning equal pay when I was first hired at the NYTimes (no college degree? sure, you have a right to work alongside the Ivy Leaguers, but for less) and in my estimation protected the weak at the expense of the strong (lookin’ at you, poor Sid struggling to finish one story a shift). Certainly it stood by and let the newspaper industry get hammered all these years since Saint Ronnie first came for the air traffic controllers and it said nothing. So you could have knocked me over with a feather pancake to learn the very definition of uselessness has actually scored a raise for a few fast food workers in New York. Today the crappy coffee. Tomorrow, the world.
Time flies when you’re DAOTI — I click on a few favorite sites when I wake up, and the next thing I know it’s time to make dinner. So I’m not the best judge of longevity these days. But has anything really sped past faster than the Butter Guzzler’s heavily covered “comeback”? Talk about the proverbial flash in the bedpan.
To elaborate on a 140-character rant: Somehow I suspect Ferran Adria would know exactly where to shove that monocle merde: Back into the end of the alimentary canal from which it spewed.
Amplifying: I’m so old I lived through a whole restaurant era when Mr. Magooish Luddites could only gift each other little flashlights and credit-card-sized magnifying glasses as the lights went down and presbyopia went up on some victims’ radar. Thanks to my style-forward consort, though, I had the coolest accoutrement early on, so early on that none of the stodges among whom I worked seemed interested. Today I suspect why: A monocle is not a lorgnette. But an asshole will always be an asshole.
I’m sure I’ve ranted before that there is nothing more foul-smelling than a Subway, and I don’t mean the kind that allows the people to ride around in a hole in the ground. But suddenly the chain is looking more alluring, now that it has brought out the kkkrazies to protest its teaming up with Mrs. O to try to get kids to eat (somewhat) better. Their racist hysteria is so over-the-top you have to laugh. As you do on thinking the Big O has done it again: tricked them into either boycotting everything until they starve off or, better yet, making themselves roundup-ready for when he opens those FEMA camps.
Also to be filed under Haterade: The fury incited when a chef uses Kickstarter. It’s not as if there’s a limited supply of beneficent cash out there. Why not appeal to patrons who are willing to support you rather than settle for $4-a-month interest on a $50,000 deposit? The .01 percent may be hoarding their megabucks, but real Americans are clearly willing to underwrite farmers’ markets and goat farms and, yes, restaurants, whether for the greater good or the personal high. Banksters, as anyone who has been paying attention understands, are not exactly willing to open up their vaults for entrepreneurs in an industry with a fail record just slightly lower than man-on-dog reproduction. . .
Interesting to see the world’s most-starred chef swinging both ways: touting fresh and developing processed. I’d be more scornful if I couldn’t also see the potential, even though his partners in the deal happen to have links to Rmoney of Fail. Eons ago I did a story for Food Arts on how the negative opposite of fresh is not always frozen (think peas, just for starters). But lately fish is entering a new Ice Age that could be good for oceans, fishermen and consumers, assuming the fossil fuels hold out long enough to keep the freezers powered. Glacierized foie gras, though? J’doubt it.
Why has no one started a true reality show of chefs behaving badly? A “Virginian Hustle” scriptwriter could not come up with anything more entertaining than the tale of the chef who brought down both a governor and a “first lady” after they tried to get him to take the fall. You never want to mess with the guy who knows what you eat and how you drink. And drink. Just as amusing is the potentially litigiously unfolding tale of a chef who thought you could just make up a resume, lard it with bogus restaurants and awards and expect the Internets to STFU. Of course, there are those (ahem) who would argue that awards are generally bogus. Suddenly it’s primavera.
Consider this a confession of what a sloppy journalist I can be — I saw on my FB feed a hosanna for a new book devoted to cooking in your dishwasher and am now just going to trash it without delving deeper. My first thought was that the “pitch” was derriere- backward: “You can clean your dishes and cook dinner at the same time.” My second was that I really hoped author/agent/editor/fact-checker all understand food science at a very deep level, with “canning jars and vacuum-seal bags” involved. (Shall I mention one of the great lessons of restaurant school, that sautéed onions left overnight under a cover on a griddle can kill with botulism?) My third, saddest reaction was the reading the excitement that “it’s with a major publisher.” How long till we get “Mix Your Margarita With a Cat on a Roomba, in a Super-Lucha Cape”?
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.