“I got very frightened when you were hired” 

And speaking of influenzers, I can’t be the only food old who found it pretty rich for the Dash Daily to run a screed insisting young narcissists who work the system are the new threat to restaurants cuz they dine and sometimes don’t deliver. I mean. I repeatedly tried to warn the powers that be. (Typical exchange?  Editor: “They’re like the family retainer.” Me: “But they’re stealing the silver.”) And no one listened…

W.C. Fields makes a casserole. Trust me.

You could watch a chop suey video. Or you could just shove chopsticks into your eyeballs. More and more the megalomania stories just keep rolling in. And then there’s the case of the disappearing chef indictment. Too bad that trick wasn’t possible when a certain hotheaded Brit decided to sue for libel. And won.

That smell? Oh, just something fresh from the tomb.

Also, too, the whitest, hottest elephant in the room was the libel case that went unmentioned in the all-the-news-that’s-fit for printed and digital pages. Nearly a million bucks is not exactly chump change as penalty for calling a mere bad boy a drugged-out bad boy. Come to think of it, though, facing down barristers while wearing a diaper was one way to get a free trip to London. Even if the rooms were not quite George V.

Scent? Fresh from the tomb

I’ll let everyone else chew over what it means that an actual star is taking over the kitchen of an iconic restaurant. (So many other words for “headline” in a headline.) I’m just enjoying how the media playing field has been leveled. A blog gets the story and up-front reports that it came via press release, as does so much “news” even in the age of rapid-fire Twitter. The serious outlet gets the story and dances around the sourcing because of course it would be unseemly to admit it’s business as usual (see: any BizDay report on food advertising). But the biggest sign of progress is that once upon a time the “scoop” would not have seen the light of print, digital or dead-tree, if the “reporter” had not been guaranteed an exclusive. Unpleasantness, as an editor confined nearby used to complain, would always ensue, with much screeching into a landline. Now those gold-plated bidets must come with a thin layer of humility.

Scaffolding of brine

Wednesday whiplash: One story tells you there’s no spring produce, the other says “shell peas!” And then there’s the third, touting the Greenmarket “pantry.” Which of course is better-stocked this time of year than the Greenmarket “walk-in.” You can, after all, cook anything with potato chips and applesauce.

Capitalize the D in dougnuts

Then again, we are talking newspapers today. The most gobsmacking tip I’ve gotten in donkey’s years was less about a sad story than about how it was sold. There are no heroes or villains in it; no one wants to talk, nor should they. But my hyper-famous tipster was right on the main point. It was the food world equivalent of the Iraq war BS. “No” said it best: “If you want to sell a lie, enlist the media.” I guess the wash-off stinks less from a gold-plated bidet. But jeebus, did I ever try to warn them about the family silver . . .

“Up to his elbows in chocolate frosting”

I got some pushback from a fellow old-school food writer who skipped the olive gravy train, but I was able to defend myself by saying I didn’t say “all” food writers jumped on the greased skids. She is right, though: There is a secret handshake among those who believed in the cause but didn’t need to be led to the story. And everyone knows how rules were bent to let “outlets with integrity” take the cannoli. I tried my damnedest, but no one wanted to hear that “the family retainer” is stealing the silver. A deal’s a deal. Or, cheap is a very good price.


Wonder if anyone involved in rough-drafting/editing/printing an item about a $550 sushi kit has any idea what it costs to launder and dry a load of laundry publicly these days. No dishwashers for dishwashers . . .

Covet away

The truthful column hed would be: “Reporter” we never wanted to hire recommends the best free shit that came in the mail. Also, too, better than cat linkbait: “I was a ghostwriter for your most bloviating columnist.”

How’s that wine you import, Señor?

My only regret in wildly killing out about a thousand writeme emails stacked up over the month is that I might have erased evidence for when press trippers later write up press trips in pure and holy outlets with shrinking budgets. Out with serious food people recently, we had a good discussion of the hypocrisy of the hometown paper in shunning contributors who may have indulged when, say, a Chilean wine expedition is converted to a food feature. “But maybe the rules are different for staff?” LOL. Guilty on two counts.

Back page at the Plaza

About the only thing to be thankful for this election is that the people behind POM do not see Willard as a wonder. Imagine if they could put $35 million into selling that cypher as healthful for America. Worse, imagine if news organizations realized, as the hometown paper did this week, that they could have their bogus elixir and drink it, too. All day the day of the FTC ruling, the home page was blinded by the blight of paid deception. Only the next day was it reported that the ads were not to be believed. But as I keep saying, at least they didn’t get us into a war with yellowcake this time.

“I got very frightened . . . “

Maybe the new JGold Wannabe shoulda packed up his silver and china, though. Reaction to the “let ’em demand cake” by the food coven’s nastiest bit was fast and furious. I would have been oblivious to it if not for a FB posting by an unmet friend I take for a sweetheart, so I didn’t post over there what I alluded to on the Twitter: Who in holy hell would listen to etiquette advice from someone who puts the C(word) in coven?