Worse would be Rachael

Clearly I’m spending way too much time online if I spotted a request from a mother for advice on how to dress her 3-year-old daughter, by request, as Molto for Halloween. That kid doesn’t need a costume. She needs a therapist. But I shouldn’t be mean to the orangeman — he’s putting candy in the right aspirant’s bag, unlike another annoyance who is backing that 365-day-a-year Halloween character who is known as Ghouliani in blogville. No wonder people shun his restaurant. Who wants to eat with a tiara shining in their eyes?

Raw stories

Unlike dead men, ghostwriters do tell tales. And a couple of very big chefs in this huge city should be a teensy bit chagrined. Forget the coffee stain on one. Considering how many candidates tried to channel a charisma-free legend, I suspect a whole MA group could be formed tomorrow. (“My name is Regretful. I am a Cashaholic.”)

Thin air

One of my favorite media mysteries is why anyone succumbs to the horse shit shoveled out by airlines hiring “celebrity” chefs. Escoffier crossed with Robuchon with a few Jean-Georges genes thrown in for good measure could not make anything decent to eat seven miles up in the clouds, and the average hostage strapped in cruddy coach would never be able to detect the improvement if he could. Yet this continues to constitute news. And what do the allegedly cash-crunched airlines get for their neon investment? At Delta, hummus. You know, a Todd English “creation.”

But then this is a strange time for travel reporting, with the NYT deciding readers’ comments are fit to print (or just suddenly realizing that content really is free). Among the suggestions for ways to economize in Eutopia with devalued dollars was advice to buy supermarket food to take back to your hotel room “and ask the housekeeping staff to bring the bowls, plates and utensils for your meal.” On what planet? Try to get an extra roll of toilet paper, let alone a wineglass. You would have better luck asking a flight attendant to produce a sharp knife for your Safeway sausage. Hotels are in the business of selling food and drink, not catering to your chintziness. You know that “refrigerator in your room”? It’s called a mini-bar, and they don’t even like it if you move their $75 half-bottle of wine out to chill your bargain Burgundy. Strange to think old media believes everything it reads on the internets. . . .

Who’s your daddy?

What is it with Mrs. L and Mr. V? I heard her on Brian Lehrer talking about taste being the most provocative stimulus of memory (I’d vote for smell or sound, myself), and when it came time to drop a chef’s name, guess whose was trotted out yet again. I absolutely doubt the Friendship is curdling, but it is odd. And of course I only bring this up because I was recently asked to blurb a book by a blogger I have never met, only to be advised by his handlers that my terse praise was not used “in the hopes that your editors” may “allow you to write about” the opus. Undoubtedly it was a face-saving excuse, but even words that wind up on the cutting room floor count in my estimation — a phantom blurb should haunt you more than one in print.