Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Where's the (chefs') beef?

David Chang and Anthony Bourdain scorched the earth of the food world at a panel last Friday. For those of you who don't appreciate the overriding profanity in professional kitchens, here is the scrubbed and condensed version of 10 things they hate about food trends and fellow celebrities, as picked up from Grub Street. Chang is the genius behind Momofuku Noodle Bar and Ko, and Anthony Bordain is the author of "Kitchen Confidential" and star of the TV show "No Reservations."

Ten Things They Hate About Food

1. Cupcakes.

2. San Francisco. "... every restaurant in San Francisco is just serving figs on a plate. Do something with your food," said Chang.

3. Overexposed foods. Pork bellies are the new tuna tartare, Chang asserted. That said, he passed on answering Bourdain's question: "Is bacon less cool because Paula Deen likes it, or is it always cool, like Orson Welles?" As for cheeseburgers on a Krispy Kreme doughnut, Bourdain called it "a war crime."

4. Guy Fieri.

5. Career-changers who want to start cooking professionally at 30. Cooking is “grueling physical labor,” said Chang, adding that he’d never seen anybody start “that late” in life and succeed.

6. "Hell’s Kitchen." “They’re shooting the wounded on that show,” said Bourdain. But he defended "Top Chef": “On that show, the worst chef that day goes home and the best chef that day wins.”

7. Alice Waters. While both men applauded “her message” and Chez Panisse’s game-changing cuisine, Bourdain likened her to a hippie who doesn't grasp that the poor can’t afford organic milk.

8. People who take pictures and notes on the food at Ko. “The food’s getting cold,” Chang observed.

9. Critic Alan Richman. His insistence that celebrity chefs actually cook in their own restaurants is ridiculous, the two concluded. Richman just wants chefs to “kiss his ring,” said Bourdain. “I’m going to Emeril’s restaurant — do I suddenly expect him to pop up and say 'Bam!'?”

10. The thing they hate most: "Gray Kunz and Christian Delouvrier, the two greatest chefs in New York, are still trying to make a living."

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