This year’s James Beard Awards self congratulatory goat rodeo/awards ceremony/chef shakedown is built around the theme of “The Ultimate Melting Pot”. Presumably, this will mean that at the mammoth food tasting, in which chefs from all over the country are dragooned into providing bites of food from chafing dishes and hotplates (for free), there will be a “multi-cultural” theme. Perhaps there will be a heartwarming video tape presentation, celebrating our brothers and sisters from around the world– a Benneton commercial, depicting cooks of many lands. But I seriously doubt you will see an increase in the number of Mexicans present. Or any other of the nationalities who comprise the backbone, heart, lungs, blood and muscle of the hospitality industry this organization claims to celebrate. I won’t be there to find out. Though nominated–along with Eric Ripert–for our limited run radio show, TURN AND BURN, I would sooner attend a Renaissance Fair in Hell. It would seem wrong, after all, given that I’ve been loudly peeing on this organization at every opportunity for years, to change my tune, now that I’m nominated for something. Maybe when they make para-legal advice for Mexican cooks a priority-or take a loud, persistent stand on the people doing so much of the actual cooking in this country, I’ll change my views. Till then? Screw ‘em.
March, 2011 Archive
The Vienna episode marked a temporary return to what many believe I do best:
Getting stupid-ass drunk, shoveling heavy food into my gob, making embittered dick jokes and generally careening around an unfamiliar city. A journey of discovery so to speak. I don’t know. I know I had I had an unexpectedly good time making the show, that Vienna was a pleasant surprise—and that it was particular delight working again with veteran producer and good friend, Tracy Gudwin. Continue reading: THE MORNING AFTER »
I admire people who live by their principles–even when I don’t agree with them. I don’t much like communism, particularly the soul crushing evil done in its name through much of history, but I have a romantic’s soft spot for an old Bolshie who took to the hills as a young man, believed in their heart that they were liberating their people from oppression (particularly if whoever they were fighting against was a uniquely bad bastard). Perhaps this will explain my visceral loathing for Daniel Ortega–seemingly the President For Life of Nicaragua, a guy who, clearly, has two sets of principles. One for the Nicaraguan people–and one for himself. My detestation of Nicaragua’s Maximum Leader is exceeded only by my admiration for its people who deserve so much better. Continue reading: NEW BOSS, SAME AS THE OLD BOSS »
A damn near idyllic few days in South Beach for the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, mostly holed up by the Raleigh pool with my family, venturing out only for the occasional meal. I worked as little as possible. Attended no parties. Swooped in to the Burger Bash early, scarfed up (in short order) an excellent, pleasingly funky tasting Ai Fiori burger from Michael White, an Umami Burger (about which I had been very curious), a Spike Mendelsohn burger, a Shake Shack burger (or two) and a Michael’s Genuine. All wonderful in different ways. Bolted soon after. Continue reading: MEYER LANSKY and WONDER WHEEL (of HORROR) »