Saturday, September 20, 2008

Well, Well, Well.

I have to admit to reading Ruhlman's blog from time to time. I read with GREAT interest the issue of "the tasting menu". It seems Marco Pierre White doesn't approve. So now the hippest in the food world are second guessing themselves. And here I thought that MPW was a goof. A former hot shot chef (who I never heard of BTW) who's cashing in on his reputation. I'm glad to see he's jumping on Salty's wagon. Old school has never gone out of fashion. It's the most fashionable who recognize that.

MPW you need to come to Cbass for honest food.


Michael Walsh said...

It's interesting that a group of chef's who don't cook often, or even see kitchens very often fall so far from the business man tree. come one now, multi courses me multi money. if you can get $60 for 3 'old school' courses, then get $100 for 5 new age courses, or 10 courses for $150, and so the ball rolled way out of proportion.

I would like to experience a 20 course meal once in my life. I wouldn't expect to sustain myself on such a diet, but as an experiance, for sure. and the other thousand times i dine out...yep, old school!

Scott Sebastian said...

I've done the muti course thing on a number of occasions. It is an experience. One That I agree belongs on the culinary scene. MY issue is unless you are doing it (preferably in a large media center)you are not taken seriously.

Too many times the "chef media" overlooks what most chefs do. They don't dazzle the cynical foodie with 20 odd ball creations, they welcome THEIR customers into their "house" and satisfy them. The grunts out there are often over looked by the public at large and especially by the media.

I also think as the new breed ages and matures they will understand what Marco is talking about. I feel after three decades I have finally come to terms with what my roll as a chef is.

As a diner I also realize it's not about how many courses that makes for a memorable dinner. My best dining experience of all time was also one of my least expensive.

I think our profession was better off without the stars, TV, blogs and magazines. I long for Julia, Graham, Jeff and public television. Back when the proof was in the pudding. The real pudding not the faux pudding.

Jeff said...

I find this backlash against tasting menus kind of funny because a few years ago I was reading about all of these prominent chefs complaining about eating traditional dinners with meat, starch, an veggie. They were saying "who needs 10 ounces of steak" I would rater have 10 courses of small bites.

Michael Walsh said...

I can't agree more to what you are saying. I've only recently matured into the idea that as a chef i'm not capable of making customers like what i do, rather i'll be that much more sucessful doing what they like.

The odd flavor combinations, the stacking, the micro-greens, the food glue and liquid nitrogen is all fun and games, but does it produce a meal which people will come back again for?

Of course there is a time and place for everything. In the big city where there is a new customer touching down every 20 minutes or an ethnicly diversified market there will be a call for media darlings, multi-course meals, and as you call it, 'faux pudding' not for us guys entrenched in the midwest. We have to calculate our every move, and stay under the raydar

Scott Sebastian said...

and are we less chefs because of it? Essentially both the big guys and us small fry are doing the same thing. Giving their customers what they want. Are we less dedicated? Are we less talented? I'll ask again, are we less chefs because our market demands a different product? After all, it's chefs like us that serve 95% of the American market. Yet we're ignored.

Michael Walsh said...

you hit the nail on the head once again. We are the embodiment of a chef.

we aren't actors or tv personalities. we aren't writers or journalists. we dont' have product endorsments or lines of cookware fashoned to our likeing. we don't have secretaries or PR people.

we a hot, dangerous kitchen...everyday and night. our jackets get dirty, our hands cut and burned, and our nerves frayed, and unless it's among ourselves we aren't getting much of a pat on the back.

It wasn't too long ago that the 'chef' we know today was completely different from the 'chef' of say 15 years ago. Pre-emiril era. When cooking on tv was educational not entertainment.

oh well, can't turn back now, gotta work on this week-end specials, a fall menu change, and wine dinner menu!!!