Friday, August 26, 2011

You know it's bad when "both" sides annoy me

So apparently Anthony Bourdain has gone after Paula Deen.  (Is there a Food Network personality he won't go after?  Dude, the smack talking?  Gets kind of old.) 

She's a bad influence, according to the Travel Channel star, and she's pushing food that is really bad for you.  I won't argue with the second part, but Frank Bruni of the New York Times made one good point in his reply to Bourdain's missives--it seems that bad food suddenly becomes desireable when it's duck confit or pork rinds in an Asian-fusion dish in a trendy restaurant run by the newest hot chef out there.  And it's not as if either of those things are good for you, even if it's in a well-appointed place with $50 entrees.

I won't get into politics--I swore I wouldn't do that on this blog--but I'll point out that the carping on either side sucks the joy out of cooking and eating.  And really, I am skeptical about a man who indulges in stuff that is bad for you overseas complaining about a woman who has a show about Southern cooking, or a woman who is well-paid and already affluent talking about being down with regular people.  I mean, please.  Just stop insulting my intelligence already.

Some self-appointed foodies look down at the likes of Rachel Ray or Paula Deen for doing things that I do, that my friends and neighbors do, and that our families have all done.  A newsflash for these folks: most of us are really just trying to get by and put dinner on the table. We don't need a bunch of self-important bullies badgering us about the fact that we're doing it wrong.  It sucks the joy out of cooking and eating.

But some people who claim to be down with regular folks--well, come on.  I got news for you.  Butter and cream are expensive, and many of those dishes you feature on your show take a lot of time to prepare--it's not something that regular people will be making as a matter of course.  And that's fine, too, but please don't assume that you're just like me. 

Can I just make a small suggestion to both camps?  Shut up and cook.  I'm not particularly interested in your take on the issues of food, health, or the grocery gap.  You're all well-paid, well-known food personalities and you're not exactly in the trenches of everyday life trying to get by.

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