Saturday, March 17, 2007

For the Foodies

A month old, but no less worthwhile, Anthony Bourdain rates the TV cooking shows, and mourns the passing of the real chefs. I think he's a bit too kind to Rachael Ray, whose chirpy manner, brain tumor-inducing voice, and utter lack of cooking talent combine to make for some of the most disturbing television since Alice Cooper hosted the Muppet Show.

As much as the classic stand-up cooks, starting with Julia Child, have always tended to focus on richer foods, at least they also stressed fresh ingredients, and one could assemble healthy menus from the skills they taught. Not so with the new crop. Ray throws in a bag-o-salad as an afterthought, as the star of her meal is usually some variation on fat mixed with fat mixed with ground beef and sausage. Paula Deen's show is probably the worst in this regard, and should be titled "30 Minutes to a Huge, Fat Ass, and, Later, Triple-Bypass Surgery." The woman never met anything she couldn't soak in buttermilk, coat with crushed corn flakes, and then fry in bacon fat. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with soaking things in buttermilk, coating them with crushed corn flakes, and then frying them in bacon fat. It's just that I want to, you know, live.