Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I must be doing something right...

Here is my story:  A few months ago, I started to contact some of the local chefs and restaurant owners, looking for someone to answer a set of questions I wrote to post this interview on my site for the 100th post.  Well, none of the chef's I contacted responded.  One of the chefs I send an email to, had his restaurant partner respond.  This gentleman has since answered my questions with such grace and sophistication that it makes me ....well....fell good. 

Ken works with chef Rick Moonen at RM, in Las Vegas, my new favorite eating spot.  He is quite knowledgeable and I look forward to any emails I receive from him.  From me, the pure fact that I have an owner or part-owner of a famous restaurant willing to answer my questions and email a few times makes me feel good and validates me, with what I am doing.

Now, his last email brings up some good things, such as our mutual 'love' for Anthony Bourdain.  Mr. Bourdain's story reminds me of one similar to so many young Hollywood starlets.  You do your job, starting off, right.  Then you move to drugs and alcohol.  Then you say or write a few things.  Your fans will eat that stuff up, because they are your fans, so it can be good stuff or bad stuff.  (Raise your hand if you ever watched a movie that was mind-numbingly awful, but you did so to see your favorite actor, actress, etc.) You then say something about someone else less in the limelight, but more respected than yourself.  You then go down like a flaming bat in Hell.

There are just so many things that I learned from Mr. Bourdain, when he was answering questions, after his book reading/talk, here in St. Louis last year.  He basically thinks that St. Louis is nothing more than a fly-over stop.  No offense to you, Mr. Sell-out, but St. Louis has more culinary heritage than many of the places you have gone to.  Here's the thing: even great chef's and personalities like Alton Brown, has taken the time to show that St. Louis was essentially a stage, during the 1904 Fair, for food producers and companies to show off what they have.  In 1904, if you wanted great and new food, you came to St. Louis. So, in response to pleads to come to St. Louis, do you know what Anthony says?  "I'm going to the Ozarks."  Why?  Going to the Ozarks is exactly the opposite of what St. Louisans and most Missourians want people to do.  That down-home, hill-billy way of life explained in any Beverly Hillbilly show, will show just the stereotypes that people from Missouri want to do away with.  Would the people of Atlanta like it of Anthony Bourdain instead went to a KKK BBQ?  I doubt it. 

I remember an older gentleman asking about why so many chefs smoke and over-salt.  Well, it is true that smoking doesn't damage your taste buds but it does temporarily numb them, which may be one reason why so many chefs who smoke require extra salt to be added to their foods.  Anthony commented that all chefs smoke or do other drugs, which sounds great, right?  I'm a chef and I don't smoke, does that mean I just proved Mr. Bourdain wrong?

Anyways, enough Bourdain bashing.  Ken pointed out a good thing in a recent email.  Ken is friends with Alan Richman, the writer, winner of 14 James Beard awards for writing/journalism.  Anthony writes in his book on how he is a "douchebag".  What Mr. Bourdain doesn't realize, as a food writer, he should never say anything bad or show a lack of respect for his contemporaries or for those more experienced than he.  Alan Richman?  Seriously?  I would love to meet the man and get his picture, autograph, everything.  The man knows how to describe and write about food like no other.  Anthony's comments about Mr. Richman are likened to that of a new chef, such as myself, writing about how horrible the chefs I grew up watching were.  Saying bad things about Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, Jeff Smith, Martin Yan and Michael Chiarello. I used to watch these chefs on their shows on the local PBS channel on the weekends. 

I will not mention or even show the words because I could not do it.  I can't say that Martin Yan is a [blank], because for all I have seen, he is a really nice guy and what the chef should try to be at all times: a professional.

While I originally have no idea who it is, and had to look it up, Ken suggested that I could be "the next Perez Hilton of the food blogesphere! :) " After looking it up, I see that while it was a compliment, I hope I never turn out the way that he has been going.  I write what I know or look up for more information and while I think of myself as representing the Public, I don't try to incriminate or cause issues for anyone in this industry.  I wouldn't mind having a show, or even some sponsors but currently there is no advertisers looking into investing in foodies in the early 30's age. 

Anyways, thanks for the wonderful comments and support, Ken.  I do look forward to any trips back to RM.  For anyone reading this, please, please, please go to RM.


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