Thursday, September 24, 2009

Chef-Writers

I love reading Anthony Bourdain. He is sarcastic, funny, entertaining, and insightful-- what is not to like? I have never once thought I would really like to taste his cooking, but who cares?


I can tolerate reading Michael Ruhlman. Even if he were not constantly reminding you that he went to CIA and is formally trained as a chef, he is in fact quite erudite in the culinary arts and not a half-bad writer. Even though I do not feel that my life is incomplete for never experiencing his cooking, I would generally prefer to read his writing over listening to Andrew Knowlton or Toby Young.


The ones that make me shrink and feel insignificant are those who are incredible chefs AND also good writers. With what free time is Daniel Patterson able to create such masterful tasting menus at Coi and write pieces for publications like New York Times and San Francisco Magazine? While I have never been a huge fan of his cooking style, no one could dispute the chefly credentials of Grant Achatz. When he publishes a piece that is thoughtful, well-written, and entertaining, the refrain that runs through the back of my mind is That is really not fair.

I can crank out a decent motion for summary judgment; I cannot crank out anything more complicated than Eggs Benedict (and I cheat because I would never serve it unless accompanied, or rather distracted, by a bottle of good bubbly).

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