photo by Marina Vorobyeva
Deconstructed cheesecake dessert
I noticed a few critics around the country using this slow food news season to round up the trends they’re sick of. Well I think that’s a fine idea, and I will take it a step further. I am not just sick of these trends, I am throwing down my napkin in a sheer pique! People. These are the worst trends and need to be thrown into the fire, right now.
1. Non-functional non-plates
Look, I know you love Home Depot. We all love Home Depot. They have fantastic aisles full of flat things and epoxy beyond measure. However, you seriously need to rethink this whole non-plate thing. Here’s something plates have: rims, to keep the sauce from rolling out onto the tablecloth. Let’s say you’re an avant-garde type who would like to plate things on slate, rubber, some caulk you piped onto a mat, a raccoon you dried in a sauna—whatever. It’s a free country, you do you. But if you give me sauce that runs onto the table or onto my own clothing as you set down the non-plate, I hate you. Try out this nonsense in the kitchen before you try it on me. And if stuff is spilling off onto the table, do what better chefs than you have done since the days of Medieval illiteracy: Get a plate.
2. Deconstructed desserts
The first few years of High Class Crumbs, I was on board. Shards of meringue, broken gauffrettes—we are free! However, we are no longer free, we are a mess. So, if you’re a pastry chef, take a step back. Is what you’re serving an undifferentiated heap of smashed particles that looks like you’re putting a good face on having shoved the pastry cart down the stairs?
3. Lazy mac and cheese
We all love good mac and cheese, of course. Goes without saying. We all were excited about lobster mac and cheese, back before we were haggard and exhausted. But a legend seems to have pervaded the land that any and all mac and cheese is good mac and cheese, that we diners will stand for reheated, congealed goo broiled-to-order, and watery cheese slurry with shells. Actually, we won’t. Also, macaroni is not shells. You barbarians.
4. Asking customers questions when they are chewing
Stop asking me questions when my mouth is full. Stop asking everyone questions when our mouths are full. It is rude. It shows you’re not paying attention to the table. You’re making people at your tables feel awkward and embarrassed. No one wants to answer the question “How’s it tasting?” which is a stupid, lame, and lazy question—topped only by “How’s everything?” How’s everything? Everything. Every? Thing? Let me tell you. I’ve got someone pretending to care about me and making me feel awkward by asking questions I cannot answer because my mouth is full. That’s how everything is. Everything is ashes in a land without humanity, because you can’t look at people before asking them questions. Ever have the doorbell ring when you’re in the shower? This is my life. That's how everything is. Awful.
5. No hours on restaurant websites
Look. People go to your website for various reasons—but a top one is: Can I go to the restaurant you have for lunch, right now? Can I go for dinner in two days? If I have to click to even a second page to figure out when you are open, you have failed. You have failed in common sense. You have failed in this thing called life and you need to shut it down, find your website designer, and put your hours on your website. Look, now you’re a success! We all feel better and can get back to pushing the pastry cart down the stairs.