I have been on vacation and then off to shoot Iowa and Wisconsin episodes of Bizarre Foods America that will air in November and December. But I’m back and there is a ton to talk about, so I will try to practice restraint and not overwhelm. Let's catch up on a few things:
I saw Jane and Michael Stern have a superb write-up of the Great Minnesota Get Together on Saveur website. It’s a little too patronizing even for my tastes but they got most of it right, that’s for sure. The Barb Schaller/Marjorie Johnson graph is pretty funny, but the tone of the piece speaks way too glowingly of much of the food that is pretty lousy, and doesn’t do justice to many of the foods that are pretty spectacular. It’s really hard for out-of-towners to “get it” but hats off to Jane and Michael for at least talking about the French fries so beautifully that I could taste them. With so many great local writers I would have liked to see one of our own cover that story. Kate Krader, one of my bosses at Food & Wine Magazine, came out to the Twin Cities last February and ate her way around town covering our food scene with a fine toothcomb. You should read it and send it to your pals. It’s an awesome round up. She “got it.” Check it out here. Send it to your friends who trash our food scene and call Minnesota fly-over-country. Our corner of the world now undoubtedly is a food leader as a restaurant city, as is rest of Midwest. From Lincoln Café in Iowa to Etoile in Madison, things are pretty sweet this time of year in the Midwest.
Speaking of the State Fair, I found this in my inbox when I got back. It’s KARE 11 annual Fair Food Roundup! Camel burgers? Gimmick. Poutine? If it’s done well it’s a home run. Last year there were just a few new items and if memory serves they all were terrible. Wait, wasn’t the corn ice cream last summer? That’s was OK I guess. But if poutine, cereal ice cream, tongue tacos, red velvet funnel cakes, and a few others are good, this will be a great year at the Fair. Forty new items, the odds are in our favor.
Here is something saucy and indelicate. Eater.com and HuffPo had a listing of celeb chefs and their estimated incomes, annually. Ramsay topped the list at 38 million. Gordon does very well, and I have no clue if his number is too big or small, but in terms of true income the list is way off base. And in being so “off target” it’s harmful. Even if it were on target, I don’t see the value in printing this stuff but some people must like to hash it out or they wouldn’t write it up. Some of the chefs on the list make waaaaay more than what is listed, and I can think of several chefs off the top of my head who aren’t on the list at all who have better months than the number 10 chef (Guy Fieri at 8 million) has years. Mario at number 5? Ever seen the checkout line at Eataly? Correct answer to that question is which location? Their math is way off base. Keller, Boulud, Colicchio . . . I could go on and on . . . lots of chefs who keep these matters private are doing very well, and I imagine some of the bozos on the list love to see their name up there. It’s nauseating.
Congrats to Anthony Bourdain, No Reservations, and the ZPZ crew for the four primetime Emmy Awards. I think this is the year they win best series in their category . . . they deserve to. More on Monday including my take on Figlio 3.0