Everyone should read Anna’s post about Ped, her cook and her friend, and see her fierce determination to make sure that all sides of this senseless killing are heard. This story is just getting started, and I hope all the facts come to light quickly so that the Senser and Phantavong families can find as much peace as they can during what must be a horrible thing to endure. I have to say, almost all the news stations expressed outrage during the first few days of this story, all aimed at finding out who was responsible for this senseless tragedy, and later moved onto more of a wait and see, everyone is innocent until proven guilty angle. And that’s natural and expected. But I can certainly relate to Anna’s frustration. Her friend is dead. And he was indeed a great cook.
Anyone catch this story? I am still laughing at the idiocy of it all. This kind of stunt gimmickry is rampant these days, but it shows you how far we have come since the Folgers ads of the 70’s . . . ”We’ve replaced their brewed coffee, with Folgers . . . ” Imagine if that happened today, some tatted up hipster would shoot the barista!! And who wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between real food and ConAgra’s Marie Callendar line of products? I have tried that stuff and its pretty heinous. But by far the craziest part of the whole hot mess is that George Duran, someone who I have no clue about, is labeled as a celebrity chef. In a day and age when everyone and anyone has that moniker applied to them, and the push-back threatens to destroy decades of culinary good will built up by hardworking chefs everywhere, this is the type of story and labeling that defies logic and marginalizes people across food boundaries. I don’t blame casual food lovers for being annoyed. I know I am.
Sam Sifton gave Craft three stars, in what it turns out will be one of his last reviews as the dining critic for The New York Times . I loved his stuff and agreed with him about 90 percent of the time. But 25 months into the job, he’s out. His choice, and he’s staying on at the Times in another capacity. So who replaces him? Thoughts anyone? And how, in a day and age where the vast majority of food writers and resto critics are known to everyone in the industry, will the issues of anonymity change for the national paper of record? And give credit where its due, Collichio and James Tracey have done wonders at Craft, keeping that restaurant credible and relevant for a decade. I eat there almost every time I am in NYC, I even stay at a hotel nearby just so I can sit at the bar late at night, eat a quiet dinner of superb food, and catch up on emails. The food and service are topnotch.
Here is an amazing list of bizarre foods, and I have tasted them all except the human placenta. Well, technically I haven’t tasted the snake wine or mouse wine, but since I have eaten both snakes and mice (every part and size, on every continent, on many occasions) I think I got those down and checked off too. I have eaten many other types of placenta but cannibalism ain’t my thing, so I skip the human stuff.
Anyway, while the list is pretty cool, it doesn’t even scratch the surface of the truly bizarre: bat intestines, blood from live animals, sea worms, fresh pulpy wood grubs, sea squirts, fermented ice shark, rotted skate wings, stinky toe bakut—now those are some God awful foods. These folks asked the wrong people for help with their list.
Speaking of TV, Kate Gosselin had her show cancelled, and I feel horrible for anyone who gets terminated from their job. However, this woman went from being a fairly decent human being to a monster in the few years that I knew her. I would see her at events and at Discovery Network ad sales confabs and by year three she had flipped her lid. The stories I heard firsthand from people I trust would curl your toes. But the worst of it, and you will see when you click the link, is that she dragged her kids through something that will be hard for them to withdraw from. I feel terrible for those children.
Check out this latest KG flame out!