So David Chang and my beloved Tony did a joint panel on “bullshit” as part of the New York Food & Wine Festival. NYMag summed it up beautifully and I’m just going to copy their 10 big takeaways here:
Cupcakes “I hate fuckin’ cupcakes,” said Chang.
San Francisco “Fuckin’ every restaurant in San Francisco is just serving figs on a plate. Do something with your food,” said Chang.
Overexposed Foods Pork bellies are the new tuna tartare, Chang asserted. That said, he passed on answering Bourdain’s question: “Is bacon less cool because Paula Deen likes it, or is it always cool, like Orson Welles?” As for cheeseburgers on a Krispy Kreme doughnut, Bourdain called it “a war crime.”
Guy Fieri Cooking is not about “fuckin’ sunglasses and that stupid fuckin’ armband.” If he ever does that, “throw me down the stairs,” Chang said.
Career-changers Who Want to Start Cooking Professionally at 30 Cooking is “grueling physical labor,” said Chang, adding that he’d never seen anybody start “that late” in life and succeed.
Hell’s Kitchen “They’re shooting the wounded on that show,” said Bourdain. But he defended Top Chef (which he’s appeared on), praised Tom Colicchio and explained, “on that show, the worst chef that day goes home and the best chef that day wins. That’s not bullshit.”
Alice Waters While both men applauded “her message” and Chez Panisse’s game-changing cuisine, Bourdain likened her to a hippie who doesn’t grasp that the poor can’t afford organic milk.
Type A’s who take pictures and notes on the food at Ko. “The food’s getting cold,” Chang observed.
Critic Alan Richman His insistence that celebrity chefs actually cook in their own restaurants is ridiculous, the two concluded. Richman just wants chefs to “kiss his ring,” said Bourdain. “I’m going to Emeril’s restaurant — do I suddenly expect him to pop up and say ‘Bam!’?”
The Biggest Bullshit of All Chang: “Gray Kunz and Christian Delouvrier, the two greatest chefs in New York, are still trying to make a living.”
Some important notes from me: I agree 100% on Guy Fieri, cupcakes, San Francisco, overexposed food, Alice Waters, and Hell’s Kitchen. I should also add that while I documented my dinner at Ko closely, I a) took no notes and b) took no photos. Some of us rely on memory (and crowdsourcing to Vero, Eric, and Evan…)