Well Said, Mr. Bruni

Not that I’m a big TV watcher, but I too have noticed what Frank Bruni calls an “Unsavory Culinary Elitism” in the popular media. I’ve mentioned it here now and then, most recently in reference to the Brooklyn (really? Brooklyn?) homesteader profiled in The New York Times (really? The Times?).  So, in the interest of democratizing the good-food movement and clearing out my stack of unfinished posts, here is my 2 cents on the whole celebrity-chef-catfight thing.

Hmmm…must be something there…wait for it…wait…for…it…

Okay, so I’m having a hard time getting worked up over this one. Since my work hours have been trimmed and our grocery budget has shrunk back to $515 per month for the five of us, I’ve had other things to worry about besides which zillionaire TV chef has my back when it comes to what and how I eat. Frankly, I find the TV-consumer culture to be one of our society’s larger problems, and I avoid it as much as I can.

Still, Anthony Bourdain and Paula Deen provide an interesting contrast, don’t they? One is urban, northern, somewhat rough in aspect, yet he emerges as a world traveler and sophisticate. The other is rural, Southern (by the grace of God, I’m sure), and a sweet-auntie type. However…Ms. Deen is deep in the pockets of Smithfield, which is part of the industrial-food complex, and her style of Southern comfort food is arguably less than healthy. And yet-Bourdain travels all over the world (which I sure can’t afford to do), and he’s always come across to me as one of those waiter-hating types who insists that since “Chef A___ B___” is his full name, “A___” is his middle name-and you and I may call him “Chef.” Believe me when I tell you that after nearly 30 years in the business, I’ve worked with enough of that type to last me 30 more. Ironically, they are the ones who need good front-of-the-house people the most, because their social skills are so amazingly primitive. But I digress…

Where, then, does that leave us? Does this celebrity feud matter? I honestly don’t know. It seems to me, though, that the wires got crossed somewhere if the “down-home” personality is associated with corporate industrial food and the elitist big-city chef is actually a local-food proponent. It’s just one more mess that needs cleaning.


About poorlocavore

Welcome to one family's journey towards a smaller food-mile footprint on a small food budget. How do our choices affect the environment, and what influences our choices? Read on and find out what I'm learning.
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8 Responses to Well Said, Mr. Bruni

  1. I agree with you on the tv consumer culture thing. And celebrity feuds – I just try to avoid all that. But I’m glad you pointed out the Smithfield thing.

  2. Joyce Adrian says:

    Did you know that you can buy a Smithfield pre-sliced ham on QVC for “3 easy payments” of $22.84, and it includes two sides. One of those is the “best mac and cheese on the planet.” Or try the sweet potato casserole, or the potato casserole. You can even get “auto delivery” three times a year. Are you depressed yet?

  3. Joyce Adrian says:

    Forgot to mention that this is a 3-4 pounder. So expensive. But it does include S&H. (I’ve been watching this the last few minutes. Now they are featuring a cheesecake for $42.12, also S&H included.)

  4. Patience says:

    Interesting point. This is a little off topic, but I’m reading a “biography” of London which discusses the ancient Smithfield area in London where animal slaughter happened for centuries. It’s interesting that the name carried over here to Smithfield, Virginia, which is associated with ham, and thus animal slaughter.

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