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Don’t Toque to Me About Chefs!

Making a $25.00 Tower of Exotic Foodstuffs

Making a $45.00 Tower of Exotic Foodstuffs

The problem with American restaurants is that there are too many chefs and not enough cooks. Ever since the Food Network went on the air, people started paying too much attention to people with large white toques who like to mess around with food, forming little towers of quinoa with raspberry sauce and maybe a small amount of meat or fish. The less the foods appear to go together, the more renown the chef is likely to earn for his or her daring.

It’s become an epidemic. The tutsi-fruitsie is king. The ice tea is contaminated with passion fruit or other petrochemical waste. Side dishes avoid the usual rice or potatoes and provide instead broccolini with mashed yeast and ground Murano glass and Galena lead pellets.

Whenever I see some Culinary Institute of America (CIA) chef wearing a towering white toque, I know I’m in for a pretentious soaking. On the other hand, when I see what Hungarians call a szakács or szakácsnő (cook, masculine or feminine gender respectively), I know I am likely to have an excellent meal. There must be no toque or other sartorial trimmings. I want a good, honest cook who knows how to prepare food. And no little towers!

As for the Food Network, I hope they switch over to running “Antiques Roadshow” or “Pawn Stars.” Or maybe they can talk about Kim Kardashian or some other celebrity twinkie. They certainly have not done anything to improve the quality of food in this country.

3 thoughts on “Don’t Toque to Me About Chefs!

  1. I found a documentary on Netflix titled _Spinning Plates_. It was about three restaurants, one in Balltown, Iowa, one in Chicago, and one in Tucson. I watched it because I was curious about the one in Tucson.

    At the end, I decided that I would love to visit the ones in Balltown (mostly home cooking, Midwestern food, if you know what I mean) and Tucson (Mexican–unfortunately it closed), but the one in Chicago, I would stay away from unless someone offered to take me. The dishes the chef and others were most ecstatic about looked like odds and ends scattered about the plate, with dribbles of something to fill in the empty spots on the plate in order to hide the fact that there really wasn’t much on the plate.

    • I do the same, and today it’s much easier to avoid them. Most restaurants have a web page with information about them. I just check the menu for content and prices. I can’t afford dinners that are expensive, so that eliminates most of that type. The items listed on the menu also provide a clue.

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