Monday, September 13, 2010

Time for another rant - Start the chant "OVERRATED"

I was actually thinking about naming this post
"And if your hair looks like this, you might be a douchbag"
but I thought Jeff Foxworthy might sue me, so I figure I'll just risk a slander lawsuit from Mr. Blais instead. This rant is going to be a bunch of things that I think are WAAAAAY overrated in the culinary world. Some are trends, others are just not worth their price, other...I just don't like. These are just opinions, and I'd love for this to be the begining of an awesome online argument, so let's go.

1)TRUFFLES - it does pain me to say this a little, but truffles are simply overUSED and overrated. The only way they are worth anything is if they are true perigord or italian white alba FRESH truffles. Oregon summer truffles have less flavor than a trumpet mushroom, and all this canned truffle peeling or infused truffle oil bullshit is just a flat out fucking ripoff. You know what it really is? One of two things. Either a)the chef is so dull and uninspired to create an interesting flavor mix that he just drizzles truffle oil over every soup he can make, or throws truffle peelings (from a fricking can no less) into every demi glace he makes so that you Mr. Customer will be impressed or b)the chef wants a way to charge $9 for his cauliflower soup that cost him $.39, so he dumps some truffle oil on it and then happily rips you off. Like I said, the REAL DEAL are the REAL DEAL, but all these substitutes are not worth the money. That being said even the real ones are too expensive for their own good, but as a treat here and there.... I'm just sick of them being everywhere.

2)MOLECULAR GASTRONOMY - This is admittedly kind of cool when Wylie Dufresne does it at WD50 in New York, but my god is this getting old. It's like they're giving out liquid nitrogen canisters and gram scales for your Xantham Gum with your knife kit when you sign up for Kitchen Basics 1 in culinary school. Learn how to actually cook and quit trying to make noodles out of lobster broth. This rant is also going to specifically go after Richard Blais. What a fucking egomaniacal sac. I read an article he wrote about him being pissed off that some chef in Denver has a Nutella & Marshmallow milkshake on his menu. Richard surmises that obviously the chef stole it from him. This pisses me off for so many reasons. 1)Richard, you are not the first man to pick up a canister of liquid nitrogen and freeze shit with it 2)NOBODY is really creating anything new. It's 2010, short of Ferran Adria, everybody is riffing off of things they've seen. It's about how well you do it, and how you combine flavors. Maybe, just maybe Richard, the guy just thought nutella and marshmallows sounded good and tried something out. It's not necessarily true that he sought out some burger joint in west Atlanta and masterminded stealing a recipe. Even if he did, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and your milkshake isn't even that good. I've had it. Go get your pink shoes and your hair gel and stop pontificating.

3)CUPCAKES - Ok, Ok, they're cupcakes. Everyone likes cupcakes. They're cute, they fun to decorate, blah, blah, blah. No arguments here. I like cupcakes, I just don't like going out to a dinner with a supposedly talented chef doing the cooking and seeing cupcakes on his dessert menu. It's just dumb. Why would I pay $12 for something my 6 year old cousin can make in her easy bake oven? For the record, I don't know if easy bake ovens still exist or can even actually cook anything, but you get my point.

4)FILET MIGNON - it's just a boring piece of meat. Everyone likes it because they've been told it's good. It's got very little flavor, no fat, and is just dull. Give me a ribeye, sirloin, short rib, anything with some flavor. Not only that, but it's way too expensive for what it is. If I'm going to pay more, it should be better, and compared to my previously mentioned cuts above, it just doesn't rate.

5)PETITE LAMB CHOPS - this is really the same argument as my filet argument. Lamb chops are really just about my least favorite part. Shanks, denver ribs, even ground lamb offer more flavor, more substance, and are generally just more interesting. I'd rather pay for a monstrous, beautifully braised lamb shank than shell out $37 for 6 bites of mediocre chop. That's just me....

6)CALIFORNIA CHEESE & WINE - This one will take some explaining as there are definitely amazing cheese and wine coming from CA, but my argument is that they're living on reputation. CA cabernet is just overpriced and in my opinion, good not great. I'd rather drink a South American red wine, or even a Spanish one. They're more interesting, and more affordable. CA also has the same reputation about it's cheeses. Undoubtedly, there are some good ones, but I think Sweetgrass here in GA matches anything coming out of CA. For that matter, I think you find better cheese in Maine, Vermont, Wisconsin, England, Ireland, and you don't have to pay for all the ego and marketing that you do when you buy say "Purple Haze". It's good, but I think it's overrated and overpriced. Hmmmmmm, this may be an inspiration for my next post/discussion----"MY FAVORITE CHEESES - an open forum". Anyone interested? Let me know

Anyway, that's all the bile I have to spew for now. Let me know if you agree or disagree, or have another log to throw on the fire. I'd love to hear your opinions. Happy ranting.....


  1. Those truffles look like...well, I won't tell you what I thought they looked like.

  2. Nice post--if I may could I add fried Calamari to that list? 99% of restaurants do it wrong and it ends up tasting like greasy rubber.