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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Holiday Rant #2

Personally, I think the holidays are just a lame excuse for people to behave rudely, drink themselves stupid, and gorge themselves like geese migrating north, all with the weak-ass excuse of (in a whiney voice) "the stores are crowded" and "I get so depressed at this time" and "I'll do better after the New Year".

I'm not hatin'. I'm just sayin'.

Frankly, I'm pissed off, drunk, and gluttonous three hundred sixty five days of the year, bitch, so I don't need no stinking paganistic-cum-monotheistic-cum-consumeristic reason to be absolutely churlish, embarrassing, and disgusting.

But two things really got my X-mas goose while enjoying an otherwise suitable plate of Ma Po Tofu at Chung King today. As I sat there reading that sorry excuse for a newspaper, the San Francisco Examiner, I noticed in the "Eats" section there was an interview with Craig Stoll, the chef/co-owner of Delfina, an upscale Italian joint in the Gourmet Ghetto area of the Mission.

Although I haven't been to Delfina, I'll give it the benefit of the doubt that it's good. Besides, can you really fuck up what is essentially peasant food?

Again, not hatin'. Just sayin'.

Delfina doesn’t bug me. What does is Craig Stoll pimping his ass out for All-Clad cookware.

OK, maybe I'm naïve and just assume that most home cooks, and even chefs who cook at home, have a variety of cookware. Some cookware in their stockpile, they are like "ho hum". Others, they are like "wowee!" I know I have a chef's knife I can't live without.

But if you asked most cooks/chefs what items in their kitchen they "couldn't live without", as Elisabeth Laurence asked Stoll, I would reasonably assume they would say, "Oh, you know, my Le Crueset dutch oven, and my Silpat, and definitely that salad spinner I got at the flea market 3 years ago".

I wouldn't expect an across-the-board, full brand endorsement!

But according to Stoll, he loves his All-Clad cookware, "like the ones with the rounded bottoms and the saucepans and the skillets. Great for scallopini."

And if you call now, we'll throw in a goddamn egg slicer!! But wait! There's more!

Maybe you think I'm just getting all bent out of shape. Well, what about this?

Photo by Juan Carlos Pometta Betancourt/San Francisco Examiner

Hello? Product placement, MUCH?

I have news for you, Craig. You wanna pimp yourself? Get in line! You see that schmuck in front of you with the greasy salt and pepper hair? His name is Michael Chiarello and he's sold his butt longer and wider than you, fresh meat.

He even has a restaurant at SFMOMA. You can't even sell your wares on Shotwell!

Ahead of him is the whole Food TV line-up, and very few of them will ever reach Emeril's ho status.

Moving on...

Next, let's move on across the page to what was, at first, an OK review of a Chinatown Dim Sum place by Patricia Unterman, "Examiner Restaurant Critic". While Dol Ho may be nice, it's pretty well known that you can walk across the street to Y Ben House to have just the same, if not better. Also, while I have several Chinatown dim sum haunts that I frequent, including Y Ben House, Gold Mountain, and even You's, dim sum in Chinatown is, in effect, Chinatown Dim Sum, ie., good, but nothing to write Hong Kong about.

Please. Sometimes Ha Gow is just Ha Gow.

That Pat Unterman is writing about a dive like Dol Ho for the Examiner makes me wonder if they are making her flip her own tab or if she's pocketing the expenses that should be going to Parc Hong Kong.

My beef doesn't lie with the review of Dol Ho. Oh no. My beef consists of Pat's closing lines, which are as follows:

"Recently, after a tour of Chinatown, I took a visiting Turkish food journalist there , apologizing for the basic service and surroundings. But she liked it and matched me dumpling for dumpling.

'What is it about this place?' I asked her. 'Why does everything taste so good?'

'Because it's run by women', she said.

Then it dawned on me. The modest, unembellished food at Dol Ho owes its savor, it's completeness, to the instincts of home cooks."

What malign, ignorant, sexist drivel is this? Besides being patronizing, it is utterly, or Unterman, repulsive. So, you and your guest, from, uh, Turkey?, that upstanding egalitarian land (!?), have decided that "completeness" can be assumed from who's genitals are whisking around in the kitchen, have you??

Excuse me folks, but I think I know where Patty's expenses are going. Stop by Li Po's beforehand, have we? I sure hope so. I sure hope you're lit!

What crap! Let me tell you, I know women who could burn water! My own mother, God love her, hasn't gone two decades without combining instant this with instant that. You call that completeness? You call microwaved hot dogs savory?

You wanna tell me that the "love", your own mythical standard of completeness and savor, of a home cooked meal can only come from a woman, lest it be tainted by the stench of a hated man?

Yeah, probably so! Which duly promotes you to the Old Guard, the Paleo-Critics, the Geriatric Gourmands, and all whose opinion is irrelevant, outdated, trite, boring, and as downright retarded as the saying "the South shall rise again".

You should retire to Colma!

Scandalous...if it was in anything other than an illegitimate, disgraceful rag.

I hope some Chinese dude peed on your Siu Mai!



Blogger drbiggles said...

I read the first part of your post with Andy Rooney speaking your prose, that was cool.

Yeah, I'm pretty well an over-indulgent, teetering, over-consuming pig all year 'round. This time of year takes a severe toll because I step it up a few dozen notches.

Just to give you an idea how bad it's gotten, I actually WANTED a salad a few days ago and found myself daydreaming about a vegetable with dinner. I usually do have a vegetable, but it's by sheer force it goes down. Not this time, I wanted it.

It's not easy being us.


10:45 AM  
Blogger Bacon Press said...

I constantly must remind myself that with all things, balance is the key.

Obviously there are dangers in eating too much meat; heart disease, etc.

Conversely, there are dangers with eating too many veggies. Excess gas, to name one.

I find many vegetarians gassy, like cows.

So, we all must try to find a balance.

It took me a while to realize that tater tots weren't a vegetable.


11:26 AM  
Blogger drbiggles said...

OH great, bring up heart disease. Thanks. All I have coming up are 2 Canadian pork pies tomorrow (stuffed with gravy), roasted turkey on sunday with tons of gravy and a stuffed leg of lamb on Tuesday to look forward to. OH well. I think I'll go get some fried chicken for lunch today, that'll be a nice way of starting out the weekend.


10:28 AM  
Blogger Humour and last laugh said...

your comments are interesting.

12:22 AM  

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