Frank Bruni weighs in.
I'm generally not a fan of Frank Bruni's writing, but he makes some interesting points here.
When Deen fries a chicken, many of us balk. When the Manhattan chefs David Chang or Andrew Carmellini do, we grovel for reservations and swoon over the homey exhilaration of it all. Her strips of bacon, skirting pancakes, represent heedless gluttony. Chang’s dominoes of pork belly, swaddled in an Asian bun, signify high art.
There’s some class-inflected hypocrisy in the food world, where the center seems to be ceding territory to two wings: the self-appointed sophisticates and the supposed rubes.
Thank you for this JAZ
(and Frank Bruni).
I am an overall fan of Bourdain but I too am somewhat confused about his dissing of Paula Deen on behalf the obese of America. I mean I've watched him for quite some time now and thoroughly enjoy his shows but can't help but remember that he is a remorseless, unapologetic eating machine. Great white sharks could learn from him. As I recall he regularly swoons over (and proceeds to devour) mountains of roast pork, ate an astonishing multi-course meal of foie gras until it was coming out of his pores, and, along with his brother on a trip to a South American country, devoured mass quantities of animal flesh cooked on a device I nicknamed "the flaming wall of meat." All of which I myself would enjoy as well, btw.
I can't see why he is so offended by Paula's remorseless use of butter or loving all things deep fried (INCLUDING BUTTER)!
Is it because his gluttony is done as a coolest of the cool globetrotting sophisticate? Or, even worse, because he can eat with abandon and remain disgustingly and handsomely thin while she (like myself) is somewhat zaftig (or, as my niece would say,
"fluffy") and thus sets a bad example? Nothing more offensive than us plump chicks eating in public and unashamedly enjoying every bite?
No matter. Her mac and cheese (now mine) kicks ass and I will be forever grateful to her for showing me exactly how to make collard greens with corn dumplings the way I remembered them from my childhood.
All of a sudden I am so hungry.