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Zoticus

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  1. In many cases this is true*. It is a compromise, between something better but potentially risky and something lesser but almost entirely consistent. SV in top kitchens shows that the fear of making mistakes outweighs the desire to attempt the best. The result is about as interesting as watching two boxers who won't punch in case they get hit with a counter-punch. *Judiciously used, there are some preparations that can be improved by SV, but, as you point out, it doesn't follow that this holds for everything.
  2. I've been twice, once Tasting and once ALC, and I thought much of it was good. In fact, the pot roast pork was excellent. However, there is a gap between good and great and I don't think that this gap is bridged by magic tricks. The problem is that if HB's magical world of childlike wonderment is bullshit, then there is a very real possibility that those wishing to emulate his success will also emulate his bullshit, and before long we'll be knee-deep in the stuff. In short, HB is a terrible role model, because he aspires to be more than a chef, and this implies that merely being a chef is somehow a failure, which it isn't.
  3. Wrong on two counts. First of all there's a depressing absence of argument, in favour of assertion; and secondly the issue is not as you state, but rather whether 'magic water' etc. is cynical gimmickry designed to take advantage of a feeble-minded client base, and whether what is at stake is a quest for great food or a quest for money and self-aggrandizement. Otherwise, great post (in a superficially clever way).
  4. You forgot to include Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards in your list of tossers.
  5. Interestingly, NLP is the new rhetoric (in the sense of Protagorean demagogy). Let my try to frame this another way: you can either cook food because you love it or you can use food as self-publicity because you love yourself.
  6. You, me, and a lot of other people. I can't get my head around this; surely, if the ' culinary alchemy', or whatever it's called now, can't get things right at least more often than the alternatives, then there's not a lot to be said for it. Or is it that it just sounds so bloody good? But if it is this, then that would mean that the concept was more important than the product, which sounds plain wrong to me. More wrong still, is that there are those who not only believe it, but are willing to invoke it as a supposed rebuttal should one criticize the FD.
  7. On a forum such as this it's unlikely that Delia's going to have many defenders. However, there are millions out there who find her stuff coincides with the priority they give eating in their lives. I really don't think this should be a problem.
  8. I see, only people with a developed sense of humour are able to appreciate this; sort of like the emperor's new clothes. He may or may not be what you say he is, but either way he is not infallible.
  9. Simply regurgitating HB's PR does not make one open-minded. Quite the opposite in fact. If anyone took the time to actually think about this, instead of deferring to spurious authority, it's pretty hard not to come to the conclusion that 'magic water' is an embarrassing gimmick.
  10. HB is in Milan at Identita Golose. Surely he must lie awake at night wondering when he is going to be exposed.
  11. No. I don't think anyone's going to get this actually. It was a place called Gabriel's in Golden Square, themed on Heaven and Hell. The chef, whose name escapes me, was ex Koffman, MPW, Richard Neat. The food was quite good, but it was a financial disaster and lasted less than six months I think.
  12. A bit arch, perhaps. Short-lived, late '90s, London: Tarte tartin of rabbit and pears Skate, celeriac remoulade deep-fried squid Crepinette of lamb shoulder, bean puree. Poached fruits with vanilla panna cotta.
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