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Jon Tseng

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Everything posted by Jon Tseng

  1. Mikey boy; chill dude. no need to start name-calling! strikes me that debating whether a chef copies another chef is like wondering whether it was michel or albert who ate all the pies (answers on a postcard) . ie sort of amusing but ultimately several omelettes rothschild wide of the point. hestons cooks stuff. hestons stuff tastes really nice. as a true foodie, that's actually all need to know (apart from what the number is, is there parking and do they do set lunches on the weekend). personally i couldn't care less if he was cooking from the ready steady cook party funbook. go fig. right, i'm off to start a decent thread on restaurant reviews. anyone coming? J PS anyone seem Restaurant magazine. (published by the guys behind restaurantgame.com) a great cross between caterer and [insert name of fairly credible glossy magazine here]. go buy.
  2. If one assumes: i) People have access to the same ingredients ii) People have a common culinary heritage iii) People think about food alot could it be remote possible that: iv) People think of similar dishes independently of each other? what's the probability of that? just a thought. Jonny T Proud (independent) inventor of the fried risotto cake, which was somehow copied by several notable italian bistros located in the vicinity of upper street.
  3. Still don't quite get the plagiarism thing: When people talk about this they seem to imply someone is copying either an ingredient combination, a technique or both. Two words. Pigs Trotters. Two more. Duck confit. A few more. Any kind of seafood and a vanilla sauce. And more: beurre blance 70's revival and derivatives thereof. If Heston Blumenthal is a plagiarist then so is Marco, Nico, Gordon, Alain, Joel, Paul B and, in fact, anyone who has ever adapted a method/flavour combination ever used before (so that would be the entire academie culinarie de france then. <grin>). So you can't really have a go at someone for taking inspiration from what everyone else does. Can you have a go at someone for taking inspiration for others and claim its was all their own idea? Well yes in theory but I think Heston has provided pretty definitive evidence that he /does/ think for himself. Two words: Lime/potato. Two more: Caviar/chocolate. two more: spoon-feeding (and we're not talking ADNY here...) Having eaten chez Heston a couple of times and talked to the guy I would say he is more original than 99.99% of the chefs you are likely to see; which is good enuff for me. J PS viz cuttlefish ravioli, couldn't you argue adria was plagiarising carpaccio for freezing his beef before slicing it thin (technique), or that recipe in charlie trotters book where he makes 'ravioli' with thinly sliced turnip (ie idea of making ravioli with thinly slices of something-that-isn't-pasta). Seems arguments around is it plagiariam/taking inspiration miss the point that no man is an island. Heck, is an arugment I see over there, or just another mobius strip? ;-)
  4. Ack. Two debates in one. Both veering rapidly off-topic! i) VIZ REVIEWS. I guess where one should have supped depends on what you want from a review. Two positions: a) if you think a review should be a fount of definitive, objective criticism the review should have eaten everywhere, preferably several times. And not just at the starred places. After all you would expect a theatre critic to have read both his shakespeare and his pinter wouldn't you? If a lit. critic should be as widely read as poss, a food critic should be as widely eaten. Industry experience also useful. b) if you think a review should tell you 'would i have fun nite out here' the only real criteria for reviewer is that they should be normal. Indeed, in-depth experience or industry knowledge would be a negative, as these distract from the reviewer's ability to assess the experience as an ordinary punter. After all, food is only a very small part of the overall experience... Atmosphere, setting, service... you don't need to have only been to restaurants to be able to size these up. as ever, the truth is somewhere in between. ii) VIZ OVERWEIGHT AQUATIC POULTRY. Criticising Heston for not being original seems like criticising Messr. Jay (due respect) for not being Elizabeth David. Chefs virtually never doing genuinely original stuff (viz the saying about a great chef being one who discovers one genuinely new dish in his lifetime eg Senderens, lobster and vanilla). I suspect Adria has just lifted the bar a little to high in terms of originality/expectation. bastard. Anyhow, chefs (even Adria) always build on what their predecessors have done, and from what I have seen/tasted Heston is more original than most. ####. ttfn J
  5. Kewl! Celebrity journalist! (and commenting on celebrity journalism! Ah irony... ;-) Anyhow: i) suspect the fundamental problem with OFM is it whether to appeal to a) foodies or b) wider audience. The comparison with OSM is that there are far more sport geeks (or whatever the sporting equivalent to a foodie it) out there, so that issue does not have this dilemma, so it can run as many Top Tens, greatest ever..., obscure historical bits as much as possible. Bottom line: OSM has a larger core market than OFM (hmmm). ii) Ironically best thing in OSM is as Top Ten's, Greatest ever etc. Still think this would be a fantastic idea to add something like this into OFM (see the Chef of the Century threat for evidence of the everlasting appeal of true genius). But then again you run into the is-there-an-audience-for-it problem. Either you can write as an unashamed foodie and dammit if no-one gets all the side-references (viz Terry Durack) or you can do the Hello! thing... iii) Resto reviews. Arse. Yes, can see how the power-brokers at Life don't wanna lose their free meals. hmmm. Still think supplementary in-depth reviews would be a good way to stand out from the competition in the way that yet another ingredient-theme-with-recipes-piece doesn't. In the long run if you could build a Maschler-esque reputation as the place to go for the definitive blag on the latest new joint it would be the repositary for definitive review earning you much kudos and many free luncheon invites... (or something) iv) Real cookbook reviews! (again I guess the Books section would scream bloody murder - but I never see them review Dornenberg-Page's latest...). Haven't seen proper cookbook reviews (incl. road-testing of recipes perhaps?) in any major newspaper (viz the ones in Caterer by chefs or the hand-on reviews in Cooks Illustrated - both fantastic). Surely something that would sit well in OFM? As they say, it's much easier to sit on the outside and throw stones... wonder if i hit anybody ;-) Cheers Jon
  6. Why did Marx drink herbal tea? ... cuz he thought proper tea was theft! boom boom! ;-)
  7. Mmm. Stil think OFM has never lived up to its potential. Always seems to lack ideas: -Piece on seasonal ingredients of the month -Standard celeb interview dressed up with a 'food' slant (wouldn't look that out of place in the normal magazine section, -(Yet) another Heston Blumenthal article (yes the man is a genius, no crab ice-cream is no longer a surprise), -Standard ingredient-theme-piece (viz Sainsburys magazine) -Standard ingredient-theme-with-recipe piece All well-written and readible, I give you but nothing which would have looked out of place in the weekly food section of any food magazine in the last five years. Dunno. Guess I couldn't do any better, but to me a magazine lives not only by quality of writing but the originality and interestingness of its article ideas... Plus why are the restaurant reviews still stuck away in the other supplement? If eating out is so much a part of foodie culture now, surely OFM should have some eating out reviews (FT runs restaurant reviews in both its Weekend Review and W/E magazine - surely OFM could do likewise). I still think OFM is missing out on a chance to produce definitive, in-depth reviews a la the US model (more on this beef at a later date). That's my thruppence anyhow... ttfn J
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