Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >
Sep 25, 2007 09:43 PM

l.a. times article about top chef

is it just me, or does her comment about chowhound sound condescending and disdainful? i also don't see any logic/connection in labeling bourdain as keyser söze...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The whole article is a bit disdainful...because it's a pop culture critique. CH gets lumped in with product placement, robotic host and all sorts of things. I don't know if the term "carping" was the right word...or if the author just doesn't understand full food geekdom although it does seem she understands media

    It's an odd article...points out many things correctly (product placement, the weirdness of food blogs) but doesn't really nail anything in particular...sort of post modern, so to speak.

    10 Replies
    1. re: ML8000

      i can assure you the author 'understands full food geekdom.' she's an accomplished and respected food writer, and i've actually enjoyed reading many of her pieces over the years.

      as AMFM said, we have to have a sense of humor about our obesssion, and i do. i'm the first one to laugh at myself about all this. it really is intelligent, independent, highly educated and successful thirty-something woman sitting at my computer debating with total strangers about the drama that transpires during an episode of a reality tv show.

      i just got the sense that she thinks none of us would know good cuisine if ferran adria, thomas keller and daniel boulud all got together and prepared a meal right in front of us.

      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        Well, you stated in another thread that Brian "has been inconsistent. i can't help myself, i just have a big crush on him :) ". Maybe that's why the you get the sense, 'that she thinks none of us would know good cuisine if ferran adria, thomas keller and daniel boulud all got together and prepared a meal right in front of us" . Some of us care more about looks than actual performance.

        1. re: KTinNYC

          jesus, lighten up!

          what the hell did i do to you that would warrant a personal attack with a nasty comment like that?

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            I apologize if you are offended but what part of my post constitutes a personal attack?

            1. re: KTinNYC

              your statement that "Some of us care more about looks than actual performance."

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Well, I did take that from your post on another thread. That you are willing to over-look some of Brian's shortcomings because you find him attractive. The way I read it, this constitutes putting appearance before performance. Am I wrong?

                  1. re: adrienne156

                    I apologize if I misunderstood but I thought those post were pretty clear...

                    "malarkey's a total cutie [even if he is married]"

                    "yes, he has been inconsistent. i can't help myself, i just have a big crush on him :) [i know, he's married, but girl can dream.]
                    but i've actually already said that although it'd be nice to watch my eye candy all the way until the very end, i'm pretty sure it will be a hung-casey final, and i'm rooting for casey all the way."

                  2. re: KTinNYC

                    aha...see, i wasn't wrong in my assumption that you were taking a shot at me.

                    yes, i did post that comment about malarkey on another top chef board, but you sort of misunderstood...or i guess just took it too literally. it was supposed to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek. i never intended to imply that i'd put a contestant's looks before performance in terms of whether i believed he or she DESERVED to make it to the finals or win the competition, just that i was glad i got to watch him.

                    i've stated several times that i don't think he is nearly the strongest chef...i certainly don't think he deserves to win. i simply have a little soft spot for him. i have since day one, and looks aside, it's really mostly because i used to live in s.d. and oceanaire is a favorite restaurant of many of my friends there.

                    here's another way of looking at it. for argument's sake i'm going out on a limb here guessing you might be a yankees fan ;)

                    let's say you're watching a batting competition, and derek jeter is one of the final four players left in the competition [he's not really my type, but so many women seem to swoon over him]. anyway, he may be up against three other better batters, and may have even racked up more strikeouts than anyone else yet somehow managed to make it to the final four. isn't there a chance you'd be happy you had the chance to continue watching it out of loyalty, or for some other reason...even though the other players had performed better than he had?

                    that's all i was saying.

                    this whole thing perfectly illustrates perhaps my biggest frustration with online communication, whether it's email, message boards, blogs...the subtle nuances of tone & implication are easily lost, and comments are very often misinterpreted.

                    no hard feelings...?

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      No hard feelings at all!

                      BTW, I'm a Mets fan, Yankees suck, lol!

      2. I actually think it's kind of funny. if we make fun of the show (for many of the same things, like unrealistic challenges and blatant product placement, that she does) can't we laugh at our own obsession with it. I mean I'm still posting this not ignoring it right? And that's all the media gods want. the least we can do is be aware of our own role as cogs in a machine.
        it's still a fun escape. but it might be sad if it was all i did. :) besides it means she did her research on the true pop culture implications of the show for a certain subset of the population.
        it's just a bit embarrassing to feel critiqued - the same as it is when i realize an advertising campaign for 30ish moms with certain spending habits is (gasp! how did that happen?) directed right at me and (even more of a gasp) working. it is what it is. good research. and my own foibles. i am not above it all or too cool. and at this point i'm okay with that.

        2 Replies
        1. re: AMFM

          p.s. i bet Bourdain LOVES being keyzer soze (although never having seen it spelled i really would have thought it was kaiser!). Too funny. Come on the one who really knows everything and is running the show while putting on an act - i think it's an awesome reference. and a FANTASTIC movie btw.

          1. re: AMFM

            agreed...usual suspects is one of my all-time faves [even though i knew who soze was halfway through the movie].

            keyser soze was a sneaky criminal mastermind with a very well concealed identity, whereas bourdain is bold, outspoken, arrogant, and all too willing to say exactly what he thinks. the beauty of the usual suspects and the genius of keyser soze [for most viewers] was the shocking 'twist'/surprise ending. but with bourdain, there are no real surprises. he knows he can be a horse's ass, and he doesn't care to conceal it. in fact, i think he revels in it. what you see is what you get, and i don't see him as "putting on an act" at all.

            sure, he clearly likes to 'play the villain' in certain situations [i.e. judges' table], but that's where the similarity ends for me. abstractly i sort of see what she was going for, but i think it's a stretch.

        2. I think it was definitely snarky in tone. But I LOVED being referenced as totally over the top obsessive blogger (for And Eater isn't even the most obsessive of the blogs. We barely scratch the surface...unless it's a local contestant. Then, admittedly, we go overboard.

          But it's funny that the Times just now writes about the show and especially product placement. Um...shocking. Glad is used everywhere in the episode, and then, gasp!, there's a commercial for it afterwards. The PI is annoying, but you have to admit, it's damn brilliant how it's all wrapped in together. Everyone's making money off of everone else.

          1. Top Chef is alright, but it got a whole lot better when my favorite chef appeared on it! I would love to see him on it all the time! And honestly, what does anyone expect of Top Chef/product placement? Commercials and product placements pay the bills! And for ALL the Rocco haters on this site, this blog DOES reveal the Rocco of today, and he's awesome. Great writer, great chef, has eaten his humble pie and lives to tell about it. Read the blog & the comments too, pretty good stuff:

            1 Reply
            1. re: gottasay

              i'm a huge fan of rocco's because i ate one of the best meals of my life at union pacific when he was cooking there years ago. i also enjoy his writing...i think he's a really sharp guy and it sucks that he's not cooking anymore.

              i'm curious, is there a particular reason he's your favorite chef?