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kottke.org posts about billbuford

Bill Buford tells the story of Food

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 03, 2006

Bill Buford tells the story of Food Network, a channel that Julia Child could never hope to appear on today.

Update: Accidental Hedonist on Food Network: “The network was no longer about making good food and understanding it, it became about using food to impress other people. Whether it was getting a meal out in 30 minutes, or making the perfect thanksgiving feast, the shows seemed to sell the idea of ‘having’ food knowledge, without actually having any.”

Can’t stand the heat

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 10, 2006

From a Guardian review of Heat, Bill Buford’s new book on, in part, celebrity chef Mario Batali:

Batali would play Bob Marley songs on the sound system, knowing the New York Times restaurant critic was a fan. He would berate staff who failed to recognise celebrities, who must be served first and given special treatment. To make a humble fish soup called cioppino, he would rummage through bins and chopping boards, collecting left overs (tomato pulp, carrot tops, onion skins), then price the dish at $29 and tell the waiters to sell the hell out of it or be fired. Short ribs prepared in advance, wrapped so tightly in plastic wrap and foil that they wouldn’t spurt sauce if stepped on, would keep in the walk-in fridge for up to a week.

Maybe that’s why a recent trip to Babbo was not the top-shelf experience we expected.