The new issue of the Weekly Standard has one hell of a picture on the cover. It's Raechel Ray, all shiny and snuggled up to Emeril, looking like she's three hours into a kegger the summer before her sophomore year in college. (Yes, it is possible that I just said too much about how I look in every picture taken of me during the summer of 1994.)
Anyway, the cover article is by Victorino Matus, an editor at the Standard and the cowriter of one of my favorite (highly non-food) blogs. Matus is writing a book on celebrity chefs and basically got my dream assignment here - he interviewed a bunch of truly amazing chefs, including Jacques Pepin, Anthony Bourdain and Michel Richard of Citronelle in DC.
The gist of the article is that we're at a strange time in chefdom. It's not without precedence - the culture of the celebrity chef has existed for hundreds of years - but today it is on a scale that was unthinkable even two decades ago. Not to mention that today, the definition of "chef" is a whole lot looser. The end result of that is a weird sense of expectation and desire among aspiring chefs - including that six year old featured in Food & Wine who was driving me crazy a few weeks ago.
It's a very good article - a fantastic teaser for the book.