Monday, October 26, 2009

Trendy Monday: The Negatives

Libby just sent me a link to this Serious Eats post (by Michael Natkin) about this Chicago Tribune list of the top 10 worst food trends. They are:

10. Fried onion blossoms
9. Molecular gastronomy
8. The $40 entree
7. The communal table
6. Proudly obnoxious fast food options
5. Knee-jerk online reviews
4. Foam
3. The menu as book
2. The chef as media whore
1. Deconstruction

My thoughts:

1. I'm pretty sure at least half of these could also be called "worst Top Chef trends." Especially #4 (foam).

2. At the same time, I think there's a place for those trends, and they're only annoying on Top Chef because they become overly obvious.

3. On #2 (chef as media whore): Rocco Di Spirito was pretty outrageously annoying on his own show, it's true. But at some point, we're going to have to stop ripping on him. As a whole, celebrity chefs - the real ones - have done the American public more good than harm, at least in my opinion. I also love the way Natkin sums up his opposition to this "trend." He says, "The same folks who like to complain about this wouldn't dream of missing an episode of Top Chef." Totally true. Interesting, too, that Top Chef gets a total pass.

4. Bloggers and online reviewers are annoying (#5)? Ah...don't read them? Seriously, if I had a nickel for every "bloggers suck" article I've read from a traditional reporter...I'd have more money than I make on my blog. But really, this argument always reeks of reporter whininess to me. There's a place for critics and a place for bloggers. Restaurants aren't getting worse, or getting a raw deal, because they get more exposure.

5. Overall, I agree with Natkin when he says, "This list is basically just a bunch of populist rabble-rousing, bashing of supposed elites who have become too effete to enjoy the pleasure of simple, rustic food. The only problem is, these creatures barely exist."

6. Finally, Bloomin' Onions (#10) are delicious. Nothing and no one will convince me otherwise.


Michael Natkin said...

Glad you liked the post; I enjoyed reading your analysis!

Kit Pollard said...

Thanks! Yours was a great post - obviously, I agree with your take!


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