Archive for 2014

Episode: 117

The Year in Foodiness™


2015, sounds like the future, right? Well you know the saying, the more things change.. only this year, things really have changed. Some for good, some for bad, some for weird, and in the world of food we’ve seen some stuff too. Profits are down at McDonalds and General Mills, at General Mills, down by 37%! Mostly due to people not eating as much cereal anymore, which is awesome and which I’d like to take personal responsibility for, of course.

Unfortunately, they’re switching from cereal to things like pre-made frozen, or fast-food breakfast sandwiches, and oreo-flavored hyper-sweetened yogurt. But if it means a drop in cereal profits, then I can celebrate it. And Unilever has dropped their lawsuit against the artisanal mayonnaise company called Just Mayo, turns out that the word mayo doesn’t belong just to them, and their Hellman’s chokehold on the world. Ha Ha Unilever. And even McDonald’s CEO is owning up and saying that they really need to take more responsibility in what they serve America’s obese, french fry stuffing masses. I just saw an ad last night for happy meals that now include a little Clementine orange instead of a sugary dessert. I wonder how many will wind up in the trash, but it’s a start. They’re called Cuties, and while the idea of branded fruit bothers me a lot, I can only fight so many battles, and if it means that the proto-obese toddlers are eating a Clementine instead of a cookie, I guess that’s a start. Now what to do about those f*cking nuggets?

Episode: 116

I have a bone to pick with you


Today, on an all-new Let’s Get Real…”I have a bone to pick with you”…Why would anyone throw away their turkey carcass? Bones are culinary gold, basically a free bonus with purchase, an extra hidden meal, inside the meal. Like a big, bony prize at the bottom of your crackerjacks box, but way better! Generally speaking, the bones and shells of animals have more flavor than the animals themselves! That’s why I have little crumpled bags and random containers of shrimp shells and chicken backs and duck necks crowding my freezer, that’s where the flavor its. I hoard them, because as a chef, that’s where the real value of a food comes from, the flavor and versatility of the bones and shells. That’s REAL. It doesn’t get any more real and anti-foodiness than cooking bones, does it? I mean, have you ever seen ANY Foodiness™ products based on the eating or cooking of bones? The only Foodiness™ bones I can think of are for pets, like bone-shaped doggie biscuits. But ask any dog what he’d prefer, and I’m sure a bloody, greasy steer tibia is WAY tastier than a green Milk-Bone. But as for Foodiness™ bone snacks for people? They’re coming, oh yes, I’m sure they’re coming.

I suppose some of those “calcium-added” products out there, have been pumped up with bone meal, or calcium extracted from bones, but I’ve yet to see anything like “New, One-a-Day Crunchy Bone Vita-Chips for Women! A fun, caveman-like way to get your calcium on, now in pumpkin-spice flavor” You can channel your inner Pebbles Flintstone! But I’m sure it’s coming too…maybe a variety pack with different little bone shapes, even, like little femurs and ribs and vertebrae? Like when I was little and took Flintstones chewable vitamins, I always wanted the Dino ones first, because they were purple and tasted the best. I never liked eating the Fred’s. Who wants to eat Fred?

So join me today, for a trip down the Foodiness™ rabbit-hole to the bone-yard, to talk turkey (carcasses) Paleo, and hipster broths.

Episode: 115

Sometimes…all I need is the air that I breathe…and a plain yogurt


Today, on an all-new Let’s Get Real… “Sometimes…all I need is the air that I breathe…and a plain yogurt”. You know how we’re in an era of “everybody wins” and “it’s all about showing up” and nobody loses or gets picked last or gets any grades anymore, lest we damage their fragile egos? Well, add into that toxic mix a childhood full of overindulgence and incredible advantages and life lived in a bubble of extreme wealth and privilege…and you’ve got, well, you’ve got some pretty precocious, full of themselves kids. I only say this because I’ve been on a stretch of teaching those kids lately, and some have been great, and some have been nightmares. Kids today, at least the affluent, upper-middle class and upward ones, are very sophisticated about food, and that’s good. They’ll be the policy makers and chefs and doctors of my old age, so hopefully their interest and enthusiasm about food will help determine the future of food in the US. But because they’re sophisticated about food, they think they know-it-all about food. They watch Master Chef jr, and endless Food Network, and eat at way better restaurants than I ever do, and go on family trips to Michelin starred restaurants, and they must be getting their egos stroked so furiously in their private schools and at home that they can’t imagine that they’re wrong about anything. Especially food.

I’m only bringing this up because I want to talk about air. Yes, air. Hot air, puffed up air, air added to food. I’ve taught, in the last few months, two different girls who have both said to me, and I quote, ”oh, I make soufflés at home, ALL THE TIME!” Now I know teens are prone to hyperbole, I certainly was, I can’t believe some of the sh*t that came out of my mouth at 14 or 16, but seriously? Who are you talking to here? You make soufflés ALL THE TIME? Uh huh. Just. Shut. Up.

This occurred twice, whilst I was teaching the two different girls about whipping egg whites for a cake. Learning to whip egg whites in an important skill, we all should know how to bring egg whites to a soft peak and know when to stop whipping, but really, “ALL THE TIME”? I know I’m being a little silly, but seriously? No, you don’t, so just STFU. And then, while teaching a group of 11 year old boys a few weeks ago, one of them actually turned to me and said “ next month, we should do an ALL TRUFFLE menu”. STFU you, too. It’s like the mommies and daddies stuck their hot air pumps into their wee ones little tushies, and filled ‘em up with the same toxic gas that they’re full of. The same gas that caused the housing bubble and the tech bubble and the stock bubble we’re in now, and the sub-prime mortgage bubble…and now the overinflated child ego bubble. Is it wrong that I want to want to carry a pin around with me?

So all of this got me thinking about hot air. The parents of these kids are full of it, the kids are full of it, it seems everyone is full of it. Violent-bravado-spewing “entertainers”, sanctimonious GOP winners lying about working together with the president, law enforcement agents in Ferguson MO, fundamentalist anythings, maybe what’s causing global warming and climate change isn’t the overabundance of other greenhouse gasses in the air, maybe it’s all the CO2 we’re exhaling with our long hot streams of bullshit.

Ok, enough of that. I’ll calm down and get to the point. The point is, while land and fuel and water and housing and food and everything else seems to cost us money, air is still free. For now. For now, you can breathe as much air as you like, free of charge. It might not be clean, or fresh, but it’s free.

Chefs have used air forever as an ingredient in foods, what makes bread rise, puff pastry puff? Chicken skin brown? Air. Nothin’ but hot air. Maybe air is the originally Foodiness™ food? Who knows? Well you will, if you tune in.

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