Interesting piece in the NYT today: The Fat Pack Wonders if the Party’s Over
The gist of the article is that there are a bunch of foodies and especially foodie bloggers out there revelling in Pork Fat and are all finally getting to a point where they have to come to terms with the terrible things they are doing to their bodies. The article focuses on one of the original E-Gullet founders, but mentions various newspaper critics and other bloggers as well.
I think the piece took an unnecessarily negative approach to the foodie philosophy. A few excerpts:
“If 1960s Las Vegas had its Rat Pack and 1980s cinema its Brat Pack, early 21st century food has its Fat Pack…The journalists, bloggers, chefs and others who make up the Fat Pack
combine an epicure’s appreciation for skillful cooking with a glutton’s
bottomless-pit approach. Cramming more than three meals into a day,
once the last resort of a food critic on deadline, has become a way of
life. If the meals center on meat, so much the better.”
“Most of us who are in this profession are here as an excuse to eat,”
said Mimi Sheraton, the food writer and former New York Times
restaurant critic who has chronicled her own battle with weight loss.
Still, she said, “I’ve never seen such an outward, in-your-face
celebration of eating fat.”
Personally, an ideal meal out for me is not one that embraces fat but one that embraces flavor, with simplicity and healthfulness being a bonus, not a detraction. IMHO, it is much harder to make a chicken breast taste good then shortribs. I am way more impressed with the chef that does the former (as long as it was not achieved using mass amounts of dairy or bacon!) rather than the latter. We actively seek out places that excel with fish and vegetable dishes. Of all the trendy things out there right now, I think Crudo is one of the best ways to assess a chef’s creativity and skill, as it requires a careful balance of subtle ingredients. It is a category of food where too much fat ruins, rather than enhances, the end product.