Table for Two
November 30, 2009 4:26 PM   Subscribe


 
Vogue Food Editor? Is this where I make the "jumbo shrimp" oxymoron joke?
posted by GuyZero at 4:29 PM on November 30, 2009


CRISPY

PENIS
posted by fire&wings at 4:30 PM on November 30, 2009


?
posted by fire&wings at 4:30 PM on November 30, 2009


Both Mrs. Beese and I have been unsettled by what we perceive as a change in Steingarten's demeanor during his recent Food Network appearances. In blunt terms, he seems increasingly hostile towards his on-air colleagues and not altogether with it.

I hope it's just the editing.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:32 PM on November 30, 2009


The man eats for real, GuyZero.

In just six months, I succeeded in purging myself of nearly all repulsions and preferences, in becoming a more perfect omnivore. This became apparent one day in Paris, France--a city to which my arduous professional duties frequently take me. I was trying a nice new restaurant, and when the waiter brought the menu, I found myself in a state unlike any I had ever attained--call it Zen-like if you wish. Everything on the menu, every appetizer, hot and cold, every salad, every fish and bird and piece of meat, was terrifically alluring, but none more than the others. I had absolutely no way of choosing. Though blissful at the prospect of eating, I was unable to order dinner. I was reminded of the medieval church parable of the ass equidistant between two bales of hay, who, because animals lack free will, starves to death. A man, supposedly, would not.

The Catholic Church was dead wrong. I would have starved--if my companion had not saved the day by ordering for both of us. I believe I ate a composed salad with slivers of foie gras, a perfect sole meunière, and sweetbreads. Everything was delicious.

posted by maudlin at 4:35 PM on November 30, 2009


In blunt terms, he seems increasingly hostile towards his on-air colleagues and not altogether with it.

I'm convinced this is the work of the producers. They want him to play the part of the hostile, acerbic judge, and it really brings down the tone of Food Networks' shows (which are getting increasingly and pointlessly melodramatic).
posted by spiderskull at 4:36 PM on November 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


I was reminded of the medieval church parable of the ass equidistant between two bales of hay, who, because animals lack free will, starves to death. A man, supposedly, would not.

In ancient Rome...
posted by Sys Rq at 4:45 PM on November 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


spiderskull: "pointlessly melodramatic"

I won't have you impugning Dropping a Six Foot Tall Disney Themed Rice Crispy Treat onto the Floor or English Woman Hates Your Cake like that.
posted by boo_radley at 4:46 PM on November 30, 2009 [21 favorites]


They need him on that show though Joe, just like a well balanced dish needs a note of acidity, a splash of vinegar to contrast the sweet.
posted by vronsky at 4:49 PM on November 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


Anyone know if his book they're always pushing on food network is any good?
posted by dead cousin ted at 5:29 PM on November 30, 2009


I hope she's playing Susie Greene here, because otherwise, some poor soul has to listen to that woman daily.
posted by HopperFan at 5:30 PM on November 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Nothing like crispy penis."

How gauche. Penis is best eaten rare.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:37 PM on November 30, 2009


Anyone know if his book they're always pushing on food network is any good?

I've just started it -- my husband loved it, and has tried making the apple pie recipe.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 5:41 PM on November 30, 2009


Anyone know if his book they're always pushing on food network is any good?

If you like food, yes. His writing style is a little rambly, like his talking style, but he has a wealth of knowledge about food.
posted by Dr. Send at 5:42 PM on November 30, 2009


Raw cock is best, but whipped cream and a maraschino cherry can add to the presentation.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:43 PM on November 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Penis is best eaten rare.

Blowjob Girl (College Humor Video - probably shouldn't be viewed at work without headphones)
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 5:44 PM on November 30, 2009


They want him to play the part of the hostile, acerbic judge, and it really brings down the tone of Food Networks' shows (which are getting increasingly and pointlessly melodramatic).

It's all part of The Dumbening. I'm amazed Good Eats is still on there, because it's the only show left that's not the least bit stupid. (ICA is a huge guilty pleasure for me, though.) This has been the trend since Scripps bought the Food Network, which beforehand had some of the best cooking shows ever. Now it's Walmart-ized.

Scripps just recently bought the Travel Channel, so you can bet the same thing's going to happen there. They'll find their Rachael Ray and their Neelys, they'll travel to exotic Orlando, and Bourdain will quit in disgust (if they don't cancel No Reservations first). This is Bourdain's take on what happened when Scripps bought the Food Network:
I used to be on the Food Network, but I think I slipped under the wire. The network at that point used to be run by a cabal of people getting bored with their own programming. For whatever reason, they gave me two years of traveling wherever I wanted, doing pretty much what I've been doing on "No Reservations." After two years, they wanted me riding around on a pony in a parking lot doing chili cook-offs instead of going to foreign countries. My feeling was, "Let someone else do that."
posted by middleclasstool at 6:00 PM on November 30, 2009


Penis is best eaten rare.

My penis is its own saucier.

sorry everyone
posted by hifiparasol at 6:16 PM on November 30, 2009


If you like food, yes. His writing style is a little rambly, like his talking style, but he has a wealth of knowledge about food.

I've always enjoyed his rambly style but have been on the fence about picking up his book, but I think I will now.
posted by dead cousin ted at 6:19 PM on November 30, 2009


I'm convinced this is the work of the producers.

I wouldn't be entirely sure.

Back in 2005 (right after Iron Chef America had started, as I recall), I went to a seminar at the Museum of Television and Radio (now the Paley Center for Media) that was called "The Edible Airwaves: Cooking for Television". Panel was Mario Batali, Alton Brown, Giada De Laurentiis, and the senior VP of programming for Food Network. Steingarten was the host, and was (to put it mildly) a jerk.

He trashed Giada, claiming she only had a show because she was pretty, despite the objections of the senior VP of programming.

He attacked the entire panel for having an advantage in selling cookbooks because they were on TV.

He went off on tangents, including one about how Gisele Bundchen was found at a McDonald's and, separately, how Martha Stewart had changed and didn't have time for her friends.

He lamented how Food Network didn't have any old people hosting shows. The audience called him out with two words: Paula Dean.

The panel ended up largely being more "What Jeffrey Steingarten Doesn't Like About The Food Network" rather than some sort of look at what's involved in cooking on television. And keep in mind, this was 2005 - before Food Network started its descent.

I do believe something is up as of late, because my old blog post about the event has been gradually gaining more comments over the last month or two.

Also: he decided to shit all over a post about Di Fara, widely considered one of the better pizza places around NYC. He even pulled out a dictionary definition to nitpick over the usage of the word "factoid".

Christ, what an asshole.
posted by Remy at 6:45 PM on November 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


In a perfect world Morimoto would face off versus a competitor only to have the theme ingredient revealed to be a hogtied and listless Bobby Flay. Morimoto would then go on to compose 5 perfectly balanced dishes, one of which using Fugu, and serve them to the usual motley crew including Steingarten. Unfortunately Morimoto's sous-chef would have ( purposefuly in a vengeful nod to Flay and Morimoto's history? ) been a little careless with his santoku, and as Alton stumbles to come up with commentary, Steingarten would crumple in his seat.

Thus ending the the reign of two of my most hated food related personalities.
posted by cloax at 6:58 PM on November 30, 2009 [9 favorites]


Oh good lord, I love me some Jeffery Steingarten. My favorite story, from The Man who Ate Everything (I think,) is when he made and sliced up a big fresh loaf of bread, then spread margarine instead of butter on it. Then he hid until his wife came to take a bite, just to see the look on her face.

I don't know why, but I think of that story probably twice a month and laugh every time.

(NOT-MARGARINIST)
posted by sugarfish at 7:03 PM on November 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


After two years, they wanted me riding around on a pony in a parking lot doing chili cook-offs instead of going to foreign countries. My feeling was, "Let someone else do that."

I choose iron chef Bobby Flay!
posted by furtive at 7:25 PM on November 30, 2009


This is good, is there more?
posted by furtive at 7:28 PM on November 30, 2009


I won't have you impugning Dropping a Six Foot Tall Disney Themed Rice Crispy Treat onto the Floor or English Woman Hates Your Cake like that.

Ha, aren't those both the same show?
posted by spiderskull at 8:18 PM on November 30, 2009


Christ, what an asshole.

There was one episode of ICA when he announced at the beginning of the tasting that he hated cranberries. "Well, then you're going to hate this menu," said the Iron Chef (Flay, I think). One of the other judges said she loved cranberries, and Steingarten was crazy. He actually made the argument that she was only saying that because she hails from a major cranberry-producing state and so was biased. For fucking cranberries.
posted by middleclasstool at 8:27 PM on November 30, 2009


Steingarten struck me as a fascinating and illuminating piece of work when he published The Man Who Ate Everything in '97. Since then, however --somewhere in long in-between-- his glow faded; he now strikes me as world-weary, jaded, and bitter.

His schtick hasn't aged well, and I can't help but think it's high time he move on to other things, rather than let the downward-spiraling Scripps buffoons put him on display as a curmudgeonly caricature of, well... himself.
posted by deCadmus at 8:31 PM on November 30, 2009


I read two of his books and loved them. Some months later, I tuned into Iron Chef and was laughing at a pompous sourpuss judge. It slowly dawned on me that the writer I admired somehow was the very same judge. I still sort of don't believe it.
posted by user92371 at 10:43 PM on November 30, 2009


I've always thought that people who write professionally are boring, obnoxious and miserable in real life. They realise this themselves, so they neurotically edit away all their boring, obnoxious and miserable eruptions on the word processor, until a sympathetic, witty, erudite person magically appears in print.

Jeffrey Steingarten is my new poster boy for this theory.
posted by NekulturnY at 4:48 AM on December 1, 2009


Scripps just recently bought the Travel Channel, so you can bet the same thing's going to happen there. They'll find their Rachael Ray and their Neelys, they'll travel to exotic Orlando...

Travel Channel has pretty-much become Food Network-South. Watch any evening and you'll be treated to a wide variety of low-end food porn...think the Bang Bus of food. Apparently, the only actual travel on the Travel Channel involves hauling Andrew Zimmern's corpulent mass around the globe.

But Zimmern's absolutely classy compared to Adam Richman's sideshow geek antics.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:08 AM on December 1, 2009


Jeffrey Steingarten is my new poster boy for this theory.

This is a bit disappointing for me because I love Steingarten's columns in Vogue. They're always the second thing I read in the magazine every month. He really takes you places with his writing, and I like his attention to detail and the extreme ends he goes to make the perfect recipe. I only know him from his writing, and I feel a bit sad that he's not the catholic, wide-ranging person I had envisioned him to be.

Oh, well. The videos were funny!
posted by bluefly at 10:35 AM on December 1, 2009


I kind of lost all respect for Steingarten when I read the section of The Man Who Ate Everything in which he describes the technique for making pie crusts. His description on mixing the butter into the flour is three pages long and excruciatingly detailed, to the point of saying how far you should hold your hands above bowl to allow the air to cool the butter while it falls. (Right... I'm guessing the ambient temperature and humidity of the room have an order of magnitude more impact than that extra .1 seconds of air-cooling.) It's pretty clear that he just watched someone make a really good pie crust, wrote down everything they did in meticulous detail, and turned that into some kind of dogmatic view of the right way to do it. Basically everything I hate about cooking and the people who do it.
posted by albrecht at 11:57 AM on December 2, 2009


It's pretty clear that he just watched someone make a really good pie crust, wrote down everything they did in meticulous detail, and turned that into some kind of dogmatic view of the right way to do it. Basically everything I hate about cooking and the people who do it.

Reminds me of the stories I heard, probably apocryphal, of US ships getting seized by the Japanese during WWII that were then duplicated precisely, down to the repair patches on the boilers.

I used to think baking was a dark art, mostly I think because bakers were pleased to let me think that. Michael Ruhlman stunned me with the news of how very simple it is, at its core. Simple ratios form the core, add whatever the hell you want to that, apply heat.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:18 PM on December 2, 2009


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