With her new book out, Alice Waters has been all over the media lately (including a piece in the New York Times that mentioned parenthetically that “Ms. Waters is not in love, though she longs for ‘a good pal to be in the world with,’” prompting calls for foodie matchmaking). So far her most fish-out-of-water moment, says Adam Roberts at Amateur Gourmet, has been a spot on midmorning rumbling round-table The View.
[I]magine my surprise when I saw that the third guest—after Elmo and Tracy Morgan—was none other than the single most important living female food figure in the country (does anyone dispute that?) Alice Waters.
Roberts’s description of the show is hilarious. First of all, he says, the show’s announcer describes Waters as a “natural foods expert.” “That’d be like describing T.S. Eliot as a ‘word organizer,’” notes Roberts (and who uses the phrase natural foods anymore??). Finally, as Alice shows the “ballsy and brash” Joy Behar a roast chicken, Behar asks, “Can’t you shove a beer can in the chicken’s vagina and cook it that way?” Watching this, Roberts says,
I realized how far removed this whole food world is from the ‘real world.’ Obviously everyone’s sense of ‘the real world’ is different, but to me it’s a question of class, education, exposure: what Joy Behar represents, at least for me, is a working class mentality. Why go to a farmer’s market when you can get cauliflower at Publix? Why salt a chicken early when you can put a beer can in its vagina?
In her own way, Joy Behar was the perfect foil for Alice Waters: no coddling, no ring-kissing. Just crass reality in the face of lofty idealism. Between the two, the answer lies.
Yes, Alice Waters on The View is a sign of the times, agrees Eater. Bigger sign of the times? That she came after Elmo and Tracy Morgan.