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The Cult of The Super Chef ( long )


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The Cult of The Super Chef ( long )

Simon Majumdar | Jan 23, 2001 08:02 AM

Time for another rant.

I am just having my lunch ( the remains of a duck pastilla I made on Sunday BTW - much better for having sat for a couple of days ) and reading through the Sunday Papers ( not improved at all by having sat for a couple of days ) and the obsession of just about every critic and food enthusiast for the star chef is really beginning to get to me.

I am surprised that AA Gill was able to write at all with his lips so firmly atttached to MPW's posterior in the Sunday Times review. Jonathan Meades, the previous day was just as deserving of the OBN. When will he propose to MPW we wonder?

This all exemplifies the growing cult of the celeb chef. Who goes from being a decent cook to being a god for the besuited classes whose every utterance is considered gospel and whose every accolyte is considered to have received the divine gift. But, as in so many cases, they have feet of clay

In the last few days there have been articles by Gary Rhodes, Gordon Ramsay, MPW, AWT and a host of others and all spouting forth on their thoughts on life, The Universe and everything. Does anyone really give a flying ***** what these people think about anything other than food? Whenever MPW opens his mouth he displays less knowledge of life than Posh Spice. Is there anyone on the planet who doesn't know that GR could have played professional football if he wanted? Does anyone really care? In one article by someone I truly loathe but wont mention because even the very thought of him brings bile to my throat, a chef even had the temerity to profer his opinion on the homeless situation in NY. Is it just me who finds that kind of thing offensive?

Even within the sanctity of Chowhound where it is the food that is king, be it a Tandoori Roll from a street market in Calcutta, to the tasting menu at Charlie Trotters, we are now having discussions about chefs being better because they have trained under one chef rather than another rather than if they are any good in their own right or who has got more stars than who because he got in a professional napkin folder the day before they were to judge the place or he measured the distance between the Petits on the plate to an exact 3mm. I know all of this can be fun, but please!!!!

London is turning ( maybe it turned a long time ago and I just didn't notice ) into a foodie Serengeti where herds flock to the latest movement to catch their eye. Then filled with poor overpriced food, they move on.

There are so many wonderful things on offer in London, but when did Meades last go to Southall or when did AA Gill last eat somewhere that was not designed by someone called Jocasta?

Maybe its just me being sad and cynical as I feel the G forces of hurtling towards 40, but I am sure that it is getting worse.

Rant over.

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