Eli Lehrer, How Dare You.

He had to go there. So did I.

Dear Eli,

I believe in indulgence. I believe in art. I believe in food as art. I believe our nation’s capital is worthy of such culinary adventures as molecular gastronomy. And, Eli, I believe you are full of crap. Not even totally sure you have all your facts straight on this one.

Instead of attacking those chefs who have travelled from afar (internationally even) to help our city blossom into a national food destination, why don’t you leave your rants for that annoying line in morning at the McDonald’s drive-thru. Lemme guess, a sausage McMuffin?

Also, a word for the wise: If your butt hurts after two hours of sitting in a chair, I can’t only imagine your writing is suffering these days. My advice, sit longer.

Love, BNC

Read bullshit here

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2 Responses to Eli Lehrer, How Dare You.

  1. Mat Morrison says:

    Don’t know that I agree – but to be honest, I’m not on the ground there in D.C., so not sure how much my comments are worth.

    I was interested/amused/intrigued by the molecular gastronomy movement for a while back in the mid-noughties.

    I liked the way that they co-opted industrial food-making processes, and brought those back into fine dining.

    I liked the way that they stripped meals back to pure flavours, rather than masking cheap ingredients. I liked their attempt to link food & nostalgia. Very Proustian.

    I liked the way they tried to throw off years of old wives’ tales about how to cook, and really looked at their techniques.

    And I liked the humour and showmanship with which they did all of this. A meal at (say) the Fat Duck was like a cabaret. It was fine cooking as fun; a night out.

    But I have the sense now that it has made its contribution to food culture. Even the hardcore molecular gastronomists like Blumenthal (and indeed McGee to a great extent) are distancing themselves from the novelty-for-novelty’s sake stuff that’s happening out there now.

    I fear that — just as the second and third generations of Nouvelle Cuisinists lost that sense of rebellion against the haute cuisinists; becoming the new establishment so neatly parodied at the beginning of “American Psycho” — so the new generation of soi-disant molecular gastronomists have lost the humour and sense of fun that characterised the first generation.

    It’s hard to be fond of a foam in 2011.

    Just my $0.02.

    • Ariell says:

      Great response, Matt. Thank you!

      You make very strong points on the topic of culinary trends fading in and out. To even further your point, Ferran AdriĆ  of elBulli temporarily closed his doors in Roses, Catalonia, Spain. (And, just think, elBulli is currently voted number 1 restaurant in the world.) It is rumored to be financial problems, seeing as he is now on the tour.

      I agree, culinary trends will ebb and flow, but to say that restaurants such as these are the downfall of D.C. dining is just bullocks. And even mentioning McDonald’s in the same sentence as Jose Andres is just poor taste.

      D.C. is blossoming as a food town at an incredible rate. Believe me, people here are ready for it! While we might be a little late housing “overall experience” restaurants such as Rogue24 and VOLT, these places are essential in the effort to put D.C. on the culinary map.

      While I feel Eli succeeded in starting a conversation with his article, I do not feel he merits a platform such as Huff Post to do so.

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