Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Ursher and I didn't have to do a lot of flexin' in March. Besides having to check a few people concerning my man O-beezy's favorite restaurant, Red Rooster, shit was quiet on the blog. I hadn't even read eater in a couple weeks when I saw this thing about the James Beard Humor Awards... Daddy's home.
When will every industry just universally add a humor award? Tragedy is easy, comedy is hard. Woody Allen could murk any hollywood screenwriter, Mark Twain tackled race, wrote perhaps America's first epic with wit, and Shakespeare already told yall. Is it not journalism because humorists don't call and interview people? Why would we need to? Read eater. Nobody does it mo-better than Mo-rabito. Hilarious too that the "writer" who called out the humor section did it anonymously on a list serv. Dude, you're a writer, if you're upset WRITE ABOUT IT... in a PUBLICATION. Listservs are for pedophiles and you.
(I would like to add, Twain wrote under a pen name and there's debate if Shakespeare is Shakespeare so leave @ruthbourdain alone.)
Comedy is the only thing that makes food writing worth it. Otherwise, we could just make picture books with emotional prompts. Photo of Blooming Onion... "cry bitch". Speaking of onion booty, I was quite surprised Perfections wasn't nominated. I'm a big fan of breakfast, it should be a category: James Beard's Favorite Legs & Eggs. Tony, if they do that, will you go to the show?
I fux with Bourdain. There's too much of a disconnect between the Beard Awards and the people who are actually cooking and eating. Who's driving the increased interest in America's Food Scene? Female Asian Yelpers, people who watch No Reservations, and those who read @ruthbourdain. You need the high and the low, white and mexican, hot and sour. Wherever I work, I don't let people call me chef. The respect is in the way they work, not what they call you. If your dudes are showing up early off-the-clock to get prep done, that's fucking respect. If they come in on off-days to make sure no one is fucking up the special, that's respect. If they call you chef, it's pandering.
I think the one part of Bourdain's post that people take the wrong way is that he's not attacking the chefs nominated, he's attacking the institution, which is always a good thing. If you talk to any winning chef, I'm sure he'll start shouting out his team first. The only Beard winner I've worked with was John Currence and in one weekend, I learned more about team than I ever had. Dude had a family that really believed in him, which every restaurant needs. It was dope to find out that his right hand man was a customer first as a student in grad school who gave up what he was doing to work with Currence. Other guys were part-time rappers, part-time cooks, and full-time daddys. That's who cooks our food. #respect
People are pitting Kat and Tony against each other, but if you read the article, I think there is common ground. Kat came up with the Humor section. I think it's BULLSHIT that our trip to Old As Hills Liquor Store was not nominated, but it's all good. Love you boo. I've seen Kat offered free food and every time she turns it down. Even off duty. There is a distinction on this issue though. Tony is right, some people are swag hacks. But, the cooks, chefs, PR people, and owners are equally guilty. Part of it is the culture. We love sharing our food. Cooks love cooking for cooks and a lot of writers are former cooks. The good ones turn it down.
I don't follow the Beard awards. I'm like 3 days late on this post. It doesn't apply to me. I was at Bullfrog and Baum hanging out one day last year and they asked if I followed the awards. I responded, "James Beard is probably just another white dude like Jay Cheshes who can't tell Dan Dan from Zha Jiang mien." Until yall get categories like Best Under $25 Chef, Best Pastrami North, or Best New Restaurant without 3 Guys Wearing Top Hats Standing Under Expensive Heat Lamps... I'm not tuning in. BUT, that doesn't mean the people who win don't deserve it or aren't doing the damn thing. It just means a lot of people were left out. And the ones who are part of the club, should expand it. Cause the party would probably be a lot doper if the cooks were invited:
Two Cooks in France...
Cooks w/ Helmets
Cooks Increasing Food Cost
Cooks w/ Beard Winner