Thursday, April 14, 2011

IAAEBP

In the kitchen at El Bulli
Or: the "I Ate at El Bulli" piece. Noreen Malone at Slate mercilessly takes down the endless rhapsodic food writing pieces on the El Bulli experience. You should definitely read it, but I think the Frank Bruni quote echoes my thoughts the best:
El Bulli represents a "strain of merciless competition that split food lovers into two camps: those with the economic means and single-minded focus (or professional affiliation) to gain access to experiences as exclusive and rarefied as El Bulli, and those who had to listen to the rapturous accounts, nod appreciatively and cop to envy, which they were absolutely supposed to feel."
Now, to some extent this is perfectly fine... people read travel writing about places they'll never be able to go... so what's wrong with writing about a restaurant experience that only a select few could ever have? Not a whole lot if that's all it is... a sort of food tourism piece... but I think it's the bragging and one-upsmanship among the food writers themselves, that strikes me as the most unsavory. There is a definite foodie merit badge snobbishness that I don't think can be denied.

Now, if I had dined at El Bulli would I have written a rhapsodic blog post about it? Of course... with tons of pictures! But I think that foodies need to understand... when people talk about Foodies being Gluttons, this is precisely what they are talking about. Nothing in this writing appeals or applies to 99.9% of the world's population... it's just foodies showing off for each other... and you know, fine, right? I'm a foodie and I like showing off too, but let's not get all defensive next time people point it out, OK?