A Public Service Announcement: Please stop sucking.

OK, so I’m taking a cooking class from Chef Tory Miller, head chef and owner of L’etoile (much more on both of those in another rant), on really festive foods for the holidays. I mean we are talking Carpaccio of Beef Tenderloin with White Truffle Pesto and Crisp Vegetable Salad in a Verjus Vinaigrette, Pan Roasted Lobster Tail with Claw-Meat Risotto and Sauce Americaine, and Chocolate Cake with Warm Dark Chocolate Sauce and Peppermint Stick Ice Cream. It was stupid-good, which is where you put a bite in your mouth, and then you put the fork down and curse silently to yourself until you can remember how to speak again.

There were about 15 of us at the class, and I notice a clutch of college-aged girls at the end of the table. And they are talking and giggling and being college girls. These are the ones who said they were vegetarians, right before Chef Tory bifurcated the lobster’s brain. Yes, that was as funny as you imagine it was. No, they wouldn’t give me their lobster to eat, but I did ask. Anyway, I am chewing on the lobster shell searching for errant grains of risotto and it hits me. These idiot girls are talking. They are talking while they have this food in front of them. They are completely oblivious to the rapture that should be spasming through their young nubile bodies (which would have been like, awesome).

It was then I realized just how far down the foodie path I had come. I no longer understood people who weren’t foodies. I don’t understand people who don’t at least in some measure seek out good food. And those are the people this message is addressed to. You are going to eat today, right? You probably ate yesterday? Then why in God’s name wouldn’t you at least try to make it something good???

OK here you go, I’ll make your excuses for you: I don’t like to cook, I don’t have enough time, I can’t afford to eat out, I like junk food, I’m not going to pay alot for this muffler, I need to watch my weight, it all tastes the same, I only eat because I have to, I’d rather just throw something in the microwave. I get all that, I really do. I work, I am not independently wealthy, and I have a 9 year old daughter. Most nights when I come home everyone else has eaten, so some quick pasta or a bowl of cereal is dinner. But while I am eating those Strawberry Yogurt Cheerios, I am looking though a cooking magazine while watching the food channel, dreaming about what I’m going to make when I do have time.

Cooking good food, is easy. Cooking stupidgood food is something else entirely. But cooking good food? Find a recipe that looks good, get good ingredients (yes that will cost more, suck it up) and follow directions. Chop that up, put it in the thing, put the other part on top of it and bake it at whatever and then it beeps and you have dinner. You want to make it really good? Serve it to someone you love. If it’s good that will make it great. If it’s bad that will make it hilarious.

What I’m really ranting against here is not lack of knowledge, but ignorance. That willful disdain of learning something, and then the audacity to try to turn that into a badge of honor. People confusing being an asshole with strength of character. We are all still learning about cooking. We will never stop learning about cooking. But you don’t want to put something good in your body because you can’t be bothered to put forth the tiniest effort? And then you are going to be proud of that? Here you go. Bon appetit.

~Citizen Chef

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