Fine Dining vs. Casual Cooking
I got asked by a very good friend of mine of which “side” I was on the food fence when it came to fine vs. casual cooking. The debate just got some fuel to the fire after Anthony Bordain made a comment about Paula Deen’s style of teaching cooking and "telling an already obese nation that it's O.K. to eat food that is killing us." My friend specifically asked “what would a business look like that mass-produced affordable, healthy food, and is that an oxymoron? I responded:
I don't think it's an oxymoron as much as it's kinda impossible due to the fact that healthy food is normally very fresh. Chefs like Wolfgang Puck (with his Puck Express) and even David Chang (Momofuku's Noodle Bar) have been at the forefront of cheaper healthier eating. The big bad dark secret that is often found is that we (as a society) do not value food. It has little do with people that can't afford a prime ribeye than it does with someone buying a brand new truck and feeding his kids McDonald's. How we choose to afford food is, of course, different to everyone's budget but fresh food will always trump processed food. Our own and our kid's health, however, when tended to carefully often leads to a much healthier life. Fresh produce is not that expensive. One could quickly check out our farmer's market downtown or to the many farmers in the small burbs to realize that.
Companies that focus on healthy food mass produced (like Kashi and Lean Cuisine) are trying to make money as a niche, and do a great job at it. I just wonder what the true motivation behind it is. Whether you cook Paula Deen's deep fried turkey tenders, Chang's deep fried apple pie, or Bordain's pancetta and pea risotta, it will always be better for you done at home. You get to control the good fats, seasoning and method. I also have no problem dining on Turkey sandwiches with homemade mac and cheese... as long as I get to add some of Black Pepper Bacon on top! God, I was born to be a butcher.
So I guess, I just love great food no longer how it’s prepared. Frying in pork lard is just like anything you eat- it must be done in moderation. Looking for a recipe, want to share one? Email "The Butcher" firstname.lastname@example.org