Back To Basics

I’m back…sort of.  I’m still pretty loopy from the pain medication (what kind of doctor prescribes morphine these days?  not that I’m complaining, mind you, it’s just…bananas and very confusing).  And I slept for 48 hours straight, missing what all of the weathercasters were apparently referring to as the “best weekend on record” here in Houston.  Damn.

It’s taking me about five times as long to do anything right now, including typing.  I feel like molasses on a cold day; like a 45 LP played at 33 1/3 rpm.  And — most distressing — I’m not hungry.

I was only hungry for about an hour yesterday when I woke up sometime around midmorning to Bobby Flay, that little shrew-faced man-harridan, devoting an entire show to beefless burgers.  What?  Beefless burgers?  Why?  Irritating already…

But.  Oh.  Tuna burgers.  Like, fresh, sushi-grade tuna burgers with this tapenade aioli that looked like savory divinity.  And chicken cobb burgers with my two.favorite.things.EVER: bacon and blue cheese.  And these scrumptious little Mediterranean turkey burgers that were stuffed into hearty pitas with fresh apple raita.  Oh, God.  I was suddenly and desperately starving, and all I could eat was Jell-O!

And then I had an epiphany.

I don’t hate Bobby Flay.  How could I have hated him all these years when he makes such amazing food?  How have I ignored this simple, basic fact for so long?  I watched his nimble, clever hands work and I drooled — and not from the medication, either.  His food was so fresh and basic and accessible, but without being pedantic or contrived.

And here’s where I was going wrong: I was concentrating so much on his tannic personality that I couldn’t get past it long enough to appreciate his talent.  True, in some areas, you may never be able to ignore a strident attitude or general arrogance.  But cooking is not one of those areas.  If you can produce — and produce well — it doesn’t matter.  I don’t care how much of an asshole he may be in real life or even on his show, I now love Bobby Flay.

Ebuillient and satsified with my newfound live-and-let-live attitude towards celebrity chefs, I rolled back over and fell asleep, while dreams of tiny turkey pitas danced in my head.

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2 responses to “Back To Basics

  1. Agreed on his personality, until just recently. The food network has REALLY worked on humanizing him and making him more accessible to people through some brilliant casting on Throwdown (where he gets humbled as often as he wins) and through various guest spots where he’s allowed to really shine.

    Is he still a little bit of a prick? Yeah, but he’s at least making an EFFORT to come across like he has something other than pure contempt for the viewers, something that Emeril, for all of his curious popularity, never quite mastered.

    Oh, and Bobby’s food is superior as well.

    The Food Network catches a lot of well-deserved grief for getting a lot of things wrong, but with Flay, at least, they’re starting to get it right.

    Now if we could just get them to get rid of that no-talent hack Giada we’d be onto something.

    Sleep well.

  2. I like and respect Bobby Flay – his Mesa Grill cookbook is awesome and I totally get why it’s considered one of the premier restaurants in NYC.

    He really was an arrogant ass way back when he won the original Iron Chef and he stood on the cutting board….the audience and the other chefs were beyond horrified! You would have thought that he had taken a crap on the cutting board and not just stood on it! I think he’s redeemed himself now.

    However, I would much rather watch Giada and her weird big head than Rachel Ray….she’s horrendous. Her voice makes my dogs howl.

    At least Giada went to Le Cordon Bleu and is an actual chef.

    Let’s face it, the Food Network has become the go-to network for the unimaginative, non-foodie hausfraus of Middle America looking for that next great canned soup recipe.

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