QotD: Culinary Celebrity

Who's the coolest culinary celebrity?

Dead or alive?  On tv or just about town?

Alive and on TV, I choose Alton Brown.  Plus he used to be a cameraman, and he rides a motorcycle, and recently got a tattoo of a skull with knife and fork, or was it fork and spoon?  He's intelligent, funny, and his recipes actually work.  I like the food anthropogy angle because I'm an info junkie, plus, he likes vintage stuff and creates alternative tools for use with strange procedures.  I also like Nigella Lawson, but missed every single episode of her new show, Feasts.  Anthony Bourdain is definitely cool, except he smokes, which may mean his food is salty.  Maybe Jamie Oliver is cool, but I've only seen the show where he gets
his aunt to make gnocchi and pizzas in her outdoor pizza oven.  

I could sound off on all the FoodTV folks, but around town, the legendary one here in the Bay Area still seems to be Alice Waters (and maybe some of her proteges).  There's the woman from Boulevard, can't think of her name, but in a foodie place like this, it depends on how high end you eat.   There's the guy who started The Slanted Door.

Dead, it's a toss up between The Two Fat Ladies (oh, how I miss that show) and Julia Child ("skim off the scum, it smells like grandpa's socks!).

But what do we mean by "cool"?  Cool is the chef that gives their extra food to meals on wheels or the local shelter, and is green in their kitchen practices, and maybe, one can argue, is a decent person….

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5 thoughts on “QotD: Culinary Celebrity

  1. Alive and on TV – I agree – Alton Brown. I am also a big fan of Deborah Madison. She makes vegetarianism cool.In the dead and never was on TV category I loved Barbara Tropp. She invented her own cuisine – sort of an Asian fusion thing after spending a number of years living with a family in China. She had a buzzed haircut and rode a Vespa. I still miss her restaurant. I actually crave the food and there is nothing to replace it.

  2. She did publish a cookbook. I actually have an autographed copy that a friend got me for my birthday one year. You could easily spend a whole weekend just creating the pantry items (flavored oils, spice mixes, etc.) that you need to make her recipes. I make some of the Fabulous Cookies of Good Fortune every Christmas and they are wildly popular.

  3. Now that's a super hot tip! I hope it's not out of print—I'd love to buy it as a gift for my sister (who of course loves Asian food but her husband, eh, not so much). She's a closet gourmet chef so I think this is right up her alley. Thanks.

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