There is such a profound disconnect between so much of what’s written about food and what’s going on in the rest of the world that I wonder how the writers and editors explain to themselves the relevance of their work. On the one hand, we have a war without end and a recession in which food prices soar; on the other hand, we have recipes for roast duck. Why not roast the duck and get on with it? To say nothing of the spectacular coverage of the candidates eating habits…pass the salt!
It is a lonely experience wondering what’s real and what’s not and especially so without a formal psychiatric diagnosis that unfetters the imagination and allows the wonderer to feel rather at home when the issue of reality is called into question. To be specific, why is there so much fuss about “Iron Chef?” Years ago, when it was produced in Japan by Yukio Hattori, whom I actually met in a barn in Niigata one cold November night huddled over charcoal grilled salmon, the best I’d ever had, Iron Chef was a contest of wills and rather simple and focused. But now, in the States, it’s another P.R. driven event as silly and wonderful as WWF or Brett Michaels, “Rock of Love.” It has absolutely nothing to do with food or cooking. If I see one more grinning chef celebrating his “victory” I’m going to scream. And for chefs who are more comfortable with cooks, knives, and stoves, the experience can be awkward, to say the least. Why is this important to note here? Because I’m trying to minimize distractions.