Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Our Condemnations to the Chef

My post on the petty partisan sniping by Andrew Zimmern provoked a few responses. Most succinctly, Dale in Annapolis:

"Chef Andrew Zimmern, a guy famous for putting disgusting things in his mouth ... " Is this yet more proof that you are what you eat?

Jordan from parts unknown is a long time Zimmern reader and has this analysis of his past work:

Your post on Monday regarding our local chef, economist, humanitarian Andrew Zimmern prompted me to respond.

I have been reading Zimmern for a little over a year. I'm a foodie so I can't help it. If there is something new out there I want to know about it. Therefore I have had to simply hold back my gag reflex at times. As you can see from some of the material I have pulled off his blog (some of which you even cited) he tends to find free markets and America repulsive. I have no problems with this. We are all allowed to be as partisan as we want but I must admit it's rather odd to wrap your head around the oysters were outstanding and by the way George Bush sucks.

Zimmern from September 3:

I can also tell you that I cannot wait for the RNC to be over. First off, it means I can walk into a restaurant without having to deal with the inevitable CLOSED FOR A PRIVATE PARTY sign that seems to be hanging in every business I stroll into. Secondly, it means I don’t have to wait in line for three hours to get a sausage sandwich at Cossetta.

Having been someone that used to live Uptown I can somewhat relate as the yearly art festival always me want to pack my bags and stay somewhere else for a few days. But I would not doubt it if Andrew would have been giddy as a school girl had this been the DNC in town.

SP NOTES: Incidentally, Zimmern's claim about the intolerably long lines at Cossetta's have been widely disputed elsewhere. For example, this from the Pioneer Press:

Cossetta's Italian Market and Pizzeria manager Ray Vanyo was mad that it was outside a security perimeter around the Xcel and not easily accessible to delegates. Vanyo described business as "dismal."

In fact, Brian Lambert, writing in the same publication as Zimmern had this to say:

As I walked back to my car last night a guy in an apron was out on the sidewalk waving RNC evacuees into the huge tented garden Cossetta's had set up for all that windfall business we heard so much about in the months leading up to the invasion of "rich, white oligarchs" as "The Daily Show" puts it. Like every night of the RNC, Cossetta's giant tent was one-tenth full.

It was a forlorn scene. But I needed a slice for the road. There was no one in line.

Don't they have any editors over there at MSP? Maybe get the boys together, work out one lie for publication between them?

Back to Jordan's email:

More from Zimmern:

Speaking of web reads, I am now officially addicted to Brian Lambert's blog on this site; his piece last week about the Stribune predicament was informative and laugh-out-loud funny.

He adores Lambert, need I say more?

Why doesn't the United States stand up tomorrow and announce a global hunger initiative aimed at getting food into the hands of the world's hungriest? Why don't we single-handedly take care of the UN World Food Programme's money crunch? Why not stand up and show the rest of the world that in our country, we stand alongside the least fortunate in time of need? Well, probably because we can't even do that in our own country.

Yes, more typical bashing of America. I wonder if Andrew has ever looked at the amount of money we send around the world to help others. I'm just so sick of this line of thinking from the left. What I find even more revolting is many on the left sure talk the talk about helping the needy but you know who they want to help the needy? The taxpayer, not themselves. Many on the left make millions and millions and then the press showers praise on them for donating a small fraction to a charity. Wake up folks there are some in Hollywood that make 20 million for 1 picture. They're not exactly hurting their bottom line yet they have no problem doing it to others.
According to a WCCO piece I caught online by John Lauritsen, it is a weak economy to blame for Temple having to close its doors, rising food costs, a sluggish economy (let me tell you, this is a full-blown recession and could approach depression standards very shortly)..

"let me tell you, this is a full-blown recession and could approach depression standards very shortly" ....... It's just a hunch I have but I doubt Zimmern has ever had even an Econ 101 class.

SP NOTE: Doubts on his economic forecast psychic ability also persist.

Now, I have seen angry mobs of thousands protesting food shortages in Morocco, Bolivia, and the Philippines in the last year, and it is scary. There is real anger out there, and it is not just directed at us but at all the "haves" in the world regardless of citizenship. I have been pelted with rocks, chicken soup, peach pits, bottle caps, and rotten fruit—and that was just in Bolivia. I have walked in neighborhoods affected in part by our President's ill-fated foreign policies (or lack thereof), and it is upsetting, to say the least. But what I really want to know is which of the candidates for Dubya's job has a realistic solution for dealing with this issue, curbing our misguided ethanol policy, remaking the absurd subsidy regulations in the USA, ending our insane reliance on foreign oil, and helping our nation regain its status as the country most likely to show up with food (not guns) when another nation needs help?

Here we go again, Bush is responsible for all situations in the world and in Zimmern's head probably all the way back to the Garden of Den. Yes, Bush made Eve eat the apple. I'll agree with him that the push for ethanol has come from both sides and it has been the worst policy to come around for the past decade at least. But he ends it with America needing to be the nation to show up with food, not guns? Yes, Andrew there are bad people in the world and there has been ever since George W made Eve eat that apple. Ever hear of Idi Amin, Sadam Hussein, Mugabe, Hitler, Stalin, Che? (Oh, wait..I know the left holds Che near and dear). Had the world known that we could have stopped the Nazi's with food instead of guns, I am sure WWII could have ended quickly.

For all those who feel that the government needs to stay out of our food choices, here is some bad news: The UK is making cooking classes mandatory in schools, and I think this is AWESOME. Here is a great chat on Just Hungry and an editorial about it on Culinate. Is the UK going to lead an uber -conscious eating trend?

It really is hard for the left to figure out what the government should and shouldn't ban and regulate or perhaps better stated they really have no sound principles or criteria so it's just willy nilly in the wind...kind of like their minds.

SP EPILOGUE: There is no purpose for Zimmern to be bashing Republicans in the middle of his restaurant reviews and food criticism. Other than perhaps the intentional alienation and insulting of 50% of the potential audience for his work. Granted, that was the business model for most American newspapers, like the Star Tribune, at least until recently. As he may or may not have noticed, that only works when you've got a monopoly. Until you achieve that, best take Laura Ingram's advice. Shut up and cook.

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