Archive for November, 2006

Will Goldfarb and discomfort food

November 30, 2006

Will Goldfarb is the greatest practitioner of dis-comfort food working today. I’ve never felt less comfortable before, during or after a meal, but I can’t get the experience out of my head. Provocation, titillation, willful withholding of satisfaction. His restaurant Room 4 Dessert is more Zappa by way of Picasso than Gramercy Tavern’s James Taylor by way of Monet. The result, more than a few “umami, oh mommy!” moments.

Back to the scene: This past July a friend and I opened Room 4 Dessert (the place is empty in the early evening) and ordered the whole menu. Due to some monumentally bad communication about our Pantagruel-plan, the swarm of small plates was served all at once.

What resulted was a puckering, perplexing, pleasurable, disconcerting, de-centering memorable few hours sealed by a modest check and a major case of mind/body overload. Perhaps the fly-flecked (replaced on request) acid-punch colored rum was the culprit. Perhaps I should have voted a few selections off the island. Perhaps I should have eaten the elements of each dish in sequence rather than jumping around. Perhaps I should do the whole thing again.

The umami may have been more of the mind than the tongue, but I’m still tasting it, albeit ambivalently, months later.


5 Great Food Sluts

November 29, 2006

A great food writer must first be a great slut.

1) Gael Greene: The Insatiable Gourmet, an Incorrigible Slut. Her memoir is a bit 1970’s Skinemax softporn samba soundtrack sluttish but impressive for miles traveled: Elvis to Burt.

2) Ruth Reichl: Not a huge slut numberwise, but an eloquent slut, and impressive for food world hookups, especially NoCal.

3) A.J. Liebling: The oft-married and erudite slut who also liked to mix it up in the ring. Didn’t kiss and tell but sure ate and told. The Jim Thorpe of eating, great in any arena at anytime.

4) James Beard: A mountain of a slut, a Buddha of a slut, a Village slut. Held his cane and let others come to him. Hastened his death with overindulgence, but he died old and gloriously well-nourished.

5) Alice Waters/Craig Claiborne: More for their influence than their prose stylings, but both definitely kept the food/sex flame burning.

Thank God for their Olympian indiscretions; thank God they never kept their mouths shut.

My mission: To sally/waddle forth in their steps promiscuously opening myself to all worth taking in to make me and you fat and happy.