I don't like to stir the pot against my profession. I don't. But... when did we start giving cooking advice?
I was just watching a news magazine show on a certain network a few nights ago. It's part of the "news division" at that network. I was caught by a teaser about the price of gold, which is skyrocketing in the current economic crisis. Made me want to hustle down there and weigh a few things in. Not to sell, mind you, but just to feel a little richer as I walk out the door smiling with them still in my pocket, okay? Glad we got that one settled.
Anyway, the gold segment ended and before I knew it, I was caught up again by talk about a segment "coming up next" about a chef. Out of sheer curiosity at the idea of News-Magazine-ala-Food Network, I stuck around through the commercial.
The segment came on and it was a lovely French chef with a heavy accent. He spoke for a minute or so on his "influences," which I can only assume was how he came to view food. Then he made an entree. It was lobster with a lychee-celery salad dressed in a mace and piquine chili vinaigrette.
I love lychees. But whenever I mention my love of the juicy little Asian-fruit with the pebbley skin, most of my friends give me a blank look. They've never heard of it, much less tried it.
I can't recall the last time I had lobster. In my defense, I think lobster is more "East Coast," and sushi is more "Southern California." I do remember the last time I made it at home. It was before I moved here. Maybe 8 years ago? I don't think I have any mace but if I wanted to make this recipe, I wouldn't hesitate to go out and buy it. It's a spice. Piquine peppers are the pinkie-finger sized Asian ones. Hot-hot-hot!
So let me bullet point this for you. What this news magazine on a certain network has begun including as apparently a regular segment is a profile of a chef and his recipe. The chef bears the accent of a country that most Americans associate with rude waiters and being unhelpful when the United States asked for assistance. (Remember when French fries became Freedom fries. Thought so.) And he's making a recipe that features a pricey shellfish at a time when most Americans are struggling or at the very least concerned about their pocketbooks. And its rounded out by other ingredients that they've never heard of, nor would they know where to buy if it was even available in their small towns.
I love this particular news magazine on a certain network but... this does make me wonder. Do they ever leave New York? Who do they think lives in Iowa? Kansas? Arizona? Alabama?
I'm going to do a little shameless plugging here. If you look up and to the left, right under my picture, "Sucking Viewers In" is my own little manifesto of everything that could be done to help TV news stop losing viewers. I think there may be a section in there on this very problem. We've got to stop feeding lobster and lychees to people who right now are worried about being able to afford burgers and fries.
French... or otherwise.
Final disclaimer: this post wasn't meant in any way to slander France or the French. It's a simple assessment of the need to stop pushing American viewers away by losing touch with them.