How I Taught My Brother To Cook

Improvisational Tuscan-Provençal-Catalan Cookery (and other good stuff to eat)

I just finished lunch which was comprised of a baloney sandwich, a glass of homemade iced tea and a chunk of Hershey's chocolate to finish it off. Now I am ready to rant.

Chances are very good that if you were to go into one of these fancy 5 star restaurants you will not find pot roast on the menu. The reason? It is not queer. These restaurants have chefs who spend their time inventing the most intriguing and bizarre dishes that people can go back home and brag to their friends about only because they sound so exotic.

"Oh, Herman and I had dinner at "99" last night. You know "99", one of the most exclusive restaurants in Manhattan. Anyway, I had grilled mid-west pheasant with African wildebeast fallopian tube sauce seasoned with Madagascar spice and poached Alaskan penguin eggs on a bed of Mediterranean seaweed. It was oh so yummy. You and Marvin should try it but you need to make reservations at least 3 months in advance."

That, my friend is QUEER! I was listening to the radio the other day when the music critic show came on (which I can't stand) but before I could turn the dial, the topic, I heard, was about food and music. They were talking with a high profile chef (all the usual celebrity chef credentials) and a very interesting statement he made was that when all was said and done in the fancy restaurant kitchen, they (top chefs) were happy to go have some simple, basic and uncomplicated food.
Another chef interviewee said that although these fancy (pretentious) dishes showed a lot of creativity, the real test is what can be created with basic and limited ingredients.

I never was a fan of the fancy restaurant scene. To me it is nothing more than glitz and glamor meant to impress with smoke and mirrors. Let's face it, pot roast is not exotic and does not send a message of opulence, luxury and pretense. So the way I see it, those fancy restaurants are not really a place to eat at but a place to be seen in. But that's ok. Some people need these restaurants. They also need to have the cookbooks that offer up pretentious recipes that are designed to impress, not by the simple goodness but by exotic and complicated mumbo jumbo ingredients.

The chefs like simplicity but serve up complexity with a price tag. The restaurant rakes in the dough and the patrons get to shell out big cash for what the chefs prefer not to eat. Almost comical in my eyes.

That's it. I'm done. Last one out, turn out the light and put the leftover pot roast in the "fridge". I might want a sandwich in the middle of the night.

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