1. Every celebrity is also a chef.
I’m not talking about “celebrity chefs” here (i.e. the Altons, Emerils, and Bobby Flays of the world). They went to culinary school, they are clearly good with a television audience, and they have built their success in the food world on that. I am also not talking about non-chefs like Rachael Ray or Paula Deen, who built their food celebrity on a niche (Ray started off cooking and teaching cooking classes in grocery stores and hosting a local cooking show; Deen owns a very successful restaurant in Savannah, GA…well, in many other places now as well…) or food bloggers like Pioneer Woman. Nay nay, my friends. I am talking about people who are already famous and suddenly they have a cookbook. I mean, Gwyneth Paltrow has a cookbook. Eva Longoria has a cookbook. Some chick (celebrity status questionable, and I’m not talking about Bethenny Frankel, who does have a culinary background) from one of the Real Housewives shows has a cookbook (maybe even two?). I’ve even seen cookbooks from siblings and parents of celebrities. WHAT. GIVES? Jealousy? Sure. I won’t lie. I’d love for someone to give me a publishing deal to write a cookbook. But you know what? I’ve spent a lot of time and energy on food….not to say that these celebrities haven’t, or that they aren’t good cooks…..but it’s just not cool that they get the cookbook deals just because they’re famous (don’t get me started on actors and actress who are meh singers releasing albums-soap box!!!).
2. Bakery cupcakes must have at least 5.2 inches of icing. Selling items other than cupcakes optional.
I have nothing against a good cupcake. Nothing. And I’ll give you this: the current trend of cupcakes with towering mounds of icing is quite beautiful to look at. However, I don’t really like having to work for my treats (and neatly scraping off 2/3 of the icing from a gigantic cupcake is indeed work) and when so much effort is put into presentation (icing colors, swirls, a different “look” for each cupcake), the flavor and texture of both the cupcake and the icing suffer. It’s true. I’d much rather go to my favorite Federal Bake Shop, where the cupcakes are white or chocolate with white (almond-flavored) or chocolate icing. Belle’s Cupcakes (sold at Market Street Tavern) are also nice…jumbo cupcakes (perfect for two) with a reasonable amount of icing. And you know, sometimes when I go to a bakery I’d rather get something else….so the “cupcake bakery” trend annoys me a bit too….but seems to be dying off, if slowly.
3. Apparently, anything goes on a slider bun.
Don’t get me wrong. I love sliders. I mean, I do live in the city where Krystal originated….so I’ve been eating sliders my entire life. I’ll admit to thinking the slider trend was cool when it first happened, and I’ll even admit that I occasionally order sliders at restaurants-and even cook them at home. However, to me a slider must be a burger. My slider annoyance comes in the fact that restaurants will put anything on a slider roll. Buffalo chicken. Crab cakes (seriously?). Pimento cheese. Yep, you read that right. One casual dining chain had a pimento cheese slider for a time. I tried it-I had to. It was terrible. Terrible. Leave the sliders to the burgers, guys. Please.
4. Diet Trends
Michael Pollan says it best: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
Extreme diet trends have been around for years. Cabbage soup diet. Self-prescribed liquid diets. Atkins. These days, gluten-free diets are trendy even for those without medically diagnosed gluten intolerances or sensitivities. I fully believe people have every right to follow these diets…so what really drives me nuts is when they get all militant about it. I don’t want people to bug me about it and tell me 100,000 reasons why I shouldn’t eat meat, or gluten, or cheese, or sugar. I am an everything in moderation type of girl. I recently saw a whole foods blogger get firebombed with comments from people who believe that gluten is the root of many of our health problems. Their opinion (based on a book they had all read). She thanked them for their comments but explained that she and her family had chosen to eat grains in moderation and that they felt it was part of a healthy diet. These people persisted in their criticism of her choices. That bugs me, people. I’ll eat what I want, you eat what you want. It’s a free country. I have pretty strong opinions about food, but I don’t bombard other people with them unless they choose to read my blog. If you’d like to share your own opinions…..start your own blog.
5. Communal dining tables….cause we all want to dine with strangers (right?).
I didn’t even think about this one till a friend pointed it out. Apparently it’s a new trend in restaurants to have a communal dining table(s) where people can choose to sit, and some restaurants just flat out encourage sitting at tables with strangers. There are, of course, the hibachi restaurants that seat you around the grill with other people to “watch the show”, and Bea’s, a local restaurant that seats you with whomever has room at their table. We don’t go to these restaurants unless we are with other people. I don’t have a problem with strangers….it’s just that I’m not the most outgoing person and I’m probably not going to feel too free with my conversation around someone I don’t know. And I really don’t want to be uncomfortable while I’m eating….
6. Food in fancy restaurants must be stacked. Apparently chefs like Jenga?
I realize that part of a dish’s appeal is in its appearance, but is it really necessary to put everything on top of each other? Invariably, if you order a dish that comes with mashed potatoes, rice/risotto, or some sort of vegetable puree, the meat part of the entree will be on top of that item. Sometimes multiple items are stacked on top of each other. Tetris, anyone? It kind of makes you worry that the food is going to topple off of the plate before it makes it to the table. Also, some people prefer for their food to not touch. This is an ugly proposition for those people.
7. Artisan everything.
This is made even more annoying (albeit funny) when pronounced “artesian”. But seriously. According to dictionary.com, artisan means: