Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The Best Chefs?

Until a few weeks ago, I'd never heard of Piers Morgan. Now, he's everywhere. It seems he is the person who will try to fill the TV time slot held since the Big Bang by Larry King. Since I never listened to Larry King either, it's all a wash to me. However, I have to question Mr Morgan's grasp of reality after his contention in this CNN interview that "Britain produce(s) the best chefs in the world."

Say, what?

With all affection and respect to my readers in the UK (hi, Craziequeen and Jean-Luc!), due reverence to Shakespeare, Winston Churchill, and other towering figures of British history and culture, and an affectionate head-nod to my friend Katherine who once gave me the world's fastest tour of London, I have to say that the glory of England does not lie in the excellence of its cuisine.

Exhibit A: "bangers and mash":

In the early 80's when I was living in what was then West Berlin, we military personnel had the option of attending three different officers' clubs: the French, the British, and the American. The standing joke was that if you wanted wonderful food and didn't mind being abused by snooty waiters, you went to the French club; if you wanted to be treated like a king and didn't mind mediocre food, you went to the British club; and if you didn't mind bad food and lousy service, you went to the American club.

Now, that's a slight exaggeration, but not much, and there are some exceptions. For example, I have eaten tripe at the French club - not by choice - and it is my opinion that one of the reasons French cuisine is so generally wonderful is that they're trying to live down their association with tripe ...

And you could, of course, get wonderful steaks at the American club.

Nevertheless, I think that Mr Morgan's contention that the British have the best chefs is a bit off-center. Sorry, but I'll take Jacques Pepin any day. Admittedly, Nigella Lawson is much cuter than he is, but we're talking about the food, here, and so she's got to take a back seat.

And sorry, Mr Morgan, but who names a defenseless child after "...a structure (as a breakwater) extending into navigable water for use as a landing place or promenade or to protect or form a harbor"?

Have a good day. Eat hearty! More thoughts tomorrow.



Mike said...

I think British chefs rank right below British dentists.

Amanda said...

I have no idea what English food is really like. All that I've tried has come from my cousins who are half English and I can't say its anything to talk about.

Raquel's World said...

Bangers and Mash looks yuck. Not to mention sounds a little perverted.

Moodylor said...

Please post some good American recipes for us to try! The 80's was a long time ago, times change and we have some excellent restaurants chefs here.

KathyA said...

The sausages look good -- is that one serving?? What is the life expectancy of Brits?
Seems Piers joins a long line of people who are famous because they are famous. No doubt, however, will he be a hit in this country that revers almost anything with a British accent.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

Gordon Ramsey is a British Chef...I wouldn't mind eating his food. Personally though..I'd rather sample anything by Paula Deen. :)


Bangers and Mash...that's just wrong...