Not-so glamourous eating
I guess it was an inevitable part of the Food Network/Top Chef effect. Now that chefs are celebrities, does that mean that food critics are celebrity material as well?
Apparently so. After New York Times food writer Sam Sifton wrote that he would be tasting the new KFC Double Down, New York-based foodie blog Eater asked a source at the 33rd Street location — the closest one to the New York Times building not in Penn Station — to be on the lookout. The hunch paid off, with Eater posting a pic of the critic taking notes while eating his sandwich at an outdoor table. The title of the post? "To Catch a Critic"
I mean, isn't it all a bit creepy? First of all, call off Chris Hansen, unless underage girls are offering Double Downs in seedy chat rooms.
Sure, the idea of the writer who can make or break chefs eating a fast food sandwich that replaces a bun with chicken filets is kinda hysterical. (Though not as hysterical as picturing the pot-smoke-filled meeting room that inspired the Double Down.)
But do you want Sam Sifton to turn into Lindsay Lohan? I can just see it: Sifton, with blazer torn and tie disheveled turning up at club openings with fellow bad boy foodie Anthony Bourdain, running over paparazzi outside Bungalow 8, engaging in an on-again, off-again lesbian relationship. His columns on food would ignore Tom Colicchio and Mario Batali in favor of seedy all night Chinese places and greasy pizzerias in the Lower East Side.
We've already ruined the star of Mean Girls. Do we have to subject New York Times writers to the same intense tabloid gaze?
And let's be frank, food writers, always a notoriously shy bunch, are not meant for fame. Have you ever heard of a face made for radio? Imagine what we print and online folk look like. Our faces were not made to withstand the glare of the flashbulbs.
If you must make us celebrities, I beg of you, America, consider us like Greta Garbo. We want to be left alone.