“You have to accept the fact that sometimes you are the pigeon, and sometimes you are the statue.” Claude Chabrol
There’s been a bitchfest in the Mexi-food press recently between chef/restaurateur Rick Bayless and Jonathan Gold, revered L.A. Weekly food critic. Seems Gold (and some self-styled experts on Mexican cuisine) claim that Bayless, who is involved in a new restaurant in L.A., said he’s going to show California what REAL Mexican food is. The high and mighty Gold says 'how dare he! We have our own cuisine here' etc. Forget it. A lot of hokum. Nobody’s listening to what anyone really said. Just click here to read the whole story.
Sounds to me like those Hollywood-ites just can’t be told nothin’. You’d think there would be room for everybody in the sprawling multi-culti Angelino culinary scene. Apparently not. I see not a hint of prepotency in Bayless’ offer to bring his (mostly) central and southern Mexican cooking to California. Nobody ever said it was brand new there. Certainly not Bayless. I think it’s sour grapes. Pure jealousy. The same nonsense has been going down here in the old country for decades vis-à-vis Diana Kennedy. The D.F. Food Mafia never liked the idea of an extranjera telling them what-for. Sure, there have been other food writers and recipe collectors here, but none so completist as this great lady, and none in English. After more than 40 years of grueling work, the Brittish diva has finally been recognized here, perhaps reluctantly by some, for what she’s worth. She's the person most responsible for educating the world about true Mexican cooking. And Rick Bayless has, in a sense, taken it one step further by promoting an understanding of this extraordinary world cuisine in a manner accessible to a larger public. I hope he doesn’t have to wait for his 90th birthday to be recognized for it. “Authentic” is a Mad Men word, used to sell books, in Bayless' case. We’ve all got something to sell. I think I’ll skip the burritos and go out for some tacos de guisado and wait for the dust to settle.