I have a subscription to bon appétit magazine. Why, do you ask? Because I thought it would be something it's not: accessible. Also, I was looking for a fun Christmas gift for my legitimate foodie sister-in-law, and I got a free subscription as a bonus when I bought hers. So now Gwyneth Paltrow is beaming up at me from the June issue, biting her lip in coy anticipation of the "subtle" pasta dish she's about to fork into her mouth. In the issue we get to see her cutting up some chicken, and there's a great view of her mammoth wedding ring. While the diamond is intriguing, it's the pave on the sides that's really funny. In the chicken picture you can see an "03" (the year of her wedding) on the side of her ring. A bit graduation tassel, don't you think?
Anyway, this magazine only inspires covetousness in me. I have neither the skills nor the palate for most of the recipes inside, (spinach gunge, anyone? Or how about some bone marrow with parsley salad?). But after I get past its snobbish tones, I salivate over the semifredos, the spirited (read: weird) pairing of prosciutto and strawberries, and the photography. Oh, the photography! Who knew food could have stylists? What I would do to procure half the aesthetic attention a bowl of beets gets before its picture is taken.
|Not beets, but an elegant portrait of a family of crostinis.|
But then there are condescending little gems like this:
"... how about we all agree to leave [kebabs] in the last century. ... Those kebabs are always a disaster. Always."
Uh, I made kebabs last weekend, and they were a disaster, but I don't need you to tell me so, especially not on your super glossy pages!
Also, they quote chefs who say things like this:
"There's a point where you've told parsley you're in charge. You haven't defeated it; you've disciplined it."
Parsley is like the weakest herb there is. People just throw it on the side of their plates for fun--just because they can, not because it's any real challenge. And what kind of discipline is he talking about? Because personally, and don't get all defensive on me, but I don't spank my parsley. I just don't. It teaches the parsley that violence is okay. It's all about natural consequences in my kitchen.
|This is what came up when I googled "spanking parsley."|
My final low-brow critique point of this issue of bon appétit: They feature a dish called "Hen and the Egg" "that incorporates hay." The only hay I will eat is Hawaiian haystacks. With organic cream of chicken soup, duh.
Sadie, I hope you are liking this magazine, because you are a real foodie (a term I think I learned from you or your mother), and you are worthy to read it. Also, you gave me my first set of ramekins, which I love. And what says competent foodie more than ramekins? The competing choice for your gift was "Cooking Light," which I think is more my speed (still a few mph off, though), but we didn't want to send any messages that don't need to be sent, because you are smokin' hot, and I mean that in an admiring sister-in-law way.