Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Sometimes I worry that taking photographs of what you’re eating is an incredibly lame and naff thing to do, and there’s certainly a level of good bar or restaurant where I wouldn’t dare do it, but I’m slightly cheered by an interview with Anthony Bourdain in the Daily Beast. 

The interviewer is Noah Rothbaum who writes, “That, of course, brings up the question that puzzles many diners of the smart-phone age: to Instagram or not to Instagram? I’m expecting a monumental outburst about bad manners in restaurants, but instantaneous documentation is no longer an issue for Bourdain. ‘All I can say is, get with it, grandpa,’ he says. ‘I go out to dinner a lot with large groups of chefs and every one of the sons of bitches pulls out their phones, and we’re all taking pictures and we’re all tweeting each other at the same table and commenting on each others Instagrams of the same plate.’”

But it’s a small consolation because then I wonder whether taking photographs and writing about, and even just being interested in food and drink, is perhaps an irredeemably decadent and effete waste of time.  And I think I’m not the only one who worries about this.  All that shouty, sweary, testosterone-fueled, “bro” school of cooking and writing – everybody from Gordon Ramsey down – that’s just compensating, right?

And I certainly sometimes wonder about the essential masculinity of sipping a dry martin.  Lowell Edmunds, a classics scholar at Rutgers, in his book Martini, Straight Up: The Classic American Cocktail has a chapter titled “The Martini is a man’s drink, not a woman’s drink,” – I think he’s being ironic at some level, but still  ...

 More reassuring perhaps is this picture of Anthony Bourdain and Josh Homme – the latter a man so secure in his masculinity that he can call name his band Queens of the Stone Age.

To shore up my own insecurities I made a martini in proximity to an ironic Arnold Schwarzenegger avatar – The Gnominator:

And I wondered if there was room in the world for a cocktail named the Martini-nator but I suspect that’s trying too hard, and in any case I think Arnold is and always has been, a beer drinker (although it occurs to me the in the lower picture he may be swigging some kind of protein shake).

And then I had a sandwich (see below).  Is this a measure of rampant sexuality or of profound phallic neurosis?  I don’t have to decide right now, do I?

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