Saturday, November 29, 2014


The Aerosmith song “Eat the Rich” came on the radio a couple of days back and it struck me as a deeply problematic song, which is perhaps to say that
eating the rich strikes me as a really poor idea.

For one thing, there’s always the problem of defining who the rich are, and therefore who you should eat.  If the rich are just the “one per cent” then obviously there’s not going to be much food to go around.  And once you’ve eaten them, do you then eat the next richest one per cent, and the next, and so on until there’s just a surviving one percent that’s eaten all the other 99 per cent?  Maybe.

On the other hand “rich” often means simply someone who’s got more money than you have.  This would mean that Jeff Bezos could consider Bill Gates “the rich” and would therefore feel entitled to eat him.  The guy in the one-bedroom slum would feel fully justified in eating the guy in the two-bedroom slum, and so on.

Another obvious problem, as we know, is that the rich tend to be thin – see Wallis, Duchess of Windsor (above) and Babe Paley (below), both associated with the remark “you can’t be too rich or two thin.”  So again, eating the rich is going to provide even less sustenance. (N.B. One of the richest men in the world is Carlos Slim).

One the other hand, we know that the poor we tend to be porky.  They’re seldom free range or organic, and certainly not a rare delicacy, so I’m guessing the rich might be reluctant to eat them. 

As always, therefore, we have to turn to the solid respectable middle class to do the heavy lifting.  Yes, they can be picky about what they eat, but they’re also faddish and easily swayed by new food trends.  I’m sure they could be persuaded that eating both the rich and the poor was a new taste sensation.  You would end up with an egalitarian, and much reduced, population.  Hard to see any downside to that.

Returning to the Aerosmith song, you might argue that at this point in history the members of the band are definitely rich, but frankly I can’t imagine that anyone would find Steve Tyler a very palatable plateful, so I think they would probably have to resort to auto-cannibalism, which would, of course, be another solution to the problem.

Thursday, November 27, 2014


I was in Miami last weekend, and I know that Miami is a hotbed of good eatin’, but I was there for a book fair and I knew my opportunities would be limited.  There in the book fair’s hospitality lounge I ate whatever this is: 

some kind of vaguely Cubanish vegetarian sandwich on the right and devilled eggs on the left.  I’m pretty sure the gourmet powers that be have decided that the devilled egg is hip again, and that’s OK with me.

And there was a party at the Standard in Miami Beach, and Questlove was there, comb in hair just in case you didn’t recognize him (and in fact I’m not sure I would have recognized him without the comb), and the waiters came round with sliders and things on sticks, and they were fine, but it wasn’t prime psychogourmet territory.

On Sunday morning, having no eating companion, I went to the local Publix supermarket which struck me as a rather superior supermarket, and I admired the look of the canned chorizos in lard, but I didn’t honestly think I could sit on a bench and eat them from a can .

So I wandered around in the stinking heat looking for somewhere to eat, and by luck rather than judgment I ended up in a place called Bin 18. And did I ever strike lucky.  They were serving brunch – basically poached eggs with various Benedict-ish variations. 

But wait, what’s this on the menu – it says that all their eggs are cooked sous-vide.  Blimey!  If devilled eggs are now declared thoroughly hip, I couldn’t help wondering if sous vide eggs (or sous vide anything) might be a bit “last-craze.”  But they were damn good.  I had the Don Quixote – poached eggs, with two kinds of chorizo (that would be chorizo palacios and chorizo cantimpalo - and no reference to lard) caramelize onions, hollandaise, and some rosemary potatoes on the side.

A younger version of myself would never have been able to sit alone in a restaurant with a glass of wine eating alone, savoring a meal – not even brunch.  Some things do get very slightly easier as you get older.

Monday, November 24, 2014


You know, sometimes I almost like my life.  Last week I was in the local Gelson’s supermarket and there, standing in line, was the more than fabulous Mary Woronov.  That’s her above in a Warhol screentest.  This is her below in Chelsea Girls:

In fact I’ve met Mary once or twice but I wasn’t absolutely sure she’d recognize me, but I said hello and she did seem to clock that I wasn’t just some crazed fan bothering her in the supermarket, and I said, “I didn’t know this was your local supermarket,” and she said, “Oh it’s not.  But I walk my dogs up in the park and then afterwards they get to eat roast beef.”  And she brandished a pack of roast beef she’d just bought at the  counter.  This is, more or less, how she looks today.

Now, I happen to know how much roast beef costs at Gelson’s deli counter – basically, if you have to ask you can’t afford it.  And, without thinking I said, “Oh, I’ll be your dog Mary.”  How we laughed. 

And it occurred to me that this kind of thing just possibly might not have happened to me if I didn’t live in Hollywood.  Afterwards I wondered if I should have said, "No sugar cookies, Mary?"  referring to her movie Sugar Cookies - summarized thus on imdv, "A film producer murders his star actress during an erotic 'game' and makes it look like suicide. The dead girl's lesbian lover discovers what happened, and plots her revenge."   (Guess who play's the lesbian lover).  But on balance I'm glad I stuck with offering to be her dog.