In 2013, Please Remove These Things from the Culinary Scene

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Put a fork in it. Flickr photo from jcarlosn.

Ah yes, it’s a new year, when it’s my annual tradition to kvetch and complain about those annoying little things that got caught in my culinary craw over the past year. I wish there were a shortage of things to write about, but what can I say, this thing practically writes itself.

And before you start wondering where my rants are on choice items like “farm to fork” or truffle oil, you’ll probably find them in previous installments of the bore.

  1. Our city is starting to look like a coffin made of reclaimed wood. Look, I’m glad you’re not sawing down precious redwood for some two-by-fours for your flooring, but is that reclaimed barn floor from Kentucky really the only design material we have access to?

  2. Subway tile. (See previous.)

  3. Mason jars, Weck jars… All these canning jars holding everything from wine to flowers to pickles. It’s all so twee. I am beginning to feel like an extra on Little House on the Prairie. (Can’t wait for the locusts to come.)

  4. Changing centuries now, let’s look at our current state of lukewarm food. I blame all this damn overcomposing on the plate. There needs to be a coup d’état to overthrow the tyranny of tweezer cuisine. It’s like being served a terrarium: a little soil here, some foraged flowers there, some sponge cake, a dollop of foam, a swath of puree, and voilà, here is your lukewarm plate of food with 15 ingredients, madame. For $29! I am so honored. Look, I’m not against making the plate pretty, but let’s not forget people are eating the food and not just looking at it.

  5. Servers who greet a table of women with “Hey guys!” This happens far too often. I’m cool with being casual, but we have smarts, beauty, excellent intuition, and bleed every month, so please, show some respect.

  6. The ampersand. Local food businesses are beginning to sound like a law firm of animals (Animal Firm?): Hog & Rocks. Hops & Hominy. Beast & the Hare. Craftsman & Wolves. Pig & Pie. Unless it’s milk & cookies, let’s give it a rest.

  7. I sometimes wonder if chefs and restaurant owners have eaten recently off their own plates, with their dining room’s flatware? Because then they would see how the entrée plate is so ginormous that there’s no easy way to rest your knife. I had a bowl of soup with edges that were so high that it was hard to spoon into it—I wondered if it was a joke (nope, it wasn’t). I have also been served desserts with a spoon when the dish clearly required a fork. All I’m asking is this: chefs, look at how your food is being served before you serve it.

  8. Chef bands.

  9. Live tweeting. Whether you’re Anthony Bourdain live tweeting one of your shows—or almost as bad—Perez Hilton live tweeting your French Laundry meal, please, enough with the navel-gazing and just focus on the task at hand. Watch your show. Eat your dinner. Shut the eff up.

  10. Coed bathrooms. Really, they are the worst. And when they don’t have toilet seat covers? Makes me want to bust out a Sharpie and write all over the walls: “A clueless man designed this bathroom.”

Whew, okay, time to put a sock in it. Did I forget a big one? Do you feel like bitching too? Go ahead and email me. XOXO!