Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Emperor's New Clothes

I read in the news yesterday about the, allegedly, top 50 restaurants in the world. Apparently Heston’s ‘Fat Duck’ fell by 20 places. Oh dear, what a shame, never mind.

To be honest I found the video clip here about the No.1 restaurant ‘El Celler de Can Roca’ hilarious. I’m sure it wasn’t meant to be funny, but there was no way I could keep a straight face at the dross they so solemnly trotted out; mind you, give them their due, they at least managed to sound like they believed it. Emotional cuisine, anyone? Oh, please…! These guys are so far up their own rear ends they can hardly see daylight – the word ‘pretentious’ doesn’t even come close to describing them.  Admit it, wouldn’t you just love to go in and ask them what the veggie option is…?

I’m a simple soul. When I go out to eat, which admittedly isn’t very often given the dearth of decent vegetarian restaurants, I like a well-cooked, nicely-presented seasonal meal in comfortable surroundings with excellent service. Perfect.

Frankly, distilled earth and oak smoke in sugar baubles make me think of a conjuror doing his party piece. I almost expect an aging Paul Daniels to pop out from behind a screen, warbling “You’ll like this….not a lot!” I don’t care how much it’s been distilled, ‘earth’ does not make me think of a relaxed enjoyable dinner no matter how outrageously expensive and famous the restaurant may be.

I’m sure there are plenty of people who are taken in by this flannel; there must be, it’s a successful business and as Phineas T Barnum said "There's a sucker born every minute". However, three words keep coming into my head……Emperor’s. New. Clothes.


  1. This made me laugh! Especially the Paul Daniels cameo. Now that we don't have a telly anymore, much of the hyped-up guff that I'm probably supposed to get excited about simply passes me by. They chunter on about pretentious foodie nonsense on Woman's Hour on R4 occasionally, but otherwise there are no new emperors clothes to ruffle the Penniless household. I even had the Olympic Torch go past my house and managed to miss it!

    1. What’s even funnier is the way ‘foodies’ (what the hell is a foodie, anyway?) are falling over themselves to take this claptrap seriously. They seem happy to eat almost anything as long as it’s hideously expensive and served up by a famous cook. Some people need a reality check; it’s only food and the cook is not the Messiah!