I am in an argumentative mood. I am not sure why but perhaps reading all these things targeting celebrity chefs is contributing to it. In my previous post, Jamie Oliver was being attacked by pregnant women in metal cages. Now I read about a Fat Panel saying that celebrity chefs offer recipes that have too much fat in them.
The Straits Times had a write up on this a few days ago:
A REPORT from United Kingdom group, the Fat Panel, has found that the single servings of recipes in celebrity chef cook books contain too much fat.
Some recipes from celebrity chefs like Nigella Lawson and Gordon Ramsey’s were found to have more than the entire daily recommended fat intake of 30g for men and 20g for women said a report on Friday.
‘Celebrity chefs are incredibly influential when it comes to what we eat,’ dietician Sian Porter said. ‘While these delicious meals are fine as occasional treats, people do not realise the health implications.’
Mind you, I am not a big fan of either Nigella or Gordon Ramsey but hey, aren’t we thinking adults here? If you see a recipe and you decide to make it, wouldn’t you figure out if there is too much fat in it? And wouldn’t it be up to you to decide whether or not to make it anyway?
Come on, people of the Fat Panel. Don’t take away our treats. Let us decide if we want these recipes or not.
Jamie Oliver seems to be one of the favorite celebrity chefs of various activist groups. This time, he is being targeted by PETA, the well known animal rights activist group. In a demonstration held in front of Jamie’s Italian restaurant in Brighton, members of PETA held placards stating ‘Be Pukka to Pigs: Go Vegetarian.”
The demonstrators didn’t stop at written protestations. One demonstrator, Lynzi Waddington, took it upon herself to imitate a pregnant sow (and she is heavily pregnant by the way), knelt down on the ground inside a metal cage. Apparently, this is one practice that is common in the hog raising industry. Her comment? “Pigs are very sensitive animals, they do feel pain, and they deserve to be treated right.”
What does the celebrity chef have to say about all this? His spokesman said that “The meat Jamie is serving up is very high quality. They should go make a protest somewhere that imports its meat.”
While that does not directly answer the demonstrator’s remarks on “humane” treatment of pigs, it does make sense to me. I might become the target of animal rights activists because of this post but seriously, there is a place for everyone, everything. It’s called the food chain. It is part of life.
While I do not see Jamie Oliver as the perfect person (well he is hunky, I have to say that!), I do not see him forcing vegetarians to eat meat either. So why not leave meat-eaters alone?
You don’t know who Marc Veyrat is? He is a French celebrity chef – and yeah, the French know all about good food! – who is known for his forays into the countryside to gather wild herbs to incorporate into his excellent dishes. Late last month, news reports spread like wildfire that the celebrity chef is “quitting the kitchen.”
His restaurant, La Maison de Marc Veyrat (more popularly known as L’Auberge de l’Eridan) is closing down, much to the dismay of many. Unlike other chefs, who are closing down their shops because of the credit crunch, Veyrat cites health reasons for this closure. He is quoted as saying “I am stopping work in Annecy because physically, I have to, following a serious ski accident three years ago.”
The restaurant is located near Annecy and has earned 3 stars in the Michelin Guide. It was opened by Veyrat in 1992 and is best known for its traditional dishes infused with lots of wild herbs. Veyrat also introduced the concept of “molecular gastronomy.” This concept is basically the use of chemistry in coming up with unique recipes. That is, chemistry inspired the chef to put his own twist to various kinds of dishes, making them one of a kind.
Sad to say, that era seems to be coming to an end. Veyrat says that perhaps, the restaurant will make a comeback in the future but if it does, it will certainly be transformed. Still, the good news is that he says he might come back if he becomes fit again.
For those of you in Jacksonville, Florida, tomorrow is a good day! March 5, 2009, Thursday, is the day of the 23rd Annual Celebrity Chefs Tasting Luncheon And Silent Auction. This charity event will be held from 11 in the morning till 1 in the afternoon at the Prime Osborn Convention Center.
I got wind of this event from the blog Florida Foodies – lots of stuff to be found here, by the way! – and after reading about the luncheon, I couldn’t help but wish that I were nearer to Florida! More than the actual foodie experience itself, you can get the satisfaction of knowing that your money is going to a good cause. The luncheon is actually the annual fundraiser of the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary and a large percentage of the earnings from the event will go to worthy causes such as scholarships, homework assistance, and the Child Development Center and Towers Memorial Center. Another beneficiary of this event is the Senior Center and the Adult Rehabilitation Center.
Locals will be delighted to know that the celebrities on the guest roll are as follows:
• Daryl Smith, linebacker, Jacksonville Jaguars.
• Mike Schneider, Owner, Loop Restaurants and Bistro Aix
• Chef Jessica Bright, Chef, TV/Radio Personality & Florida Foodies Contributor
• Jennifer Bauer; reporter for Channel 4
• Victor Blackwell and Jeannie Blaylock, anchors for Channels 12 and 25
• Mark Spain and Dawn Lopez, anchors for Channel 47
• Angela Corey, State Attorney, Florida’s 4th Judicial Circuit
• Bill Hughes, General Manager – TPC Sawgrass
• Randy Goodwin , President/CEO PRI Productions
• Sally Evans, Rita Joost and Darleen Unger, Women’s Auxiliary members
• Karen Wolfson, Director, Wolfson Children’s Hospital
• Linda Sherrer, President/CEO Prudential Network Realty
For tickets and inquiries, call 904-301-4841. Tickets only cost $25!