Tuesday, December 5, 2006

A Revolt Against Alice, Canned Cuisine has the Nation Buzzing

By John Birdsall
Tue, Dec 5, 2006 at 3:25 PM

Lamb with Altoids sauce? Kobe beef marinated in Dr Pepper? In the aftermath of a Berkeley-born food revolution that's packed restaurant menus with heirloom varieties of this and that, the nation's most influential chefs are enhancing $75 entrees with lowbrow ingredients, reports The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

WSJ reporter Katy McLaughlin calls the trend a reaction against "the Alice Waters school of cooking," and Alice's acolytes are predictably appalled. "It's wrong. It's what we fight against," says Chez Panisse co-executive chef Jean-Pierre Moullé. "Anyone can take a great tomato, put salt on it, and it will taste damn good," says chef Tim Love of Fort Worth, Texas. "But turning Funyuns and pop into fine cuisine takes real talent," writes McLaughlin. Hard to argue with that.

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