Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Off your chest

I was polishing my Olympics medals when the President called to let me know that two more best-selling authors had just admitted they'd bent the facts of their blockbuster non-fiction works. If I hadn’t been for my C.I.A. training to withstand shock, I would’ve toppled for sure into the Pope, who had popped over for lunch with Angelina Jolie and me (he loves those pizzas I developed for Wolfgang Puck). But it only got worse: The New York Times reported this morning that restaurateur Robert Irvine was replaced as host of a Food Network show because of acknowledged exaggerations on his resume, like claims he’d been knighted and counted Prince Charles among his buds.

At least all three of the truth stretchers admitted their fudging, obviously hoping that confession truly is good for the soul. It would only be appropriate that we keep the good karma building by making a few candid admissions here on the part of the industry:

• Twelve or 14 dollars for a glass of wine should only be collected by servers wearing bandanas over their faces, a la Butch Cassidy. Unless the bottle wholesales for a few hundred dollars, there’s no way a wine should be priced that high, especially in a casual place.

• Restaurant groups named after a famous chef often only see their namesake at the Christmas party.

• Part of casual dining’s current woes is the lousy food that’s offered by even some of the most respected players. The sector seems to be suffering the same inertia in that regard that tripped up the big quick-service chains before they realized a frozen hockey puck of ground beef might not be that appealing to a public that spends its leisure time watching the Food Network. The segment needs to shake out of its lethargy and catch up with the higher standards of the times.

• Bio-diesel fuel, though a smart re-use of something that might otherwise end up in refuse pits, is not as green as the industry suggests. It’s not the cleanest-burning fuel available, and, thought it minutely lessens our reliance on imported oil, it’s not as much of an eco-boon as some of the publicity suggests.

1 comment:

  1. Well at least Chef Irvine...um, he is a chef, right? At least he has a great set of biceps! That at least looks real. Unless he was hanging out in Roger Clemen's bedroom with Brian McNamee and Debbie Clemens!
    I guess if you are going to lie, you might as well go all the way.
    Robert, here is to you flushing you career away!