Monday, November 2, 2009

Laughing with—not at—figs

Being the blogger sometimes known as Figs, you can imagine my delight at being forwarded by several people this important article concerning, among other things, figs. And the First Citizen of the People's Republic of Berkeley, Alice Waters, whom bad boy Anthony Bourdain calls "Pol Pot in a muumuu." Sometimes there's nothing more satisfying than a little old-fashioned name calling. And she does sort of ask for it. The woman is simply not funny. At all. Which makes her a perfect and hilarious target for Bourdain.

And where do figs come in? When New York chef David Chang remarks that "fucking every restaurant in San Francisco is serving figs on a plate with nothing on it." Which is really not too far from the truth. If it's not figs, it's tangerines or persimmons. Sort of way of smugly showing off that we have nearly perfect weather and wonderful local produce all year round.

And what is wrong with a menu offering of figs on a plate? It is silly. Here is where I draw the line:
Figs on a plate at home is fine. It is actually very nice.

In a restaurant? That is just silly. Is it anything other than pretentious to imply that a diner is incapable of purchasing, washing, and slicing his or her own figs? Figs with a nice slice of cheese (St. Andre, maybe?) and a drizzle of lavender syrup over the figs, that's more like it. Show some effort, and not by just harboring deep thoughts about produce.
Chang got in all sorts of trouble over his remark concerning the emperor's clothes (I bet Bourdain is happy Alice has on that muumuu), and a promotional event for his book was cancelled to show him his place. But I haven't heard that anyone was upset with his suggestion that bay area folks just need to mellow out and smoke more weed. After all, we grow that too.


Kate said...

I have to admit that as much as I love figs, for a restaurant to serve them alone on a plate is the height of pretentiousness. What does it mean? My source is better than yours? It's just dumb. At least thrown in a little gorgonzola, please.

Anonymous said...

Nothing but figs - pretentious for sure. I can stand in my grandparents backyard and eat them straight off the tree for free. At a restaurant, there should be some work, no? We're paying for something we didnt' want to do at home or couldn't get at at home.
By the way, the title of your blog makes me think of the sitting area of my apartment. My colors are brown and purple :)

adozeneggs said...

So can you guess why they call VT the "green mountain state"? Evidently, we grow (and smoke) a lot of weed too. I didn't know that until recently.
I agree that food in a restaurant should be more special than figs on a plate.
I think I like this David Chang, and I know I love Anthony B!! Hot hot hot.

Anonymous said...

I have to comment on this post (first time commenter!) because we have a fig tree in our backyard and more figs than we could ever eat! Many of them went to waste or were eaten by birds, it's just humanly impossible to eat all those figs. Perhaps these restaurants have a similar problem :P