Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Esquire: Famous Chefs Fast Food Favs

Esquire Magazine has asked some well-known chefs about their favorite fast food indulgences.

In-N-Out Burger was the overall favorite among the chefs asked:  "The hamburger is definitive, greasy but oddly clean-tasting at the same time and the sauce actually is 'special.' And the shake tastes the way shakes tasted back when I was a kid. It makes me tear up just thinkin' about it." — Alton Brown, host of Iron Chef America.

Chipotle, Dairy Queen and Burger King got honorable mentions.  As did Whataburger:  "It's like a fresh, clean Texas version of McDonald's" according to a chef from my city, Tim Love of Lonesome Dove Western Bistro.

The chefs also spoke out about the worst fast food.  Taco Bell topped that list:  "It's just scary," Brian Bistrong, of Braeburn, NYC;  "Utter bastardization of one of the finest cuisines in the world.  What the f*&% is a chalupa?" Joey Campanaro of The Little Owl, NYC; "They use a meat hose for their meat.  That's just plain gross," Tim Love of Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, Fort Worth, TX.

White Castle was also panned by Craig Hopson of Le Cirque in NYC: "I like White Castle, but White Castle does not like me." So true!!

The also asked the chefs about their thoughts on fast food in general.  I'll include this one from Jimmy Bradley of The Harrison and The Red Cat in NYC:  "They all represent the same thing to me. Do the differences between Chairman Mao and Stalin really matter? Fast food is a symbol of the decline of civilization. It solidifies the journey we have made to separate ourselves from a connection to food and family, history and culture. It symbolizes all that is bad with the way food is viewed, what keeps us alive and provides our bodies with fuel we should not take so flip. Convenience is not always the best way. Just as Wal-Mart and Home Depot have proved to be the death of family businesses in small neighborhoods and communities, fast food has done the same. I mean, if you want real convenience, what's next, Soylent Green? As for the low-cost argument, they do not sell anything cheaper than you could make at home that would be better for you — and don't forget the travel expense. These stores can provide jobs to a community, pay taxes, and train the next generation, but so can any non-chain operation." Wow!

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