TV chef Anthony Bourdain has had some choice words, and also words of praise, for slow food maven Alice Waters, who I’ve also criticized, and praised, here and here. Here he is agreeing with the substance of my criticism of the slow food movement and it’s impracticality for low income people:
I am suspicious of wealthy suburbanites who preach “back to the soil” philosophies—as if most—or even many—could start digging subsistence gardens in their back yards or afford expensive organic or locavore lifestyles.
This summary of part of Bourdain and Water’s interaction at a recent food panel sums up their disagreements well:
According to Alice, we should “provide breakfast, lunch and a snack FOR FREE to every child in America,” even if it cost billions. “How could it not be worth it?” she defended, “these children are our future.” Then she mentioned a bumper sticker she saw that said, “If you are what you eat, I’m fast, cheap and easy” — and the shame in it. After that she went on and on till Bourdain said – “I put literacy above that as a priority” and everyone clapped.
It’s not just Anthony Bourdain that’s backing me up either; here’s is Alice Waters in an interview with Leslis Stahl on slow food as a luxury:
Waters told Stahl she rarely goes into a regular supermarket. “I’m looking for food that’s just been picked. And so, I know when I go the farmer’s market that you know, they just brought it in that day.”
“I have to say, it’s just a luxury to be able to do that,” Stahl remarked.
“In a sense it is a luxury,” Waters agreed.