Like many of you, I watch Iron Chef America. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine. I love how over-dramatic it is (though not quite as much so as the arguably more awesome Japanese version), I love the unveiling of the secret ingredient, and I love watching the more creative challengers freeze things with liquid nitrogen, make ice-cream out of everything imaginable, and still end up creating delicious food.
The other day Mario Batali created a beautiful dish with some perfectly seared sea scallops. Most people aren’t a huge fan of regular judge Jeffrey Steingarten, but normally I both respect him and like the digs he gives the other judges. Hey, makes for good tv right?
Not today. His comment after eating Mario’s dish was, “Aren’t seared scallops kind of over?”
What? Sure, everyone uses them, including me, but he spoke of them as if they were Nike Pumps or “No Fear” clothing (don’t pretend like you don’t remember). There is a reason everyone uses them, they are succulent and delicious, best enjoyed simply like most good food is.
I figured Mario might be a little baffled by this, but like the clogged genius he is, his response was, “I prefer to not think of certain food as trends, but as classic preparations that can be enjoyed and very rarely be improved upon.”
Put that in your pipe and smoke it Steingarten!