Monday, August 25, 2008

Paris Eating

The newest issue of Gourmet magazine features a series of articles headlined "Paris On a Budget." I am enjoying the magazine, but I have a few gripes. My gripes concern a short article ("Chefs and the City") for which celebrity chefs were asked to "pick a few" of their favorite Paris restaurants.

(From my perspective, 2 is a couple, 3 to 5 is a few, and 6 or more is several.) Well, the only one of the five celebrity chefs who picked at least 3 restaurants was Eric Ripert, who is chef and co-owner of Le Bernardin.

So either the other chefs didn't answer appropriately -- they must not follow instructions as well as they follow a recipe -- or the other possibility is that Gourmet (for some reason) drastically cut the article's length to fit on a single page. Given that there are far more ad pages than article pages in magazines these days, the latter explanation is certainly plausible.

But all Gourmet needed to do was to list the restaurants with short blurbs. That wouldn't have taken up much space.

Now for my second gripe. The restaurants that are mentioned are mostly big-name, high-priced restaurants, hardly in keeping with the magazine's theme of "Paris On a Budget."

Yes, Mr. Ripert, I have no doubt that I could get a fantastic meal if I go to the Michelin-starred L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Paris. But a party of 2 who went there would also end up paying well over $100 per person (assuming 3 courses + wine).

The only Paris restaurant named by James Peterson was La Tour d'Argent. Anyone who's has been to Paris has heard all about La Tour d'Argent. Puh-lease.

I am not shocked that celebrity chefs like to toot their peers' horns, but it would have been much more interesting to hear these chefs name more out-of-the-way, lesser known restaurants.

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