Tuesday, April 25, 2006

She has her finger on the pulse of bad New Orleans dining

Wherein this is horror writing as far as I'm concerned

Poppy Z. Brite has authored two books I've quite enjoyed:

Soul Kitchen, the third in the series, will be published in July. Centered around two chefs trying to run a restaurant in New Orleans, Brite covers what goes on in the kitchen with a dash of murder and mayhem, and plenty of humor. Good stuff. She's married to a chef and spends a lot of time hanging out in restaurants and all the chef scenes feel authentic. She was finishing Soul Kitchen as Katrina hit and the next book will deal with the aftermath of the storm. For a day to day account of living in New Orleans, her journal is an entertaining read. Example:
I am not dead. However, my Internet connection at home appears to be. Cox has been "working on it" since Wednesday. As they've also been "working on" getting us an expanded channel package for more than a month now, but have only managed to increase our plan from basic to digital basic, I am not optimistic. They were incompetent before the storm, but their incompetence has now taken on a life of its own, bought a house in the suburbs, and started raising a family.

Earlier in her writing career she made a name for herself writing horror. I've never read those books and not being much of a fan of that genre, I'll probably stay away. But I am sorely tempted when her current writing about horrific food is often mirrored by the New Orleans chefs.

Shrimp, brie, and fruit
From a local Internet dining board, describing a dish from a North Shore restaurant called Juniper:
POSTER A: Can someoone describe what this appetizer is?
3 grilled U-12 shrimp and blackened aged soft brie served with a blueberry compote and spicy creole remoulade

From chapter 5 of Soul Kitchen:
"Look, if you don't want the job, I guess I'll put an ad in the paper. Hire some twenty-two-year-old hotshot with a culinary degree from Delgado. Next thing you know we'll be serving coconut shrimp with Brie and blueberry sauce."

Goddammit. It seems I cannot invent a single silly, incoherent dish that isn't promptly produced by some local chef before the novel has even been published.

Crawfish boil aspic
Dish reportedly made by one of New Orleans' three most overrated chefs, John Besh, on Iron Chef America, as described by posters on a local dining forum:
POSTER A: I believe it had crawfish boil elements to it - potatoes, corn, and andouille boiled in crab boil and suspended in gelatin.

Dish made by an insufferable chef at an insufferable restaurant in Soul Kitchen, description written six months before the episode of Iron Chef America aired:
... "Crawfish Boil," a single crawfish, a potato cube, and a few dehydrated corn kernels encased in crab-boil-flavored gelee.

Hell, now I can even predict what these clowns are going to do. I AM TEH KING OF CRAP FOOD MOCKERY.


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