Shut up, David Chang! »
God, this fool loves to run his mouth something stupid. I know it’s part of his schtick (hey! I relate!) but the problem with him is people listen to this garbage and agree. So when Chang is just stringing random words together and making about as much sense as the lady on my corner who thinks I’m her husband (reminder: need to shave!), it genuinely worries me!
Because, for real, the guy makes no sense. In this interview, bitching about the various customers he hates dealing with (turning away customers! What a luxury in these trying times of ours!), one of his complaints is vegetarians! Ugh fine, I get it, they’re my #4 complaint too,* but for real, his logic does not compute!
I’m not against all vegetarians. But if you’re a vegetarian for ethical reasons, you may be causing more harm. I use this example: I was at a wedding, and at the reception everyone was eating local lobster and clams, but a couple of my friends were like, “No, we want the vegetarian option.” And it’s fucking vegetables from every corner of the fucking planet. Really? They don’t want to pollute the earth, they don’t want to support factory farming, but factory commodity farming is fucking awful.
Drama. Queen. This example is truly crazytown. Like anyone has ANY choice in where the vegetables came from at someone else’s wedding. And where does it say that ethical vegetarians don’t care where their vegetables come from? Most vegans care more about where their food comes from than pretty much anyone else, THAT’S WHY WE’RE VEGAN. We question shit! And when we questioned our current food system, we decided to abstain from A LOT of it. Duh, bitch.
And not only that, it’s almost slave labor. That poor fucking person who harvested your asparagus from Peru might have died because you wanted a fucking goddamn asparagus in August. Which doesn’t happen.
Oh, shut the fuck up already. We all read Felicity Lawrence’s piece on asparagus in Peru, you ain’t special. And what’s with the last sentence of “Which doesn’t happen.” That doesn’t even make sense. And I haven’t eaten asparagus since the summer of ‘99 so he can shove it.
If you’re going to be a vegetarian, limit yourself to food from a place you can go to in two hours and just eat that. Do it, or shut the fuck up.
Again, what does this mean? Food grown in a two-hour radius? And then is it by car? Are we going the speed limit? Ooh! Can I take a plane? And how is that recommendation any different than what you meat-mouths should be doing? If I come to your restaurant and ask for a vegetarian dish, why do you suddenly go all WHOA HAVE YOU THOUGHT OF THE ETHICAL RAMIFICATIONS? What has changed by taking the meat out? I’d like to “do it and shut the fuck up” (lie) but I don’t know what “it” is? (I’m really hoping he’s talking about the worm, because that’s my party trick!) But really, one of Chang’s biggest problems is not just his allergy to making sense, it’s that he’s just wrong. Read it and weep, nerd.
I get it, Chang is total gold for interviewers and so we’re not gonna stop hearing about him because journalists are like, "YES PLEASE KEEP SWEARING AND TALKING NUTSO! I CAN SEE THE PAGEVIEW$$$$ RISING ALREADY!" (Newsflash, Chang! Your constant press has nothing to do with your cooking! Which even omnis say is WEAK!) but it’s also harmful because of the legions of “celebrity chef”-obsessed fans. Seriously, people worship this little ultra-privileged dweeb. While he’s busy masturbating to a thought bubble of himself, his bullshit ramblings sink into the collective unconscious of a million impressionable Americans. We’re not the smartest people, and when the New York Times tells us he’s the Second Coming, we’re all, “MUUUUST EAT PORK BUNS.” like a really uncool zombie army. Well, the NYT is tired, Chang is just another spoiled kid having a tantrum when things don’t go exactly his way (customers asking for things AHHH!!!) and I just hope he stops getting so much press. GOOD JOB THEN, LAURA. Further, quit fucking swearing all the time, Chang. That’s my fucking thing!
*Right after all things Lohan, everyone putting tomatoes on everything, and the premature cancellation of Party Down.
Big bad chefs and their big bad attitudes »
“I don’t know if it’s true,” says Bourdain. “But there’s a story that when customers started annoying [David Chang] by complaining about the lack of vegetarian options at [Momofuku] Noodle Bar, he changed the menu and put, like, pork in every dish.” (When asked for comment, Momofoku did not deny this claim.)
On the menu at Chang’s popular sister restaurant Momofuku Ssam Bar, there are sections dedicated to “Country Hams,” “Offal” and “Fish & Shellfish.” There are also notes that read “Please let us know if you have any food allergies,” “No substitutions or special requests” and “We do not serve vegetarian-friendly items.”
Right. On the other hand:
Not long ago, Le Pescadeux’s Perley recalls, his SoHo restaurant served turtle. No, they weren’t cooking turtle. Perley says a man brought his pet turtle—one of his few possessions left after a divorce—into the restaurant and asked the kitchen to prepare a raw hamburger patty for his shelled dining companion, “Sammy,” and a seafood entree for himself. The kitchen obliged.
What? What’s the problem? NO VEGETARIAN FOOD FOR YOU ASSHOLES, but cooking for some dude’s PET TURTLE? Sure, as long as it’s made of dead animal! That makes all the sense. After all, turtles won’t complain no matter what you put in front of them, but vegans are whiny babies who make requests, and we can’t have that!
You know, you all may be the rulers of your kitchens, but those are very tiny kingdoms, and frankly they sound incredibly unpleasant. So thanks, I guess; if you’re going to make me and my veg pals totally unwelcome, it’s terribly considerate of you to dispel any desire we might have of patronizing your restaurants, too. Seriously. I hope all your patrons are as lovely as you are.
JSF mania, regal vegan dining, tons of recipes, horrible tragedy and more in this week’s (bipolar) link-o-rama! »
TODAY! That’s Friday, Nov. 6: Jonathan Safran Foer is having a book signing at UC Berkeley at 7 p.m. in the Multicultural Center! Woo!!
On Sunday, Nov. 8 at noon King of Ughs David Chang and Ubuntu’s vegetarian betrayer Jeremy Fox will appear in conversation with each other at Omnivore Books (3885 Cesar Chavez St. at Church Street). New York Times columnist (and co-author of His Majesty of Shut Up, David Chang’s new book) Peter Meehan will moderate.
JSF makes a modern Modest Proposal to omnivores: how about some delicious dog? One of your Vegansaurs’ first solid foods was dog soup. This was not a major factor in his/her decision to go vegan (GUESS WHOSE), as it only happened once, during toddlerhood; the point is, duh, all meat is equally reprehensible.
This one time, in August, Emperor David Chang of Saying Idiotic Things made a vegetarian meal, at the behest of the James Beard Foundation. Color Vegansaurus unimpressed; we’ve had at least as fancy at Brassica.
Miss Vegan Drinks? Of course you do! Thank goodness for the East Bay, who’ve been doing their thing on non-holiday Tuesdays and want to see you at their next meeting! Mix and mingle on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the Kona Club, at 4401 Piedmont Ave. at Pleasant Valley Avenue in Oakland! Details here.
Hey, Science: “Because such monkey torture will not lead to improved human health, you don’t need to be an animal rights advocate to wonder if an ethical cost-benefit analysis might conclude that the ends don’t justify the means.”
Nicolette Hahn Niman doesn’t want you to blame her ranch for the environmental problems caused by raising animals for food; after all, she says, “Singling out meat is misleading and unhelpful, especially since few people are likely to entirely abandon animal-based foods.” And anyway, ”avoiding soy from deforested croplands may be more difficult…. Brazilian soy is common (and unlabeled) in tofu and soymilk sold in American supermarkets,” so shut up and eat your Bill-Niman-de-and-renounced “happy” beef, already. JESUS LADY.
Adult Dungeness crabs are few and far between for the second consecutive year, but that won’t stop most fishermen from going out to catch as many as they (legally) can. Fishing in a “down” season makes perfect sense, hooray people.
CHOW honors local hero Bryant Terry and Queen of Vegetables Deborah Madison in its first annual awards, the CHOW 13. Too bad they have to tell us how much they looooove Ryan “literally all of the pig” Farr as well, boo.
For reasons as yet unknown, all the female spectacled bears in the Leipzig (Germany) Zoo have lost nearly all of their hair. They look incredibly pathetic without their usual “fluffy dark brown” fur coats.
Oh delicious, sumptuous, vegan cuisine literally good enough for the Queen: a luncheon at Windsor Castle, part of a “Celebration of Faiths and the Environment,” satisfied all the participants’ dietary requirements by eliminating all animal products from the menu! An “autumnal roasted pear salad” with “deeply savory…toasted [Kentish] cobnuts”? Yes, please!
Yobie Benjamin analyzes the most recent reviews of and data on San Francisco’s public school lunches, and determines that, duh, it can be done better, for cheaper. The notable part here is that he includes veg options in his price breakdowns. It’s not more expensive to eat vegan! OK?!!
How revolting: a guy in Cleveland had very poorly hidden the bodies of six women—who had been raped and murdered—“in and around” his house, which is next door to a sausage factory, which some people blamed for the stench. Rotting carcasses stink, be they human or other animal.
In fucked-up and depressing animal news, there’s still one organization associated with the veal calf slaughterhouse exposé that apparently supports the obscene treatment of those baby cows. Unregulated free markets always arrive at the best solutions, right?
The SF Bay Guardian makes a giant effort and reviews Greens. Revelation: it still makes good food. Your omnivorous friends will not complain (too much) about being denied their meat for one meal. Like we were saying, a new restaurant critic with some imagination re: veg food, please.
Our pals at CSA Delivery blog have been killing it with their vegan recipes lately: dolmas with caramelized leek hummus; chard and chickpea burgers with quick pickled veggies; vegetable curry; soft chili tofu. UGH SO HUNGRY.
On Saturday, Nov. 21, friends-of-Vegansaurus Farm Sanctuary are hosting a Celebration for the Turkeys dinner, “designed” by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau! Tickets cost $75 for adults and $35 for children, and are on sale now. Unless you are also a famous vegan cookbook author, this is guaranteed to be a lot tastier than your Thanksgiving dinner, so you might as well go. Plus it supports farm animals, instead of crazy relatives who drink too much/not enough; a pig will never ask you when you’re going to give it grandchildren or if you’ve put on weight.
An Omnivore’s take/rant on the cult of David Chang. »
OK, so when I first heard about Ubuntu starting to serve meat on special Tuesdays or whatever I was all, WTF UBUNTU?!?! Then I realized, hey the economy and all that BS, and I am totally supportive of any and everything Ubuntu tries to do (and if you haven’t tried their Marcona almonds with lavender sea salt then you are missing out on ECSTACY, YES THE DRUG I LOVE TRIPPING ON E I MEAN ALMONDS TOUCH ME PLEASE) so if Ubuntu needs to make a quick buck by serving meat like every other Napa restaurant then so be it, ‘cause I will WIN THIS by GOING ON WEDNESDAY, HUZZAH!
But THEN I heard that it’s gonna involve lame-ass “guest chefs” or something else equally as ‘tarded, and that it’s gonna involve David Chang, and I’m like WTF all over again.
David Chang owns 97 Momofuku-branded craptacular restaurants in Manhattan and let me tell you something: he’s totally mean; and also, homie, your food ain’t all that, y’hear? And notwithstanding the stupid “figs on a plate I hate you San Francisco and vegetarians BLAH BLAH BLAH” comments he said, we already have a David Chang here and his name is Charles Phan and in SF HE AIN’T ALL THAT. Slanted Door is one of the hardest restaurants to get a reservation to but I think if you ask any foodie what they think about Slanted Door, they’d be all, Yeah it’s all right, but it’s way too expensive and I’d only go there on an expense account. Because in reality what we have here is a Chinese dude smiling at you letting you know that you shouldn’t be scared to eat Chinese food because THIS Chinese food is different because it’s Niman Ranch, but then you look all around you and IT’S ALL WHITE PEOPLE IN COLLARED SHIRTS, because Chinese people know what the real shit is all about and don’t need to be comforted knowing their own cuisine and don’t get me started on stupid yuppies co-opting street food because at the end of the day it’s just yuppie white folks not wanting to feel guilty about their discomfort with other cultures. And yes this was the longest sentence in the history of sentences but I think we all know what I’m getting at here, right?!?
I rant, yes, but at the end of the day, Momofuku and all its 1,598 incarnations just aren’t good. And to Ubuntu I say, Go on with your bad self, and make hella money, but dude, why you gotta throw David Chang a bone? Stop trying to make me love you less!
This rant is brought to you by Omnivore Ed. Let it be known that Vegansaurus also thinks David Chang is a shithead and his cult-like following is definitely goofy. I mean, what? Does his food give you a bigger penis or cause you to sprout wings? NO? SHUT. UP. Also, we ask you this: IS IT COINCIDENCE THAT “CHANG” RHYMES WITH “DUMBASS OVERRATED CHEFLEBRITY”??? RIDDLE ME THAT!
Ubuntu to serve a-what-u?? Alternately, OH HELL NO UBUNTU. »
It looks like Ubuntu is gonna start serving up dishes with meat in them on certain Tuesdays as part of some stupid guest-chef series AND DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE CULT OF DAVID CHANG. You know what would be more interesting, Ubuntu? Challenge your chefs to make “enlightened” vegetarian food, using all of your bounty; I mean, that garden alone should be able to inspire the Colonel into making some tasty veg eats. If you can’t cut it with those resources and have to use meat, you are a terrible chef. It’s like, you know, there is ONE restaurant in all of Napa to go to and not worry about cross-contamination and other funky stuff in your veg food and there are what, a billion that offer tons of meaty dishes and maybe one vegetarian options if you’re lucky? Oh and vegans, fuck off. This is seriously disappointing. I was all psyched when they received a Michelin Star but this takes back a lot of that excitement. I mean, it was already goofy enough that you are a YOGA STUDIO/RESTAURANT but now this? COME ON NOW.