Question Of The Week: What's The Point Of Fried Butter? Can't We Just Be Happy With Normal Fair Food?

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OK--I realize it's kind of a two part question. But I'm a little too laz...um, too pressed for time because of deadlines to further define the topic.

Really, I don't want to sound like I'm against innovation. And do love fried foods. But this constant state fair one-upsmanship can get a little silly. Chicken fried bacon, not bad. Fried Twinkies, a little pointless, but what the hell. Fried butter?

So has it come to the point that cotton candy and turkey legs are no longer interesting? Do we need shock and awe value? Would you try fried butter if it was just a county fair?

Results from last week, in which we asked if the phrase 'celebrity chef' really means anything:

Seems people consider 'celeb chefs' either sell outs or media creations. But two comments stand out, both for their clear sense of reason--although the first is much longer than the second.

According to Amy S, "Julia Child was probably one of the earliest Celebrity Chefs - and she never worked in a restaurant for any length of time. The media creates this tag, whether it's TV programs, cooking contests or articles to sell their product. Once one show/person/gimmick hits, everyone copycats to get a little piece of the pie. Empty time slots creates a need to just fill in with whatever lowball idea someone creates involving food (hello, Chopping Block).

The participants "bite" because they see it as a new way to express themselves with food, and because they've witnessed the economic success that came with the pioneers of Celbrifood. Because they want to distinguish themselves from the others who schlep all night in a hot kitchen, become the elite as it were."

Then she brought us to the crux of the matter. "If any were not looking for the sellout, just being themselves the way Julia was or Jaques Pepin, the way Martha Stewart was in the old days, they'd be respected as well. Now the formats are all so pre-programmed it's just old news."

Precisely what we were thinking. There are real celebrities and then there's Al Roker. Or Pauly Shore. Or...you get the idea. Since reality TV creates so many of these faux celebs, maybe it is the fault of electronic media (don't think it's in the City of Ate's capacity to build name recognition).

Worzel Gummidge added another side to this, one that's often (though not always) true. The celebrity chef idea, he points out, eventually "means the quality of the aspirant's original restaurant is going to decline."

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