Jul 15, 2022 Metro Eats
Does anyone ever think about how weird it is that there is so much celebrity around people who… cook food? As someone who is somewhat responsible for contributing to that culture of celebrity, whether it’s the micro-celebritiness of being a well-known chef in Auckland, or the social-media fuelled food personalities I’ve talked about on this very newsletter, it’s something I think about a lot. Are we all trying to game domesticity? Do we all have this intrinsic feeling that, if we somehow make this one thing – whether it’s the very achievable but annoyingly ingredients-heavy cowboy caviar, or the green goddess salad, that our lives will be better? Do we just value the intimacy that comes along with these personalities letting us into their everyday routines?
I started thinking about it again after seeing this article on Gawker, about how being a ‘recipe developer’ has become a famous job, in part due to the popularity of the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen. It explores how the appearance of effortlessness on the part of people like Molly Baz and Claire Saffitz, with their “combination of restaurant-honed technique of chef-stars and home-cooking approachability of a Barefoot Contessa” made it become prime internet content. It also discusses how we like these personalities in different ways to a normal celebrity – because they’re accessible to us. If we DM them for advice on Instagram, there’s a high possibility that they’ll reply. It’s as if becoming a recipe developer is something to strive for, someone’s Dream Job, much in the same way that being an influencer is. Or maybe they’re the same thing?
I also started thinking about it, the celebritiness of food and restaurants, after booking a trip to Sydney in late-October and immediately trying to plan my eating itinerary – because you have to. Restaurants now have staggered, complicated booking systems; some of them open for bookings a month in advance, some of them 3 months, some of them every 90 days, some of them every 90 days in advance of the day you want to go, every day. I literally have things in my calendar like, ‘saint peter bookings open today’, or ‘FIREDOOR!!!!’. (It’s a holiday, not a work trip, in case anyone’s wondering.) Why have we done this to ourselves?
Baby G is setting up residency at Orphan’s Kitchen, taking over on Thursday-Saturday nights.
Passa Passa and Natural Liquor have partnered up to present a four-course dinner paired with four natural wines, featuring fresh pasta and pizza fritta, on Thursday 28 July. It’ll be hosted at Open on Karangahape, and tix are $75.
Everyday Wine is going on tour, hosting a round of tastings up and down the country. In Auckland, it’s popping up at Alta , with ten wines and snacks for $60pp on Monday 18 July. What else will you be doing on a Monday?
Karangahape Rd restaurant Atelier and Stella Artois are joining forces for a ten-plate + two chalices (of Stella, what else) meal as part of its Bon Appetit with Stella Artois dining series, which runs for four weeks starting on the 19 July. $80pp, tickets here.
Everybody Eats have partnered with Duck Island to create the Carrot Cake Ice Cream, which uses carrots that would have otherwise gone to waste, cream cheese and spices. From mid-July to August, you can get your hands on the flavour at the Everyday Eats restaurant in Onehunga, or at a Duck Island scoop shop. $0.50c of every scoop will be donated to Everybody Eats.
Lastly, I just wanted to shout-out to my friend and eating partner Sam Low, who is competing in the finale (!) of MasterChef New Zealand this Sunday. I’ve been following Sam’s journey through the show, and out of the show, and I’m very proud of all the things he’s cooked, and how he’s represented himself on the show. I feel like Sam has a lot to give to the food scene here. And I hope he wins.*
*I do not know if he wins or not.
There’s a new Japanese sandwich spot in Takapuna called iiko Sando and Eatery, which serves Japanese-style sandos (like pork katsu, and fruit and cream ones). The branding is extremely cute.
Melbourne institution MoVida is coming to Auckland soon, with Savor Group bringing it into the old Ostro space in the Britomart Seafarers building. It’s tipped to open late next month. Expect much fanfare.
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