Men’s Journal photographs Five Portland Chefs
I had to see this one to believe it, so bought the October 2009 Men’s Journal Magazine. The editors picked five “leading Portland Chefs”, dressed them up in suits, and photographed them around town. Their chef choices: Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon, Scott Dolich – Park Kitchen, Patrick Miller – 50 Plates, Andy Ricker – Pok Pok & Ping, Jesse Skiles: Owen Roe Winery.
When I first heard about this project, I thought it would be a total disaster. Chef’s in Suits! However, I bought the magazine (the article doesn’t seem to be available online), and was surprised; they all look pretty damn good, and I can’t imagine many of them were comfortable with the whole idea. Patrick Miller is pictured carrying 50 plates, Andy Ricker is shown getting a tattoo of a mortar & pestle (pok pok… ), only Gabriel Rucker looks uncomfortable, but let’s face it, no one is going to look good standing in a $6,000 suit along with a leashed, five-foot pigeon – Photo-shop at its worst. Departing from the play on restaurant names, Dolich looks great, sitting on a bed, his children bouncing around him, as confetti swirls around. Insert sarcastic comment about not being able to work a park into the picture.
The magazine is worth buying for the entertaining photographs, along with recipes from Gabriel, Andy Ricker and Patrick Miller. Of course, you could just peruse it at the new stand. Just sayin’
pardon me, spoilsport that i am. this sounds just . . . idiotic. However, as a former entrepreneur, I do understand that one should never turn down an opportunity to self-promote. Unless, of course, the self-promotion only makes you look opportunistic and not particularly great in any other sphere.
Fonzie, meet shark.
This reminds me of a Gourmet article a few years back with many chefs on the cover pretending to be “rock stars” lip-synching into whisks and playing air guitar and such on kitchen equipment.
I’d always assumed someone slipped them roofies and they were too disoriented to refuse when they woke up at the photo shoot…
Just goes to show how chefs are the the new hot celebrities. Maybe food sells almost as well as sex?
Good lord. what a bunch of ponys. Gabriel is just some handsome schmuck who got a bunch of pony tats to give him some “cred”. He’s a pony. Rockstars? My pony. I’ve worked with alot of those ponys and the only thing they have going for them is family monies. Sadly, there is alot more going in this town with kick pony grub that goes unnoticed.
I like how this restaurant review site is slowly becoming a sort of TMZ for portland “celebrity chefs”. Later you pony pony, it’s time to vomit……
Someone left their computer on and let their elementary school progeny post….tsk tsk. Though that is one impressive vocabulary “flippityflop”. You should be proud.
far away says
what a bunch of haters. guaranteed there is some jealousy out there, and if most people got the opportunity to do this tastful self promotion they would do it, furthermore it is about time that Portland was recognized and appreciated, there is alot of great things going on and alot of unrecognized talent. Bring on the attention.
Food Dude says
“it is about time that Portland was recognized and appreciated, there is alot of great things going on and alot of unrecognized talent. ”
Um, if anything, Portland is over appreciated. We the darlings of the press. Also, I don’t think anyone is bashing the chefs, only the magazine and the way this was done.
Cuisine Bonne Femme says
Using the term ‘haters’ is idiotic. It’s a horrible cop out of a word that is used as an attempt to shame others who might have differing opinions. It is immature and stunted dialogue. Rather than use well thought out discourse, such as “I disagree with the these statements and I think you are wrong because…” a writer of the term “hater” or derivatives thereof, is about as effective as a 4 year old throwing a tantrum in a nursery rhyme, “Later, Later, You’re a Hater!”. Use your words, please!
Ok, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest here’s the rub. Portland is developing an interesting food scene, but it is one that is still in its adolescence compared to many other cities. In addition, I’ve been traveling a lot this summer and I have to say, while Portland is wonderful and amazing there are terrific regional and city specific food scenes morphing, growing and blossoming in a whole bunch of other cities in the US as well. Portland is great, but it is by no means an anomaly.
While attention and deserved kudos are wonderful for everyone involved, there remains a large risk to too much media attention in such a short amount of time. Yes, too much media attention is not always a good thing. It can create a scene that is more focused on image than food and where the very qualities that make something good become diminished as those in the scene spend more time in the press and less time in the kitchen. Specifically, it’s called HYPE. This is when the actual wonderful thing (in this case food) becomes overshadowed by media and begins to become more about the image, a myth and a marketing shtick, and often a public backlash follows in the following years; “Oh, Portland is so over, so 2009. The new food hub is fill-in-the-blank.” Think of Seattle’s grunge music scene in the 1990s and you have an idea.
Glossy fashion spreads are distasteful to many who believe the best part about Portland’s food scene is the artisan quality, the humbleness, the focus on the food and not the celebrity chef-itis we see on places like the Food Network and in other cities. Let the food speak for itself. This, to me, is what has always made Portland’s food scene different, special and wonderful – not the celebrity hype aspect of it. Focus on the food and the attention, the right attention will follow that will allow Portland to be taken as a serious food city in the long term, not just the flavor du jour (the risk right now).
Does this make me a hater or someone who cares about the bigger picture?
“Using the term ‘haters’ is idiotic. It’s a horrible cop out of a word that is used as an attempt to shame others who might have differing opinions. It is immature and stunted dialogue. Rather than use well thought out discourse, such as “I disagree with the these statements and I think you are wrong because…” a writer of the term “hater” or derivatives thereof, is about as effective as a 4 year old throwing a tantrum in a nursery rhyme, “Later, Later, You’re a Hater!”. Use your words, please!”
Right on CBF. I absolutely agree. People who use that word are almost being lazy at best and either dumb or manipulative at worst.
Oops. I meant to write ” are almost always being lazy” not “are almost being lazy.”
Much prefer the more traditional “killjoy” to the pop lingo “hater.”
Let the cheffies have their fun fergodsakes. The local food culture will rise and fall on its own merit.
I like ‘fun-burglar’ myself
Flippityflop! Good heavens!
Ms. M. says
FlippityFlop, it seems as if you’ve flipped and flopped one too many times. Get over your gripes and learn to carry on with style. If you’ve worked in the industry then you should know how much work it takes. I’ve had it with people who can’t stand it when someone else finds a modicum of success. Gabriel Rucker, along with the rest of the chefs, deserve the accolades and press.
far away says
i think “haters” is perfectly exceptable explaination for the people who talk trash. Fine you don’t like them, or the attention they bring, but don’t *hi# on someone elses parade or disect the fall out because they nabbed the attention. thank you CBF i don’t feel it necessary to get over wordy, psuedointellectual, or write a dissertation on the possible theat of over exposure for the local restaurant scene, it is a food forum right?
further more it was aimed at the comments that are obvioulsy trying to steal someone elses thunder for the mere fact that they probably can’t drum any of their own, or have passed through the kitchens of these chefs and have never found the opportunity for their own spot, recognized with a magazine article or they have been a flash in the pan etc. whatever the reason, who cares. i am happy for these guys, they have gotten restaurants, put out good food, recieved great reviews and put in the work. When did that become a crime?
now, spew your vitriol for my post haters and over-analyzers
I enjoy watching the silent work of the combatants in the arena and listening to the din of the jeering spectators. Guys like Scott Dolich are the real deal; they don’t cook for fleeting accolades, they cook because they have been blessed with a passion for all things culinary.
It’s what they do and defines to a great extent who they are.
He doesn’t care about a picture in a publication; he’s been there before. Most real chefs couldn’t give a rat’s rear about what some English major thinks of their food; these chefs want bodies to continue coming through the front door so they can keep doing what they love to do.
Chef-owners are out to impress every guest that sits down in that small space of a seat; even a dipstick food critic.
They want you to notice the texture of a dish, that the confit was salty and delicate. They want you to close your eyes and spend 3 seconds analyzing the simple flavors of a fresh herb, a local cheese or nature’s perfection in a piece of honeycomb.
Chefs want you to notice the interior matrix found in veneer thin slices of NW black truffle perched atop a risotto dish. Simple, edible beauty.
I wouldn’t call a chef an entertainer; those guys on TV are media pimps shilling salty rubs and crappy cookware to ignorant acolytes.
Real chefs are educators like the crazy prof in college that wore his pants too high, yet, still had a following of students because of a passion for his work and mastery of subject.
I found that pictures and clippings couldn’t be deposited at the bank, but, were great for friends and relatives refrigerator doors. Let the lads have a little fun; reality hits once second after the media leaves.
Very well put oldchef