Chef dinosaurs and all the young punks

Rod StewartLondon food blogger extraordinaire, MsMarmitelover, has written a brilliant post, in which she compares our contemporary food giants to the Rock Gods of the Seventies. Back in 1976, she reminisces, Rod Stewart had ducked off to Hollywood to hang out with Britt Ekland and Mick Jagger was partying with Princess Margaret on Mustique. Queue punk.

MsMarmitelover likens today’s food stars to these unattainable icons:

The same thing has happened in cooking. The culinary world is ruled by people like Gordon Ramsay: rarely behind a stove; Heston Blumenthal: a mere 400 quid  to eat at his place; Ferran Adria: the waiting list for El Bulli is, well, book me in for the year 2020; Jamie Oliver: the tory Essex boy with populist roots done good,  settled down in domestic bliss. 
So what’s the culinary equivalent of the Damned and the Pistols, in 2009? The underground restaurant scene, in which MsMarmitelover seems to be a prime mover.
People want to eat at places where they can meet the chef, even have a drink with them afterwards, where they can mingle socially, where they can momentarily dispense with the hierarchy and isolation of a traditional restaurant.
I’ve not been to an underground restaurant. As I understand it, the idea is that someone welcomes strangers into their house and cooks for them, for enough of a fee to cover costs. What a magnificent idea. I’m tempted to try myself – but perhaps I’d better go to one of these events first, and learn more about what goes on.

One Response

  1. So how would the underground restaurant scenario work given current food hygiene laws?
    Moreover, would it not also be wise to lock away the family silver before allowing a total stranger into your house?
    And then there is the question of insurance. Even experienced chefs cannot guarantee to be immune from the risks of serving up a dose of delhi belly.

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