Slam dunk. Just reading this list of names evokes so many sublime dishes past...and immediately makes me wonder how soon can I get to wherever they are cooking now, especially the ones who don't have a personal PR machine cranked up full throttle. That defines the difference to this foodie between a star and a mere celebrity. Thanks, Don.
Holy mama, that is one awesome and inspired rant. Applause and approval.
Thank you, ol_ironstomach and durwoodx, for you kind words. Here are some comments about this on twitter:
This seemingly unprovoked rant says more about
@DCDining than @MikeIsabellaDC/ @chefspike. Reads like finger-wagging old man spite. Petty.
"Petty" means "of little importance" or "trivial," and I think Mendelsohn's and Isabella's meteoric rise to fame are anything but "trivial." "Spite" means "a desire to hurt, annoy, or offend." I suppose this may be more true than "petty," but my primary goal with this wasn't to hurt, annoy, or offend; it was merely to point out that a dose of humility is in order when comparing these two gentleman - especially Mendelsohn - to chefs with considerably more talent who don't get the same publicity ... not so much to tear these two men down; rather, to hoist the true talents of these many great chefs and cooks up to where they should be. The "finger-wagging old-man spite" comment about me was, ironically, spiteful, but I don't care.
@DCDining now you're just poking the hornet's nest.
I suppose I am - it's about time someone in the media had the cojones to do so.
Lastly, from @spikemendelsohn himself:
@DCDining @MikeIsabellaDC what a waste of time do u actually think you know anything about us??
A waste of time? Do you know how much of *my* time you've wasted with your asinine, vacuous publicity campaign? Do I actually think I know anything about either one of you? Absolutely not - certainly not personally. You two may be the nicest people on the planet. I do, however, have some familiarity with the food you're producing at your restaurants. And please don't say "us," because Mike Isabella - even though he may well take sides with you on this issue - has at least proven capable of putting forth some fine dishes, and other than the fact that he sits there in front of the camera, grinning, doesn't seem to have very much in common with you; I've seen nothing whatsoever from you but greasy burgers and fries. If you have any modicum of talent, other than knowing how to put on a hat and smiling for the camera, then please show me - I'm willing to be educated, and I'll be the first person to come forward and say, "I was wrong about Spike Mendelsohn." But the burden of proof is on you, my friend, and from what I've seen thus far, the difference between you and chefs such as Eric Ziebold, Frank Ruta, Cathal Armstrong, Haidar Karoum, Ron Tanaka, Scott Drewno, Vikram Sunderam, Koji Terano, Michel Richard, Kaz Okochi, Todd Gray, Brian Robinson, Logan Cox, Shannon Overmiller, Barry Koslow, Gerard Pangaud, Roberto Donna, Enzo Fargione, R.J. Cooper, Joe Harran, Tony Conte, Nick Stefanelli, Tom Power, Tarver King, Johnny Monis, Sudhir Seth, K. N. Vinod, Jeff Heineman, Hamilton Johnson, Gillian Clark, Carole Greenwood, Gerard Pangaud, Massimo Fabri, Harper McClure, Eddie Moran, Cedric Maupillier, Victor Albisu, Edan MacQuaid, Robert Weidemaier, Ris LaCoste, Ethan McKee, Peter Pastan, Drew Trautman, Danny Bortnick, Johnny Monis, Paul Pelt, Todd Wiss, Cesare Lanfranconi, Pedro Matamoros, Michael Hartzer, James Claudio, Rob Weland, Antonio Burrell, Justin Bittner, Will Artley, Bobby Beard, Graig Glufling, Eric Bruner-Yang, Bart Vandaele, Kyle Bailey, Janis McLean, Julien Jouhannaud, Peter Smith, Andrew Markert, Fabio Trabocchi, Ed Witt, Joe Raffa, Michel Laudier, Yannik Cam, Enzo Algarme, Patrick Musel, John Engell, Brian Wilson, Nate Waugaman, and a whole host of others that I've forgotten in ratting this list off, is that you're insulting and denegrating their hard work by posing in front of the camera, grinning, holding out a greasy platter of hamburger and fries, while they're toiling behind the line producing kick-ass meals and supervising kitchens putting out something more than junk food and bad pizzas. You should be ashamed of yourself - not just for putting out a bad product, but for also having the audacity NOT to acknowledge the greatness of these individuals who come way, way before you in the pecking order of things. Just do us all a favor and come out and say it, and then maybe people like me will shut up and applaud you for your fame. Nobody denies your fame and fortune, my good men, but when that fame and fortune comes at the expense of other, greater people, then it's my job to stand up for these artists and craftsmen, and stand up for them I will. With no regrets.