Gluttony as god: To Mr. Friedland and other parodists (including the amateurs who in recent weeks have created a YouTube subgenre of Paula Deen sendups), these cooks and their culture offer a delicious opportunity to remind devotees that for all their passion about cooking and eating, it is all, finally, just food. —

*

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+gluttony+as+god&qpvt=images+gluttony+as+god&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=56DA10215792CABE1778D792B27E22AF6E6892BF&selectedIndex=18

*

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+gluttony+as+god&qpvt=images+gluttony+as+god&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=8F77F2847ADA21502F716403544849FF442EF2E6&selectedIndex=24

*

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+gluttony+as+god&qpvt=images+gluttony+as+god&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=027AEDBC5CF00555678832A2F8102F3BD4F2F174&selectedIndex=17

*

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+gluttony+as+god&qpvt=images+gluttony+as+god&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=228BAA2A823316BB9B765D774356E24E8343695F&selectedIndex=111

*

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+gluttony+as+god&qpvt=images+gluttony+as+god&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=066D24EAA178266F9FBCC5FCF5FCE7BE5282412E&selectedIndex=252

*

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+gluttony+as+god&qpvt=images+gluttony+as+god&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=FBD30F0A990C6570EBE72A605D6D2B847B78EE5B&selectedIndex=491

*

*

*

*

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/13/dining/whos-ruthbourdain-now-we-know.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0

*

Ruth Bourdain, it turns out, is Josh Friedland, a mild-mannered freelance writer in Maplewood, N.J., who produces the Food Section, one of the longest-running culinary blogs on the Web. “I never thought the joke would go on so long,” said Mr. Friedland, who plans to continue the Twitter posts. “But the food world has become so ripe for satire in the time since I started it.”

Few arenas of 21st-century life have so quickly become the focus of aspiration and outright obsession: the byzantine tasting menus, the competition to discover the Next Great Place, the melodramatic top-chef reality shows. And while most celebrities are subjected to satire these days, few are mocked more gleefully than the legion of chefs who can claim some level of fame, from international brand names like Gordon Ramsay to local upstarts in every city, each with an online following and a pork-butchery diagram tattooed on a forearm.

*

Here is the real Ms. Reichl writing on Twitter: “Still. Gray. Cicadas screeching. Such a mournful sound. Fragrant strawberries, just picked. Rivers of yellow cream. Color for a muted day.”

And here is Ruth Bourdain, who is frequently profane, libidinous or under the influence of hallucinogens: “Foggy. Stormy. Lightning in the night. Is that asparagus tucked into your softly stirred eggs or are you just happy to see me? Brown butter me.”

Over time, this slim premise has drawn more than 66,000 followers, and evolved to include the invention of new holiday drinks (turduckennog), pasta shapes (recessionini) and classifications for the food-crazed, from “curd nerds” to “Zagateers.”

A few people have accurately guessed Ruth Bourdain’s identity, but Mr. Friedland managed to deflect them, often changing his cellphone number, using voice-cloaking software to do radio interviews in character, and compelling editors and some reporters to sign nondisclosure agreements.

In 2011, the local-fresh-organic-food guru Alice Waters, not known for her sense of humor, announced on Twitter that she was Ruth Bourdain, sparking a fresh round of speculation.

Later that year, Robert Sietsema, the former Village Voice restaurant critic, was mistakenly outed as Ruth Bourdain at a conference of food journalists in Charleston, S.C., when Lee Svitak Dean, reporting for The Minneapolis Star Tribune, said she had spotted him typing on his phone at precisely the same times that Bourdain posts were going up. She immediately posted her accusation on Twitter.

“I started looking around to see who was the likely person, who has the sort of humor you need and the big-enough ego to be Ruth Bourdain,” Ms. Dean told a reporter. “It’s like playing the game of Clue.”

In 2012, New York magazine casually referred to “Ruth Bourdain (a k a Voice writer Robert Sietsema)” in a mention of “Comfort Me With Offal,” the satirical book Mr. Friedland wrote as Ruth Bourdain and published last fall.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s