Look, another one!
Great Dining Deals in Paris
I'm actually feeling okay about just posting this link without saying much about it because it pretty much captures most of my thoughts on food and the culture of fine dining in itself. I have yet to read any of David Lebovitz's books, but I visit his blog almost every day for the beautiful pictures, witty self-deprecations, and glimpse into the (sweet) life of an American transplant in Paris.
Coincidentally, I also ran across this interview with "celebrity" chef Thomas Keller, in which he asserts that diners across the country (like NYC vs. Napa valley) don't really differ from one another, "because when you're dealing at that high-end level, it's the same type of client. It's the person that appreciates the quality."
Thomas Keller on Running a Culinary Empire
(you may have to register to read the whole interview)
Which all, I think, speaks to a culture of fine dining and haute cuisine specifically, as well as a culture of foodie-ism more generally, that transcends geographical locations and even national cultures. Keller's empire doesn't yet extend outside the United States, and I'd be intrigued to see if his theory about high-end diners might change once it did. But even though national cultures might value food differently, I think he's onto something. Perhaps we can start thinking of foodies around the world as their own diaspora (can you have a diaspora without an originating homeland?), united in the imagined nation-state of deliciousness.
But only if our (imagined) national dish can be the strawberry ice cream with peanut brittle and brownie from Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc, the cookbook for which I, also coincidentally, just received as an early birthday gift yesterday.
*Full disclosure: Thomas Keller has yet to pay me to eat at Ad Hoc, but should he do so one day, I would accept in a heartbeat.