Time Magazine Brofiles Brogods of Brofood

[Content Note: Misogyny; fat hatred.]

In the United States, the latest cover of Time features a fat joke. Elsewhere, the cover showcases "The Gods of Food: ... the People Who Influence What (and How) You Eat."

[The issue] focuses on "influencers" in food, including the cover chefs, Blue Hill chef Dan Barber, food writer and Cook It Raw creative directorAndrea Petrini, food scold Michael Pollan, famous Spanish chef Albert Adrià, and chef/cookbook phenom Yotam Ottolenghi. Based on the online table of contents (subs. required), it seems the only woman profiled as an influencer is Aida Batlle, a fifth generation coffee producer in El Salvador who has worked with respected American coffee retailers like Stumptown and Blue Bottle. The magazine's list of the 13 Gods of Food highlights no female chefs.
I can't really do a better job of skewering Time than Eater's Hillary Dixler did in an interview with the section's editor, but there are a couple things that have been bothering me. I'm sure yinz will have fun with the rest of the piece in the comments. (FWIW, I first found out about the whole debacle when Anthony Bourdain tweeted that the interview was "shameful shit." Tony Bourdain thinks Time should be ashamed of itself, and he's fucking Bourdain.)

I could have swore we were just celebrating how some dudes were cooking for free, so it's always interesting to be reminded about how highly lauded professional chef are supposedly all men. [Cough. Except for these ladies Cough. (via)]

1) I am rolling my eyes SO HARD at the omission of Alice Waters. Before I was born, the lady was popularizing organic food. If you've heard of sustainable food, CSAs, rooftop tomatoes or slow food, Alice Waters has influenced "what [you] eat, and how [you] think about it." Time gave Dan Barber (who worked for Waters) an article in the Gods section. Michael Pollan has a piece in there, and Waters basically invented his career. René Redzepi has made a name for himself hawking (for good money, I might add) whatever the fuck twigs and berries he can scavenge from the Danish land (and sea) scape, and Time put him on the cover. No offense to Redzepi (or his food), but that just doesn't happen without Waters paving the way.

2) Time profiled David Chang (and Redzepi) in an article titled "The Dudes of Food." I want to dislike Chang, because he's everywhere these days. He's got his own culinary magazine that features other prominent New York food types. He's got a few restaurants in New York, with cookbooks to match. The first season of Anthony Bourdain's The Mind of A Chef followed Chang for 16 episodes. I got to see Chang golfing, Chang getting drunk, Chang hanging out with Aziz Ansari, and Chang generally goofing off.

Here's the thing: I think it would be pretty cool to hang out with Dave Chang. He's a cool dude. But that's just it: David Chang being a cool dude is not a reason to put him on the cover of Time magazine. The reason to put him on the cover is that he can cook. I happened to be in New York last week, and was able to sneak in a bowl of Momofuku (Chang's first restaurant) ramen, and even though I know this is the most obnoxious thing I could possibly say: IT TOTALLY CHANGED HOW I THINK ABOUT RAMEN.

The problem here isn't that Chang is getting accolades, it's that women who are equally talented aren't sharing in the spotlight. Time can throw around words like "reputation" and "influence" all it likes, but the bottom line is that the media (and the culinary industry) doesn't give women the same space to goof off as it does men. Women have to be serious about their talents, lest folks dismiss them as unskilled. Of course, behaving professionally is also likely to get a woman labelled as an icy bitch who isn't a team player. All of which plays into the whole "boys club" dynamic that Time claims to be merely chronicling.

Malarkey. Time needs to own that shit.

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