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Wilfrid

Francis Mallmann, most interesting chef in the world

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Esquire profile: enjoy.

 

http://www.esquire.com/lifestyle/a14443791/francis-mallmann-patagonia-2018/

 

Wow, that's a wild ride, isn't it? $44,000 to travel for several days and eat the best burnt bread and tomatoes in the history of humanity.

 

But how much is it the journalist? I was joining in the fun until I saw that he has 4,000 books of poetry at his Uruguayan farm alone.

 

Nobody who owns 4,000 books of poetry likes poetry. It's ridiculous, even if he reads fluently in several languages. There aren't 4,000 good books of poetry in English. If they exist, they exist to furnish the farm and the myth.

 

And that was my lens for the rest of the article.

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There are a lot more warning flares than his poetry collection. Every paragraph provides a "Spare me!" revelation.

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it's unclear how much corroboration there is for the anecdotes in the piece or if it's all myth-making: mallmann appears to be the only source of information on all of the stories that have to do with his reputation. but maybe it's just sloppy journalism.

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I knew you'd all enjoy it.

 

It's the kind of article which doesn't really tell you anything about the quality of his skills, food, or restaurants. Just lets him portray himself, quite unwittingly, as a bit of a dick.

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That first shot, where you see this dude on a small boat with a huge grill welded on to it and this raging fire.. It's absolutely beautiful and pointless and absurd and you are thinking, why the hell would he need a grill that big, attached to a boat that small.. And then you think, why the hell wouldn't you do that..

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I love the cookbook I have from him. The guy does seem like a total dick, OTOH he clearly has a flair for the dramatic, which probably makes the dining experience cool, as a one-off.

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Unwitting or not, I think that virtually every one of the chef profiles (of men, anyway) make them out to be dicks. I think there are lots of people (men) in our culture who aspire to be dicks of exactly that sort.

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And food culture being what it (still) is, I think the writers write in a way that makes chefs out to be dicks no matter what the chef's intent, that being what we the audience are supposed to want chefs to be like.

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Unwitting or not, I think that virtually every one of the chef profiles (of men, anyway) make them out to be dicks. I think there are lots of people (men) in our culture who aspire to be dicks of exactly that sort.

Broadly true; isn't it curious that the subjects and writers seem oblivious?

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What drew me in was the intro: fly to Buenos Aires (a schlep), then a drive, a boat, another drive, and you get there.

 

"A glass of wine?"

 

No, two very strong, very cold drinks, bring them both now, and then a bottle of wine, and then let's talk about what we're drinking with dinner. Burnt bread and tomatoes, right?

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I was enamored of him from his first book and liked much of his second.
Then I saw the show about him (Netflix?) and I started out enthralled and then it felt really dark.
I recently watched it again and it's pretty dark from the start.
I do believe him to be a talented dick who is no where as interesting as he thinks.
But I love that kind of cooking and his food aesthetic.

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