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Mar 29, 201810:56 AM
Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene

Things to Leave Behind

Culinary trends I’m done with

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I am not on the cutting edge of culinary trends, at least not as such things are judged nationwide. I am not parochial in my tastes, but I come across things by chance for the most part. Odds are that if I get interested in something food-related, someone is going to inform me that it was the hottest thing in New York or L.A. or Tokyo or freaking Reykjavik at least a year ago. 

I do not want to sound like a curmudgeon because it is enough to resemble one. But I have been demonstrably in front of precisely one food-trend in my career – f*ck truffle oil – and that trend seems like it’s reversing. It is the way of things, I guess. One day truffle oil is on everything; the next, people recognize it’s a poor imitation of something that smells like whale vomit anyway but that lots of us consume because it’s expensive. Then it comes back.

I would like truffle oil to go away because I have come to believe that there is no such thing as too light a hand with truffle oil. I would like truffle oil to go away because I do not want to be reminded that I cannot afford truffles. If I could not afford to taste an orange, I would not snort Tang.

I would like people who do not believe that we have a unique food culture down here to avoid sharing that opinion with a table full of people from south Louisiana.

I would like people who are certified to judge barbecue competitions to recognize that even though an event is technically a barbecue competition, when the first, second and third most important things about said event are not whether the meat on the ribs has a good “mouth tug” or any other certifiable (arbitrary) “barbecue” criteria but instead how much money the event raised to support families with kids battling cancer, that “criteria” are somewhat less important.

But then again, what do I know? I’m behind the times where many things are concerned. I have an iPhone, and I can text message people on my Facepage, and I’ve taken an Uber, but I’m likely to suffer a seizure the next time I read a restaurant described as an “Uptown stunner.” I’m not in full-on LCD Soundsystem mode yet, but it’s a matter of time.

Tune in next week when I write about the native food of north Mississippi. Or don’t; it’s going to be a 20-word piece, and at least nine of those words rhyme with “vile wasteland of ill-pickled pork detritus and weak coffee.”

Bless their hearts.



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Haute Plates

Our weekly blog on the New Orleans fine dining scene


Robert D. Peyton was born at Ochsner Hospital and, apart from four years in Tennessee for college and three years in Baton Rouge for law school, has lived in New Orleans his entire life. He is a strong believer in the importance of food to our local culture and in the importance of our local food culture, generally. He has practiced law since 1994, and began writing about food on his website, www.appetites.us, in 1999. He mainly wrote about partying that year, obviously.

In 2006, New Orleans Magazine named Appetites the best food blog in New Orleans. The choice was made relatively easy due to the fact that Appetites was, at the time, the only food blog in New Orleans.

He began writing the Restaurant Insider column for New Orleans Magazine in 2007 and has been published in St. Charles Avenue, Louisiana Life and New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles magazines. He is the only person he knows personally who has been interviewed in GQ magazine, albeit for calling Alan Richman a nasty name. He is not proud of that, incidentally. (Yes, he is.)

Robert’s maternal grandmother is responsible for his love of good food, and he has never since had fried chicken or homemade biscuits as good as hers. He developed his curiosity about restaurant cooking in part from the venerable PBS cooking show "Great Chefs" and has an extensive collection of cookbooks, many of which do not require coloring, and some of which have not been defaced.

Robert lives in Mid-City with his wife Eve and their three children, and is fond of receiving comments and emails. Please humor him.




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