In praise of Honest Food



I love caviar.

I have a love / hate relationship with uni.

I’m confused why anyone would add gold leaf to a plate of food.

Maybe it’s Miami, maybe it’s this moment in time, but I’m seeing a ton of the aforementioned items added to dishes. Sometimes all three get added. Because if one is decadent, then three must be…

Dishonest.

In my opinion, it’s a dishonest shortcut that hurts chefs, diners and the city alike.  

It feels like the chef/owner/operator is saying:

Let’s put all three items on the plate, because that would be the ultimate in decadence. It doesn’t matter if they don’t go together - and that one of them is a precious metal, and no one in human history has been trying to eat precious metals - we can charge out the ass for them! People will pay for it because there are a ton of people who are more into flash than substance!”

And just like that, the chef/owner/operator transforms into a con man and the diner into a mark.

Yes, restaurants are in business to stay in business.

Yes, they need to be profitable.

And they can do that by selling dishes that appeal to that strata of the excess loving public.

But they can’t pretend to be honest artisans in search of excellence in their craft as chefs.

Over-adornment is always open to ridicule.

There’s a reason why you don’t chrome out everything on your vehicle or wear all of your jewelry at once.

Although bling’d-out food may appeal to your eyes (and followers), honest food reaches your soul.

When chefs make dishes to honor a memory from childhood, it feels honest. And you can taste it.

When chefs want a share their roots with a new city, it feels honest. And you can taste it.

When pastry chefs express their countless hours of practice and study in a dessert they have obsessed over, it feels honest. And you can taste it.

When chefs understand that sometimes they need to get out of the way and let one seasonal ingredient sing, it feels honest. And you can taste it.

I’m only interested in honest food made by honest chefs.

That’s what I am willing to support with my energy and money.

I’m hoping that honest food brings the right accolades to Miami and to the Miamians who are true to their craft and guests.