UPDATE: Twitter fun, source will remain nameless: “Sat next to food writer last night. Level of douchbagery astonished me. Had recipe on the back of their card for the bartender to reproduce.” Of course, we don’t really know it was Mariani. Or do we? (At least the bar where he pulled this was not The Violet Hour— it was a little north of there on Damen….)
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My arch-nemesis, the bounteously expense-accounted and ethically challenged food writer John Mariani, the epitome of the parachute-in-to-four-star-meals food writer, a man who sees America as a vast black hole of pizza with high points only on the edges, a man who once wrote an article on Texas bbq without ever venturing more than 20 miles from an international airport, will be eating at Graham Elliott tonight, reports Helen at Menu Pages.
Here’s where I’ve railed against him in the past. First, on pizza:
…the main point is just that usual old coastal snobbery toward Chicago-style deep dish pizza. I mean, a list that can take in the 80s trend toward froufrou duck sausage pizzas with hoisin sauce but completely looks down its nose at an exuberantly over the top indigenous American art form like the Chicago deep dish– it’s like an interview with Andre Previn I read once where, pressed, he acknowledged that Stephen Sondheim perhaps proved that music hadn’t completely died as an art form after about 1960. Thanks, Andre, we’ll let you crawl back into your crypt now, and you try to hum the opening number from “Assassins” while John Mariani surveys the vast pizza wasteland from coast to coast.
Then there was the time Mariani tried to decide what his last meal would be, an exercise in jawdropping pretension:
“Nope, I don’t want the overwrought pièce de côte de boeuf Simmental au feu de bois, vert et côtes de blettes, os à moelle, jus corsé from Alain Ducasse’s Le Louis XV in Monaco. But I will order the Prime Illinois corn-fed 21-day-aged bone-in rib eye at Wolfgang Puck’s stunning new steak house, Cut, in Beverly Hills, Calif.,” scribbles Mariani in the grip of his obsession, like a sociopath who still imagines he has the power to pass judgements of life and death upon his victims, rather than being about to have society’s judgement carried out upon him.
If he vanishes tonight and is found a few days later in a diner in Great Bend, Kansas, insensate in a plate of biscuits and gravy and wearing a Toby Keith T-shirt, I had nothing to do with it.