Garth Brooks made a comment once that stuck with me; he said he disliked meeting celebrities he looked up to because it was crushing when someone he admired turned out to be a disappointment.
An example of someone who has been rumored to have that effect is David Letterman, who you'd assume would be super fun and entertaining to be around. But according to many past celebrity guests, not so much. He's apparently quiet and standoffish when not on camera and does not engage in any kind of chitchat - not even to Paul and the band - which just seems, well, kinda weird. But who am I to judge? Unless he books The Kitchen Witch for a little cream cheese cooking, I really have nothing more to go on than heresay.
The person in the celebrity world I have always most admired is Oprah Winfrey, and for similar reasons, I would be terrified to meet her. I mean, what if I caught her on a bad day?
Mind you, bad days notwithstanding, human beings are an intuitive bunch. Even if someone is having a bad day, we can pick up on their essence and ability to be or not be a jerk. And my best guess is that Oprah, even on her worst day, is far from being a jerk.
In the cooking world, I've had the pleasure of meeting Tony Chapman, Laura Calder, Dana McCauley, Maggie Mckeown, and Jesse Palmer - all in connection to my experiences on Recipe to Riches - and for the most part, meeting them was great. I was pleasantly surprised by how nice Tony Chapman is and really enjoyed Dana McCauley and Chef Maggie McKeown who was a HOOT to cook with and had a wealth of knowledge and experience that I lapped up like a sponge.
But my favourite food world celebrity is Anna Olson, hands down. No competition.
I met Anna for the first time when I was a finalist in The Real Women of Philadelphia through Kraft Foods Canada and, along with everyone involved, absolutely loved her! Although Anna is a renowned chef who has published many cookbooks and has had several excellent shows on the Food Network, she remains down to earth, fun, and real and very generously agreed to be on camera with me this year at Eat Vancouver - more on that in a future blog.
But in the same way "what goes up must come down" is a reality in life, so then is "Some celeb chefs are awesome, and some need better seasoning."
I met one of the latter recently.
And it was one of those Garth Brooks experiences because this is someone I had IDOLIZED! Up there in my estimation with people like Lydia Bastianich, and Rick Bayless, I was super excited to have an opportunity to chat with, and maybe interview, this chef and I had so many positive experiences with the people above, that it never occurred to me this one would be any different.
Like I said before, people are very intuitive and my spidey senses have long been strong, so the first vibe I got as I approached this person at another food related event was that Chef was busy. Chef did not want to talk to the little people. Of course, this just made me more nervous and, truth be told, I would have turned around at that point and left. But I had a friend with me who is much gutsier than I am and she insisted he was just another human being and we were going to ask him for an interview.
So we got in line.
By the time we reached him and it was our turn to talk (this was much like waiting to see Santa), Chef made himself even more busy and spent the next five minutes talking on his cell phone and ignoring us completely.
When he finally got off the phone, he looked at us with what can best be described as arrogant contempt, and as I fumbled around about being The Kitchen Witch and asked him if I could ask him a few questions on camera for my Youtube channel, I wanted to fall through the floor.
Especially when he said no. Apparently he has publicity people who can authorize such things and they weren't there yet.
But it wasn't the "no" that had me feeling so unsure of myself, it was his attitude. From start to finish, it was evident he didn't consider us to be worth his time, and with that so abundantly clear, I was more than ready to leave.
Never one to go down without a fight, however, my friend insisted he answer the question I had been asking all the chefs that day: "What is the one cooking technique every home cook should master?"
Knowing he wasn't getting rid of us that easily, he came off his pedestal about a half step and agreed to answer my question:
"Poaching an egg."
And that was that. We thanked him for his time and walked straight toward the wine tasting area in the hopes that a little of the good stuff might wash the bad taste that had been left in our mouths.
I'll leave you all to ruminate over who the chef in question might be.
And then cheers!
Let's go back to delicious...
Please enjoy my easy to follow step by step video!
- 1 1/4 oz. Frangelico
- 1 1/4 oz. Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur
- 3/4 oz. Cherry Brandy
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the liquers, shake well, and pour into a chilled martini glass.
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