I love food. I love cooking it. I love eating it. I love going out to restaurants and ordering everything and anything on the menu. Chefs are my celebrities; I remember the time I saw Anne Burrell at the upstairs bar of April Bloomfield’s The Breslin. I reacted not unlike my mother did that one time she saw Bette Midler on the street in downtown Vancouver. Our two-part interview with Anthony Bourdain? Thank goodness it was over the phone, otherwise I would have been blushing as hard as a tween at a Justin Bieber concert.
Some people might say that celebrity chefs are over-exposed, but a wise man once told me, “Just the fact that people care about a cook or somebody cooking on TV is probably one for the ‘win’ column,” and I couldn’t agree more. Does that mean we won’t call these bold-faced names out for asinine comments or embarrassing TV slip-ups? Absolutely not. We relish (ha) the opportunity to hold some of the biggest egos around accountable.
The Braiser is here to bring the personalities behind the food you eat and love (or hate!) to the forefront. What we eat, where we eat, and how we eat it is a focal point of how we define community, family, and culture in this country and around the world. And the people who help us do that are going to get our attention — though some, obviously, much more than others.
So read along as we chronicle the chefs that grace our televisions, our magazines, and our Twitter feeds — as well as those that don’t. For every chef with their own show, there are a dozen out there creating, cooking, and changing the way we consume food on a daily basis. Who is causing the latest stir in the Chicago food scene? Want to know where your favorite chefs eat? Where they hang out? Where they get drunk after a really, really bad day at work? Check out our Dining Diaries series. Want to know who over-partook in the pinot with Kathy Lee and Hoda on the Fourth Hour of the Today Show this morning? We have got you covered. Which brings me to the rest of the team.
Mariella Mosthof’s food knowledge is largely and self-admittedly Mom-taught, but her knowledge of the culinary world, as reflected in that TV set on your wall, is encyclopedic. She comes from a TV and celeb news coverage background, so she feels right at home digging up the dish on all her favorite chefs. Trading in TMZ and Jersey Shore for Lucky Peach and Top Chef sounds like a delicious transition to her. Plus, as the Lady Chef debate rages on, she cannot wait to flood your feeds with femivore critique on women’s representation in the media.
Tina Nguyen is a recovering political wonk who seriously just can’t let go, and will cover the intersection between chefs and society (wait, didn’t I take that course in college?). You know, politics, policy, and all the other ways that chefs are having an impact outside of the narrow world of food. She will admit that sometimes she might go a bit overboard with the verbiage, but begs for your understanding. After all, The Braiser is a unique place for chef-infotainment and Tina wants to have fun with it. Oh, and she wants you to know that she liked pho before everybody else, and is relieved that ramen is the new pho, so she can take it back.
So join us — and be sure to let us know what you think — and what you know. Eating is always more fun in a group.
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