The Rise of Egotarian Cuisine

You must read this article by Alan Richman in GQ online, it is about self indulgent chefs who cook (and sometimes barely that) to push the boundaries and whose food is often overly intellectual. This is as opposed to the desire to feed and pleasure one's guest. I have seen these chefs before and I think that Richman makes an excellent point in that the only ones who succeed are those with the 'chops', a lifetime of cooking, honing their skills and that the very best are rooted within tradition. Think Heston Blumenthal, Ferran Adria, René Redzepi and the chefs he cites Fredrik Berselius and Ludo Lefebvre. Of the worst offenders, he says: "The food is intellectual, yet at the same time often thoughtless. It goes directly from mind to plate, straddling the line between the creative and the self-indulgent."

Richman also makes the point that when this cooking is done well and for the right audience, real, hard-core foodies, it can be appreciated but the majority of the time it is done poorly and poor food in this style is worse than abysmal.

He also points out the ten ways to know if you are in this sort of restaurant, I especially liked point 6: "The bread is designated as one of your courses. If it's the best course, you're having New Nordic Dude Food." Bread is not a course and I loathe to the very core of my being it being described as such. 

The most honest, frank comment comes from Mark Ladner of Del Posto (whose cooking is the antithesis of this) who states that this sort of cooking: "goes against the idea of hospitality—this is chefs selfishly expressing themselves at the expense of guests."