I tweeted that question yesterday because I seriously wanted a good discussion about it. Teresa Puente had posted at Chicago Now about being tired of hearing about Rick Bayless being this expert on Mexican food. The comments immediately went into calling her a racist. I wanted a higher level of discussion. Thankfully Amy gave me one. I wasn't calling Teresa a racist and I apologize if my tweet came off as that.
Something just bugged me that a white guy was gaining so much fame for his Mexican cuisine. I'm sure his love of Mexico is genuine and he does good charity work. I'm not saying he's a bad guy, and he is a great chef. But why does the media make him the spokesman for Mexican food in the United States?And hear are my thoughts. I haven't watched many of Rick's shows and I've caught a few of Anthony Bourdain's show (especially the Chicago episode where you can catch Cinnamon in one scene).
I can't shake the feeling when watching them wander through Mexico and far off countries that these sophisticated white dudes are trying to tell us what is authentic and what isn't. As if they are Marco Polo's of food searching for the most authentic food to bring back to the States.
I've heard or read comments classifying Bourdain as a food anthropologist. I kinda get that.
Honestly I'm torn.
As I tweeted to Amy, I'm not a foodie. I like my food fairly simple, thus the idea of gourmet Mexican food makes me itch. And maybe I just don't understand what Bayless and Bourdain are trying to do with their shows. There are few areas where I feel totally lacking in knowledge to comment on and food is one of them.
So I'm still torn about how I feel about all of this. It's all a mental exercise for me at this point. Stretching my brain to figure it all out.