Cheflebrity Smörgåsbord: Barry Says “Burn It!”


While my colleagues here at Endless Simmer are focusing on the President’s restaurant choices, I’ve become a bit preoccupied by another food-related Obama item.  In the heady, post-inauguration days of January, I was somewhat bothered by the fact that his first ride on Air Force One included a medium-well hamburger.  But I was prepared to chalk it up to a severe hangover that ruled out a nice piece of bloody red meat. So it was with great sadness that I listened to the radio this morning and heard about the little POTUS/VPOTUS burger run that transpired yesterday at Ray’s Hell Burger in Arlington (which  espressodog shouted out to us earlier, and again, none of you guessed!) So what did the ‘bam eat this time? Medium-well.  Again.

They say that three times makes a trend, but I’m going to go ahead and put my foot down after two…Mr. President, you’re absolutely killing me.  Don’t you know that people are looking up to you?  In these difficult times, we must all be living our lives in a manner that reflects positively on our country and our values.  By perpetuating the unfortunate and offensive notion that medium-well is an acceptable burger choice, you are hurting the children of America.  Mr. President, please think long and hard about your choice before you order your next burger. And don’t be afraid of a little blood.

On to the smörg, which will always order its burger medium-rare — at most!

– Is that Guy Fieri at a Kansas City Royals game.  Ha, actually it isn’t. And your first clue should have been that this television host can’t seem to string together an entire sentence.

– Here’s one from the “condecending to women” file:  Boulud and Keller weigh in with their favorite female chefs.  But I’m happy because both include TVFF’s favorite kitchen goddess, Lidia Bastianich.

After the jump…a Hollywood story from the Chicago food scene, a list of award winners that doesn’t include me and Bobby Flay plays the ponies.

– Grant Achatz’s story could be made into a feature film by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, the people behind A Beautiful Mind. (SPOILER ALERT: Paul Bettany’s sous chef character is a figment of Achatz’s imagination!)

– The full run-down of the James Beard award winners.  The nominees in the “Best Web Site” category are run by CBS, Condé Nast and…hmmm…let me see…Condé Nast.  You really have to hand it to these plucky little overachievers!

– Bobby Flay has numerous television shows, a restaurant empire, an accomplished actress for a wife and, apparently, a successful race horse.  There’s no joke here…I just thought that you’ve been kinda full of yourself lately and could stand to be taken down a peg or two.

(Photo: Marco Veringa)

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  • BS May 6, 2009  

    So is this NOVA burger joint any good? I’ve never even heard of it.

  • Michael Cook May 6, 2009  

    I’m all for having a steak medium rare, but never for a burger. Most harmful bacteria lives on the outer surface of meat, which for ground meat becomes the inside as well…

  • Charles Thompson May 6, 2009  

    Great post. I’ve been eating rare to medium rare burgers for years and have never gotten sick. I just don’t understand anyone who eats meat cooked in the ‘well’ category. It’s not really meat by that point!

  • LC May 7, 2009  

    Ok, this falls more into the shameless plug than hamburger category but if DC ESers are interested in chefs who likely won’t be condescending to female chefs they should check out the Women Chefs and Restaurateurs conference in November. Lydia is a WCR member too and I hear Carla Hall may make an appearance. Here’s the link:

  • LC May 7, 2009  

    oops. Lidia. duh.

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  • Raiders757 May 30, 2009  

    Medium well is the best way to eat a burger, and believe me, it’s still tasty juicy meat. I’m sorry, but if you can’t make a juicy medium well burger, you have no business behind a skillet or a grill.

    To each their own, but on the opposite end of the spectrum, I can’t understand how anyone can eat a nearly raw burger. Really, why even bother cooking the damn thing? Do you people eat your ground beef tacos bloody and raw as well?

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