Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Esquire Writer Pisses Off Chicago's Pastry Chefs In 'Pointless' Essay

A simple, yet sophisticated raspberry cake from Cafe des Architectes' pastry chef Leigh Omilinsky (Photo: Leigh Omilinsky)

Oh, boy. Controversial Esquire editor-at-large Josh Ozersky is at it again. This time his target is pastries—and the people behind them.

His latest essay is so venomous that it makes me wonder if he hates puppies and babies and ponies, too. Especially this gem: "Why would any restaurant have a second kitchen—with a second kitchen staff—in order to present abstract art at the end of meals? What need is there, really, for anything more complex than a scoop of sherbet?"

That paragraph as well as his declaration of "the time has come to denounce complicated desserts" sent several high-profile Chicago pastry chefs in a tizzy, particularly former Moto chef Ben Roche.

"I think there is a very, very strong chance that you make WAY more money, live much more comfortably and put in a lot less work than the thousands of passionate people you are belittling in your throw-away article," Roche wrote in a Facebook post in which he tagged Ozersky.

"You have a very douche-y 'amIright?' kind of attitude in the way you dismiss hard-working young people," he continued. "People in your position have power in that a lot of people will read your work and just accept it as fact. I think that is safe to say. The fact that you wield that power in such a negative way just to put people down so you can get your money is disgusting."

Moto owner/chef Homaro Cantu also chimed in: "Here goes Joshua Ozersky - stirring up the pot again. ... It's a good thing I am switching gears and doing the world's most simple sugar free donut at Berrista Coffee."

And executive producer of JM PUREPASTRY/former Peninsula chef Jimmy MacMillan simply issued a direct challenge to Ozersky: "You are not right. Please come visit me in Chicago."

Of course I have an opinion, especially after reading this particular sentence: "By the time dessert arrives, the diner, drunk, full, and tired, wants nothing more than a bed to drop into, or possibly a coffin."

Hey, Josh, how about giving this old adage some thought when you dine out next time: "Save room for dessert."

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