Taking Celebrity Chef Recommendations with a Grain of Salt

Once a celebrity chef gives the seal of approval on a particular food item, we often find ourselves saying, “I have to try that! It must be good!”

I started second guessing celebrity chef recommendations after I tried a sandwich dubbed as the “greatest sandwich ever” or something like it by Anthony Bourdain.  It was the Chicago episode of “No Reservations” where he visits the Silver Palm Diner and gets his hand on ‘Dan Palm’s Three Little Piggy’ sandwich. It’s made up of double smoked ham, pork tenderloin, bacon, gruyere cheese, and a fried egg.  Heck, it sounds delicious from the description alone.

My friends and I were uberly excited to try out the sandwich.  We went in with high expectations and came out disappointed.  First of all, the sandwich does look rather impressive and intimidating.  Secondly, you’ll have to analyze it a bit on where or how to start eating it.  Sadly, it’s all down hill from there.  The excitement builds up and right before you reach the climax, the experience just fizzles away.  The three different cuts of pork are rather unproportional.  There was way too much smoked ham.  The ham was so overpowering, that the other pork products seemed to disappear into the void.  I felt like I was just eating a ham and egg sandwich…and the egg wasn’t able to cover all of the real estate.

Greatest sandwich ever?  Not even close.  With that, me and my friends were wondering whether or not the palettes of celebrity chefs are really more superior than ours.  I’m thinking that when celebrity chefs go to restaurants to try out signature dishes, the chef or cook makes it with extra care and fixings.  Case in point, the Fois Gras Hot Dog from Hot Doug’s that was featured on “No Reservations.”  The one that Bourdain was eating was LOADED with thick slices of Fois Gras, yet when I ordered the same thing, all I got were fois gras crumbles…way to skimp out on the customers.

Celebrity chefs, while knowledgeable and entertaining to watch, aren’t always the best judge when it comes to food.  It might be time to lower my expectations a bit before heading out to try a celebrity chef recommendation.

– KC

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