Hire This Cook
I’m sure Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud are crazy good cooks. Having eaten in Mr. Boulud’s place once, I can attest to the high level of art he practices. And if he’s looking to make dinner in Brooklyn some night, I have a working range for him. But to spend upwards of several thousand dollars for these rock stars and their posse’s to fry onions in my kitchen for my friends is just wrong.
Again, I’m not trying to criticize the apparent foolishness associated with the way some folks handle currency…. OK, I am. What idiot would be such a cook-groupie to pay the fortunes these guys charge!?!
Is it worth it? Maybe the answer lives somewhere in the conversation about having it and spending it. What to some is a fortune, to others is but a few cents. Or maybe it’s simple economic theory of supply and demand. Although I’m tempted to link this with the masses of starving children around the world that would be way too easy and frankly, a little far off base.
I think the reason I’m ranting has more to do with domestic wealth disparity anyway. Maybe I can work it out if I limit the scope to that.
Many of us cooked, entertained and ate a little too much last week. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t. But the pleasure derived from the preparation and consumption with family of a pretty stock turkeystuffingpotatosquashsaladpie meal was enhanced by the fact that it didn’t cost a whole lot. This, notwithstanding the $90 of cheese we bought. I would not have experienced the same pleasure had I hired Pierre and his primly outfitted toadies to do my work.
It should be obvious that I prefer doing things myself. The joke around our house is that if I could have gotten my hands on the right tools, I would have cut the diamond I bought for E’s engagement ring. I stop short when it comes to surgery or any electrical work on the other side of the breaker box. Anything else is fair game – maybe that’s how I came to be so familiar with food preparation and plaster work. Sure, I will allow others to do things for me so long as I’m sedated and tied up.
But back to overpriced cooks. The real issue for me might be the abundance of disposable capital here in our small fraction of the world. Reading the Times might give the impression that there is something rational about this form of insane spending. It is not rational. It’s too much. Economically, because of our good fortune, some of us have the wherewithal to blow wads of cash on not only 3-star chefs but also industrial size SUV’s, palatial mansions, exotic vacation adventures and, getting very personal, on really good cheese.
Under our abundance driven society, people have the right to charge what ever the market can stand for their products and services. And people will pay, or so it seems, anything for the products and services if they are marketed as rare or unique. Maybe we have Mr. Ponzi to thank or more realistically, P.T. Barnum.
Please contact me to discuss pricing and terms and conditions for making tamales at your house.