And the Award Goes to…May 7, 2011
Book LearningMay 26, 2011
Earlier today I read that Gwyneth Paltrow would be appearing on the cover of the next issue of Bon Appétit magazine. I have to admit that this makes me sad. Does it foretell the end of the world as we know it? No. (THAT is supposedly happening this Saturday, and I am fairly sure that Gwyneth is not at fault.)
Don’t get me wrong: I have nothing against Ms. Paltrow. While I’m certainly not her biggest fan, I did enjoy her performances in Shakespeare in Love and other films, and it’s clear from watching her that she’s a bright, multi-talented person. I don’t begrudge her her interest in food and cooking, and I honestly hope that her new cookbook encourages people who would not otherwise do so to get into the kitchen. That is always a good thing.
What bums me out is that there is already no dearth of coverage highlighting celebrities’ every waking moment—from their fashion choices and vacation destinations to the furniture they buy and the restaurants they frequent. Do we really need yet another publication to regale us with stories about what they are up to? Have we run out of tales to tell?
The answer is no, no, emphatically no. One thing we all have in common is that we eat, and with any luck, we do it every day. Food—and the way it is grown, harvested, prepared, served, and celebrated—affects every person on this planet. It is one of the most humanizing subjects, one that’s as beautifully diverse and life-affirming as the billions of individuals that make up the world’s population. There are still so many important, funny, sensual, quirky, and insightful stories about food to be told, and I only wish we’d step out of the celebrity echo chamber long enough to hear them.