Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Donatella Arpaia’s Comment About Kid Food on Bravo’s “The Better Half” Proves Restauranteurs Can Be Clueless

On Bravo’s new show, The Better Half, two couples face off for $20,000. In the first episode, two professional chefs have to teach their non-cooking, kitchen-spastic partners how to plan, prep and cook a meal for the judges. The winning couple is the one that works together the best and creates the best dish.

I’m mentioning this because one of the judges, Donatella Arpaia of the restaurant, David Burke and Donatella (see her above with judges Gael Greene, food critic, and Harold Dieterle, season 1 winner of Top Chef) said, what I think, typifies what many food professionals believe about feeding kids – mainly, that there are two kinds of food - (1) the kind we grown ups eat and (2) all that other bland, ugly, noodle-based stuff we feed them.

Donatella was trying the food of one of the kitchen-spastic contestants – it involved some bow tie pasta and string beans – and by her face it was clear that it tasted badly and she said, “I have to say this is really what you serve a child…and the string beans…yeah, it’s not good.”

David and I just sort of looked at each other, our mouths hanging open like tandem sea basses. I’m sure Donatella was just caught up in some judging revery, but I think this kind of belief is pretty common - that bad tasting, ill-prepared, un-appealing, bland, white food is food fit for a child.

What a disappointment – but not really a surprise - to hear that from a respected restaurant professional.

xxxooo YM



Julie said...

Donatella seems as clueless as Jessica Seinfeld. I had the great good fortune to be a child who was fed all the same quite sophisticated "adult" foods as my parents every dinnertime. There was no such thing as "kiddie food" in our household, and both my brother and I grew up to be what I like to think of as "promiscuous eaters" -- we're not picky people at all, and love a wide range of unusual food and cuisines -- unlike our spouses, who grew up on diets of hot dogs and/or frozen food...

The Yummy Mummy said...

Julie -

I love the idea of a "promiscuous eater"! How wonderful!

And really that's what we're trying to do - create "promiscuous eaters". I think I'll have to borrow that expression - thanks!

Mert said...

That is ridiculous! OK, I'll admit that my kids have survived on the basics because they can be picky little boogers, but I never just fed them tasteless food.

That's the ol school of thought I think. I can remember about 10 years ago they were still insisting that baby boys don't feel pain during circumcision either, and that babies felt less pain.

So what, just because their taste buds aren't as developed as an adult's we should just feed them flavorless mush? People are idiots.