's Sites We Love Saveur Magazine has listed The Skinny Gourmet among its "Sites We Love"

I've been having a great time checking out Nashville's high end dining on the cheap thanks to Groupon. Have you tried it yet? Its awesome. I don't know why I ever hesitated.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Et tu Wolfgang?

I have been doing a lot of thinking, writing, and research lately on the concept of gourmet. A lot of what I'm finding out there is interesting, sometimes provocative, but often unsatisfying on the whole. Over the next few weeks, the cumulative efforts of all this thinking and writing will come out on the blog. I have a little rant on Starbucks, and the budding idea for a foodie event (does the world already have too many of these?). But for now, I simply must get on my high horse and rave about the flagrant abuse of "gourmet" at the Charlotte NC airport...

I should probably start with a disclaimer: My husband pretty much has to tranquilize me to take me through an airport. This is not because I have any problem with flying or fear of flying. Rather, I have a categorical problem with airports. First of all, I love efficiency. I pretty much majored in efficiency in college (it was technically called Learning and Organizational Change). Airports are to an efficiency lover what cesspools are to a germaphobe. Add to that recipe for disaster the fact that I love food and that airports are, well, airports, and there you have it: a constant running monologue about how everything from crowd flow to dessert is terrible and could be made better.

Usually my husband Terry hums a little to drown out my monologue and walks briskly along. But this morning in the Charlotte, NC airport I was stopped dead in my tracks. He came back and stood next to me. I just opened my mouth dumbly and pointed at the nearby kiosk. A few inarticulate vocal sounds and some furious jabbing later he said, "What? You object to a Wolfgang Puck kiosk at the airport?" This statement was followed by little cursing (on my part) that I won't reprint here.

Yes yes yes, I object. Not in the least because this so-called Wolfgang Puck gourmet airport kiosk featured a random assortment of the same old mass produced junk they are selling everywhere. Where was the Puck contribution? As I stared through my nearly blinding irritation I finally noticed three sandwiches tucked away on the top shelf. In a fridge unit stocked with random mass produced cookies and soft drinks, three tomato and brie sandwiches does not a gourmet kiosk make.

Terry dragged me, still sputtering words like "sellout" and "traitor," towards the main food area of the Terminal. And there, like some larger than life neon mockery, was a "restaurant" called "Frankly Gourmet" featuring a cartoon hotdog. Ack! What is happening to the world?! Has gourmet become nothing more than shtick?

Come back next week, same bat time, same bat station, as I delve deeper into the question: Has gourmet become nothing more than shtick?

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