Like other San Francisco chefs, Daniel Patterson of Coi got a chance to spew about the New York City scene back when this weekend’s Le Fooding face-off was announced (“David who?” is what he said, referring to Chang’s infamous “figs on a plate” comment). Today T magazine’s Moment blog gives him another sounding board. He says he partly agrees with the figs on the plate thing (“We all love Chez Panisse,” he once wrote in the Times Magazine, “maybe too much”), but San Francisco isn’t the only city guilty of clichés.
About this whole fig business: I agree with David Chang, at least in part. I said as much in a New York Times Magazine story five years ago. But New York suffers from the same monotony, albeit in different ways. New Yorkers’ love affair with tuna tartare has inexplicably entered its third decade. Every dish seems to have bacon in it. Comfort foods (hellooo, pizza!) continue their inexorable march through the Manhattan dining scene. And what’s with the all the “gourmet” fried chicken? New York chefs may make fun of Californians, but they’re using all of our produce (several days later), and the latest trend seems to be “farm to table” restaurants. I feel like I’ve seen that before. Somewhere.
And speaking of clichés, I couldn’t help but notice that Dan Barber (didn’t he once work at Chez Panisse?) will be cooking grilled vegetables this weekend, and Mr. Chang himself is offering a dish of beets and goat cheese.
At least they have a sense of humor.
Chang’s comeback tomorrow.