HTMLGIANT

January 25th, 2013 / 3:02 pm
Film

How To Basic

He doesn’t say anything. There is no music, just food sounds, a suck and flap of raw meat hitting things, eggs smacked. I like most of all that he doesn’t talk. Doesn’t call this stuff anything, doesn’t name it.

Sometimes there is a joke: the food comes fully formed out of the oven, like silly, boring magic.

That is not as good as when the food just stays fucked up. Still, it seems like he can’t help but smash the food when it is most right. In this one the camera is shaking so much after he pounds the chicken apart. He is putting the smashed chicken into the oven for the joke to come out and he is shaking so much.

The greenness of the final swamp here is my favorite. He uses Coke itself in his recipe for Coke, which seems like the best way to finally write an insulting recipe for Coke. The mess he makes is an equal opposite to the perfect foods that perfect chefs make on food shows: they represent a commitment you probably can’t make. You won’t go all the way with your mess, like he does. You won’t pour the entire bottle of milk onto your counter. Just like you won’t weigh your flour to the perfect increment. You won’t achieve the perfect temperature because you don’t have the best tools. You won’t get it right either way.

I love the three ice cubes moving in the cascade of milk, I love the black orb thing he tries to smash and then puts in with them, the watermelon hunk, all of this is also something I could never do.

He loves eggs for obvious reasons. But eggs, it is well known, are the most difficult thing to cook perfectly: they are delicate and unforgiving, just seconds on either side of the exact moment of doneness and they will not be perfect. Food snobs and chefs measure each other by eggs. It makes me happy that he uses them as their brilliant ideal as a perfect mess: it is runny but also sharp, it is sticky, hard to clean up, it is dangerous, not supposed to be touched, it is hard to control, too easy to make, it is a baby, you know, a sacred thing, the most special food, you have to go all the way with it.

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