Originally Posted by keltin
Nothin’ personal, but I find paying $600 or $1200 for a meal incredibly asinine and foolish. It’s not impressive, but it does impress upon one that some have no concept of money or fair value. For the most part, all you do is pay for the name of the restaurant or resident “chef”. No different than buying cookware endorsed by a celebrity chef….but obviously more expensive.
Well, first of all, I
didn't pay $1200 for anything. Can I help it if I have a BF who makes more money than he knows what to do with and seems to enjoy spending it on me??
(One of the perks of being an aging hottie: You now actually like
and want to date
gentlemen from that class of older, accomplished guys who wanted to be your sugar daddy when you were 19 and you had zero interest in guys who weren't hot young unemployed musicians, preferably slightly psychotic.
That said, if I had his kind of money, I probably would
be willing to spend $1200 on an extraordinary restaurant meal from time to time. (Though keep in mind that the wine was probably about $400, and I'm sure he tipped well over $200.)
Of couse...if you truly believe that there is no difference in the quality of food produced by a chef like Michel Richard or Thomas Keller vs. the chef who runs the kitchen at, say, your local Olive Garden, and that you are just paying for the "name" Citronelle or French Laundry....well,then, I don't really know what else to say. (You don't really believe that, do you?)
I'm not saying that there aren't restaurants that are overpriced, I'm just saying that truly talented chefs like Richard and Keller have earned
their reputations by producing brilliant food, and truly brilliant food is worth a great deal more money than mediocre food.
To each his own though, I suppose. Some don’t understand the desire to pay $1500 for an LCD TV when a regular CRT displays a good image. But at least with electronics you can objectively measure the difference. Still, I imagine a $400 Kobe steak grilled to medium rare would taste the same as the same cut bought from a vendor and grilled yourself for only $60 or less.
You make a good point. Personally, I have one 13" CRT TV in my home that I bought off an old roommate for 50 bucks, and I have absolutely no desire to upgrade. I prefer radio to TV anyway.
Everyone has different ideas about what, exactly, is valuable, and they spend money accordingly.
Personally, I tend to value experience over material goods. When I do spend a lot of money on material things, it's usually because they will enhance some highly-valued experience.
I have a few all-consuming obsessions, and most of my disposable income goes to items or experiences that feed those obsessions: For example, I'm an obsessive birder/hiker/naturalist. As such, I would be happy to spend $1500 on a pair of Leica or Zeiss binoculars. I imagine that, unless you are also a birder, you would never do such a thing.
OTOH, I am not
an obsessive TV-watcher or technophile. Therefore I would never spend $1500 on a TV. But neither would I judge anyone else for doing so, nor tell them that they were "asinine and foolish" or had "no concept of money or fair value."
One of my obsessions is food & cooking: I am immensely curious about all kinds of food, from haute cuisine to the most humble home cooking and street foods. As a result, I spend a lot of my (rather meager) disposable income on food-related items and experiences. If there's a recipe I really want to try, I'll spend $100 on equipment and ingredients and feel it was well worth it for the experience of learning something new,
even if it means that I have to skimp on other things til the next paycheck. Same with restaurant meals, whether it's $15 at a soul food place or $150 for ten pieces of ultra-fresh, impeccably good sushi.
I guess that's the difference between you and me: For me, a $1200 meal is a learning experience. A $12 meal can be a learning experience, as well--but it will teach me something different, as will an ambitious $200 meal I cook at home. For that matter, even a mediocre, outrageously overpriced meal at a pretentious restaurant teaches me something.
The point: One of my personal goals is to learn as much as I possibly can about food, wine and cooking before I die...And anything that brings me closer to achieving that goal seems to me a worthwhile way to spend money--whether it's an insanely expensive restaurant meal at a Michelin 3-star, a bowl of menudo at a venerable family-run place in East L.A., a long-anticipated trip to see the street vendors of Thailand or the vineyards of Bordeaux (both just fantasies at this point), or 50+K on a culinary degree from the CIA (another fantasy).
So. You and I have different interests and values. You might consider being a tad less judgmental about these things. This is, after all, a forum devoted to food and cooking.
BUT….that’s just my opinion, say and do what you will.
Thanks for the permission. I sure will.
I didn’t experience this myself, but one of the most amazing food stories I ever heard came from my now deceased FIL. He was in the military and stationed in Italy during WW2. He stayed near a small and impoverished village where the women washed clothes on a rock in a free running stream. He would often go to that village at night and socialize and have dinner. And his stories about open pit cooking, fire brick ovens, and kettle meals blow away anything I could ever hope to attain, no matter how much money I threw at it. You can’t buy stories or experiences like that. Sorry.
No need to apologize. As I noted, a list of my repasts that were memorable due to extraordinary circumstances, unbeatable atmosphere, amazing company, nostalgiac bliss and the like (rather than the quality of the food itself) would be different for me, and I omitted many meals that fell into that category. [They include pasta meals in Little Italy with connected guys... pork chops and collard greens cooked by my BF's mom when I was 14 and pregnant...improvised birthday meals cooked on propane stoves in remote canyons on military bases... Morton's in Vegas with my stripclub-owner/boss/lover... lobster and key lime pie at the Homeport in Menemsha once a year with my family when I was small ....rice & beans & a fried egg & fried platanos for every meal in Costa Rica....the best-ever Mongolian Beef, eaten half-naked in the dressing room of the Great Alaskan Bush Company in Anchorage....surprisingly delicious little bean burritos served at the home of a resident of Boquillas, Mexico (population about 20) that doubled as a sort of restaurant, after taking a rowboat across the Rio Grande from Big Bend N.P. in Texas...bits of chorizo, and fish soaked in olive oil and garlic, eaten in gypsy caves in Andalucia during juergas, while my father played guitar, and old men sang older songs, wailing and sweating, and fat women were transformed into pure beauty as the heels of their shoes moved over earthen floors and their faces changed into the faces of women who could never be possessed, even in love.....]
But, that is just my opinion….carry on!
Yeah. Thanks again.