Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Eat The Rich

Chef presenting a plate with a doubtful meat, with a cow with a barcode in the background — Franck Boston.
All photos courtesy of Shutterstock.
Eating and food are subjects very close to my hearts as they also are with most Singaporeans. So it was with great interest that I read the New York Times article on the shooting of food commercials - Lights. Roll. Action. Drip!

The role of the film director is well known but that of the commercials film director, less so. There are more than $4 billion in television air time bought by restaurant chains and food conglomerates each year so directing productions such as these are big business.

The tricks they get up to creating these advertisements remind me of a magician's sleight of hand. For example the steam wafting over the casserole comes not from the food, but from a stagehand crouched under a table with the kind of machine that unwrinkles trousers.

Alfredo sauce appears when the fork emerges from the pasta but this is courtesy of tubes hidden in the back of the dish and hooked to what look like large hypodermic needles.

Food is also used for satirical purposes. Take the example of Rich and Tasty: Recipes for the New Class Warfare which appeared on BoingBoing. As the writer sees it, this is the guide that 99% of the population will turn to when the opportunity to feast on the fortunate presents itself.

The American bias shows through in the sample recipes included:

Peter Kellog Corn Flakes
Roast Perlman with Confit de Kerkorian
Braised Bezos and Soros tips
Round Eye of Icahn on a George Kaiser Roll
Walton Family Stew
BBQ Sumner Redstone w/Pickled Sam Zell
Ross Perot Tartare
Sergey Brin in Brine

The Wall Street protests may be drawing attention to the inequalities of the US-style capitalism and creating such commentary, but I doubt if you'll find any of these recipes at the Redhill Hawker Centre in Singapore!

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