It’s a sad state of affairs when the former Fujimama’s restaurant in Harajuku (which originated as tatami factory) is now a TGI Fridays, that corporate bastardization of fake American food which has destroyed countless perceptions about cuisine in the USA.
Some of us see this as the overall trend for cuisine worldwide, when even high-end haute cuisine Michelin-starred great restaurants are replaced (or at least overshadowed) by Joel Robuchon / Bobby Flay / Emeril / Gordan Ramsay celebrity dog food. Or is it merely the byproduct of the global economic meltdown, where it’s become more important to prepackage everything. Remember when Gordan Ramsay was caught using prepackaged food and simply reheating it? From the Scotsman newspaper (2009):
“A spokeswoman for the celebrity chef – who has previously said it is a crime not to use fresh food in cookery – issued a statement after it was discovered that pre-prepared food was being bought in, heated up and sold with mark-ups of up to 586 per cent at one of Ramsay’s high-profile restaurants and three of his gastropubs in the capital.
It has been reported, however, that fishcake portions bought in for £1.92 were being sold for £11.25 at one of Ramsay’s pubs, while sausage rolls costing 75p went for £3.50.
Head chef Darran Ridley, of GR Logistics, told the Sun newspaper that they provided “the majority of the food for Foxtrot Oscar” and added: “We do coq au vin at £2.60 a portion, leg or thigh, in a bag with a sauce. All you have to do is pop it into a pan of boiling water and reheat it.”
Full Article Here: http://news.scotsman.com/latestnews/Ramsay39s-new-Fword-frozen-ready.5182757.jp
When you think about the direction this whole world of food is headed, TGI Fridays is only a step or two below Gordon Ramsay’s prepacked microwavable kitchen dinners. But a hell of a lot cheaper.
I’m not quite sure how right it is to compare Gordon (or Robuchon) to TGI Fridays. It was a scandal, not the overall bar (also, I’m quite sure Gordon himself doesn’t do that and he doesn’t have clones to overlook all restaurants).
It’s sad that restaurants (and bars and cafes) disappear, but that ultimately means that they didn’t have a sound business – I know plenty of great spots with poor management or that they simply dont get the clientele. Or sometimes the trend is created by people, not by these restaurants (TGI Fridays is so popular because plenty of people think it actually serves food). Fast food chains are there to exploit existing trends, I hardly think they should receive credit for orchestrating anything intelligent.
It’s like saying McDonalds is just a step or two below Nobu.
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