A recent article came out that gave Mario Batali’s favorite books and I had to stop and wonder if anyone cared.
Just, why? Is there someone out there who thinks of himself as like minded as the chef and looks to him for similar literary tastes? “Hey, we all braise our quails one breast at a time, you know?”
Of course, I cannot fault Batali for giving the list, but I wonder why he was asked in the first place? Is he known in chef circles as a literary minded individual? While he cooks whatever it is he cooks because I could not be bothered to look up his speciality, does he go over the merits of Cormac Mccarthy? If he does, more power to him, but I’d rather he be concentrating on my mac and cheese.
See, I get why we would ask an author for his favorite books. We have been in an author’s head. There’s road maps from what he likes to what he does.
Asking an author what books he likes is like, I dunno, asking a famous chef what recipies he likes. Just common sense that he or she would be knowledgeable in the subject.
To that end, I do not immediately check out an article called “Stephen King’s Favorite Dessert Toppings” because while whether or not he likes sprinkles is interesting, I would rather know what his new book is about and what inspired it.
Are we learning about Batali’s reading habits to learn more about the man? To prove that he’s more than just a dude who likes to set shit on fire and eat it (that’s how I view cooking in general, shut up)? Is he deeper to his fans now? Do they care?
Celebrity culture is just strange is the point of this mess.
I wonder if anyone ever wondered what Chaplin’s or Groucho’s favorite books were? Did reporters hound Shakespeare for a chicken on a stick recipe?