Off-Ramp

Off-Ramp host John Rabe and contributors share thoughts on arts, culture, and life in L.A.

Mexican Food Fight: Jonathan Gold v Rick Bayless

There's a juicy and quintessentially LA battle going on right now between Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer Jonathan Gold (photographed after winning the prize):

... and celebrity chef Rick Bayless:

 

... in the OC Weekly's Stick a Fork in It blog.

On Sunday morning, recapping a speech Gold gave at a fundraiser, Gustavo Arellano wrote:

Gold said Bayless was a "good" chef who knew his way around Mexican recipes, but he sneered at Bayless' nerve in coming to Los Angeles and opening a restaurant -- Red O -- that presumed to introduce Angelinos to "authentic" Mexican cuisine.

Just after noon, Bayless himself responded in the comments section:

I know it's all the rage for journalists to go into unsupported hyperbole, but I never said I was going to introduce Southern California to "authentic" Mexican cuisine. ... I guess getting a Pulitzer doesn't mean your beholden to truth.

Then comes a video in which Bayless seems to contradict his claim, then duelling comments from readers:

This seems more like an ad hominem attack on one of the most brilliant chefs around right now, not to mention THE MOST down to earth nice guy around. 

...in Rick's defense, he did do some research in LA, he was sighted in LA at a few Mexican restaurants in LA (via la.eater.com), but at places like Provecho and Rivera and not in Bell or Boyle Heigts.

Maybe Jonathan Gold needs to take Rick Bayless on a tour of Southland Mexican restaurants. It sounds like maybe he just hasn't been to the right places.

The real issue of importance here - Rick Bayless FINALLY has a presence in L.A.!!! Woohoo! Love that guy and love, love love his food!

I think maybe it's time for a Cerveza Summit.

UPDATE AT 10:17am - Jonathan Gold Tweeted Monday: Rick Bayless and I have kissed and made up, I think. Further thoughts will have to wait for the full review.  

UPDATE AT 11:44am: I've just posted an interview with Gustavo Arellano about the fight on the Off-Ramp page.

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