Off-Ramp

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

Gold steps back - gently - from Paula Deen screed


(Photo: John M. Heller/Getty Images)

Ferguson here. As John reported yesterday, Paula Deen - I like to call her the Larry the Cable Guy of cooking - was named the Grand Marshal for the coming Rose Parade. That irked LA Food legend, and Off-Ramp guest Jonathan Gold who, after indicting her as the opposite of all good things Julia Child stood for, told the Pasadena Star News "As a food person and as a Pasadenan, I should be proud that the committee is honoring somebody in my profession, but the news makes me cringe."

Today, he backed off a little, with a lengthy open letter. If you haven't seen it already, it's an exercise in humbleness and clarification (my guess is Gold has had practice since the Bayless incident). But in my opinion it's also a shame. What did Gold say that was that out of line? Paula Deen, while I'm sure she's as friendly in person as she is on tv, makes bizarre, uninspired food. She owns a restaurant in Savannah, Georgia, that many say is little more than a tourist trap. She says Californians eat "too much tofu and lettuce" and overall doesn't seem like that great of a choice--her predecessor is Sully, for crying out loud. And I liked having a voice of dissent as precise and eloquent as Gold's. Ah, well.

In all fairness, John thinks higher of Gold's recanting.

"As delicious as it was, his bile was misplaced. It's the Rose Parade, not the Nobel Prize. No rational person thinks the Rose Parade is man's crowning cultural achievement."

Fair enough. This may be sour grapes on my part, as yet again "America's Funny Man" Neil Hamburger was snubbed. There's always next time.

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