Yeah. I thought that might get your attention. It got mine. I was seriously perplexed when my friend Kim Stevens invited me to hear Pulitzer Prized food writer/critic Jonathan Gold and American pop-culture novelist (American Psycho, Less Than Zero...) Brett Easton Ellis in a "mash-up" at the Hammer Museum, last night. What on earth could it be, we wondered. What, who, why could these two prolific writers be in a conversation for all to see? I could hardly wait for it to start.
One could only assume that Brett Easton Ellis had become some sort of foodgeek. After all, he had lived in New York for many years, and the possibilities of him dining at Babbo with Gweneth Paltrow's friends, seemed fair. Even if, just nineteen years ago, Ellis was writing things I could not bring myself to read; gratuitous, senseless, murder scenes, just didn't add up with dining at Bouley. At the very least it seemed to be much more Momofuku (the brilliant edge of Momofuku) than anything. But who could surmise at that point? I suppose I left it at that.
But that was not the case at all. Ellis walked on stage carrying a heavy, black shoulder-bag, loaded with Four Loko-- a bizarre, Asian soda/beer that apparently comes in many flavors. Ellis offered one to Gold-- who had never had one. Imagine that? Offering Jonathan Gold an Asian food product he had yet to taste- and you're not a Korean grandmother? I suppose Ellis is just as innovative as we had thought. But his culinary interests seemed to end there.
The conversation was unmonitored leaving lots of room for conversational scale-tipping, and it was hilarious. Foodies in the audience sat back as Ellis stole the show, making witty, comic remarks about the over-usage of phrases like "man-up" and "it is what it is". Gold just went along, almost interviewing Ellis (it seems that they are good friends, and get together regularly) asking Ellis-- what in pop-culture most currently exemplifies Los Angeles. Ellis replied, that the MTV show The Hills was tragically LA's best mirror-- and a show he loved and watched. The audience was rolling.
It wasn't really until the audience-questions were asked that Gold had his chance. And I asked him about his impression of Yelp. Yelp being somewhat his competition. And in a five minute answer he declared his distaste of Yelp; considering it at times to be a mere address book for restaurants, with reviews from people who don't typically have the discerment or the training to discuss the merits of good food. But what he did appreciate was how Yelp, if you understood how to utilize it, could bring the reader into unique neighborhoods of cultural foods, that would otherwise be hard to discover.
In the end, Four Loko had its critique, too, (with Gold announcing it's flavor profile much like a beer with Jolly Ranchers, to which Ellis said-- that sounds like something I would like), Ellis suggested a book titled Sluts by Dennis Cooper, and Gold agreed (I think) to watch the The Hills (!)
And that's when Kim and I made our way to the bar, hungry, and grateful to find a sea of bread sticks. They were on every table, tall and golden, jutting out of big, glass jars. We ignored the book signing and polished off a handful each, chatting with Gold's cool, editor wife, and a few other interesting people from the LA Weekly.
And then they kicked us out. The night was over. And somehow I was awarded the left-over bread sticks-- an entire pastry box worth of bread sticks, to take home. And what can a single gal manage with a box of bread sticks? Bread crumbs. That's what.
Parmesan Bread Stick Bread Crumbs
Bread sticks from anywhere. Anywhere.
Crush in a mixer, or plastic bag with a rolling pin. Freeze in a plastic bag and pull out whenever you need them!