Saturday, May 17, 2008

vir sanghvi on food & wine snobs

In this week's Brunch (the Sunday magazine of the Hindustan Times, readers outside of Delhi), editor/food critic Vir Sanghvi decided to take on food & wine snobs, and has identified various types (the olive oil bore, the wine bore, and the Michelin bore, etc). One that he forgot to mention, though, was the Five Star Hotel bore--perhaps because he's the worst of them all.

At the beginning of my stint in India, I liked Vir's column in Brunch because he seemed to be the only Indian food writer who had any standards (the others wrote clearly from the perspective of a guy who enjoyed a lot of freebies in return for unjustified, and badly written, raves). But over time I've come to feel that Vir writes the same two articles every week: (1) Some kind of revelation about why the chef at X five star hotel is a genius (he makes a half-decent something or other "from fahrin" as they say, and he has recognized Vir as a fellow master of all things culinary) and (2) Some reminiscence about a vile concoction that he learned to eat at Mayo College. Food snobbery & reverse food snobbery? It would seem so.

2 comments:

Anuradha Goyal said...

Sharing my review of his book, which is a compilation of his articles on food
http://anuradhagoyal.blogspot.com/2007/06/rude-food-by-vir-sanghvi.html

I think I can not agree more with you.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with you more. I really enjoy some his pieces (the lesser known points of chaat, the specialities of Varanasi, etc). And some make me want to gag - not good for a good writer. There was a piece on a hotel chain in Thailand that read like a press release though it was probably a result of mutual back-scratching (and freebies)... Vir is an improvement in food writing in India, but we still have a ways to go.