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February 15, 2011


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Myopic Midnight Special / Joseph Dunphy

"And perhaps some of the jaded mentality stems from those who live here who see the same booths year after year."

Personally, I'd say that the "jaded mentality" of which you speak stems from the fact that the Taste offers little than fast food at high prices. It's been much ado about nothing for years, and people are finally admitting this to themselves.

"Somehow, a food festival, a festival that celebrates food, should be easy to do, wide access to food, and fun."

Maybe not that easy. To create an event that really does celebrate cooking or any other kind of creative effort, one has to do something politically incorrect - one needs to exclude would be contributors, vetting their efforts on the basis of something as subjectively judged as quality. At which point, at a city event, the owners of the excluded restaurants would probably sue claiming (fill in your favorite form of alleged discrimination), protests would break out over the elitism of such a notion, and before long, the would be organizers would be sorry that they had ever said a thing.

Who's going to volunteer for that? For something like what you propose to work and keep on working, what we'd, as a local culture would need, would be a cultural transformation. Chicagoans, as a group, would have to lose the reverse snobbery that has defined the city for so long, and start viewing talent in areas other than sports, business and the performance of popular music with genuine respect and appreciation instead of the resentment that never seems to be very far below the surface. We'd have to learn to grow as people, and to cheer for those with gifts we lacked, hoping to see them make the most of those talents and enjoy the beauty of what they create, instead of trying to drag them down to our level, while trying to find some way to pretend that we've done otherwise.

Making that happen would be no small trick, and it's a lot to do, just to get a nice meal. Sometimes one just has to shrug, accept that people are going to be jerks, and move on.

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My typical breakfast

  • DSC01708 ii
    There is no right way to finding the balance of food, just your way. My typical breakfast is whole wheat spaghetti with homemade sauce, sautéed mushrooms, and a naturally low-fat Italian cheese sprinkled on top. Works for me.


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