Look who's filled with the joyous Christmas spirit, spreading peace and harmony across all the lands: It's restaurant writer John Mariani. Esquire magazine successfully pulled him out of his zombie well and gave him publishing rights on their food blog, so hooray his "top food trends" for 2012. No surprise, there is a lot of silliness: Asian dumplings will be hot ("Bank on it"), "Peruvian food has no chance of becoming a trend," and "No one in his right mind will open an Italian restaurant charging $26 for a plate of pasta."
Mariani's 2012 predictions echo his previous potshots at molecular cuisine, one of his least favorite things: Earlier this year he wrote a rant posing as a review of Chicago chef Grant Achatz's memoir Life, on the Line, in which he called the chef "insufferable" and "ego-driven," declaring that "Achatz has had no influence on anyone's cooking at all."
And now today's piece makes a thinly-veiled reference to Achatz's restaurant Alinea: "The extravagance and elitism of modernist/molecular/progressive cuisine will stop the already tiresome, wheezing movement in its tracks. No one is going to be opening a place serving thirty-course, $200 meals made out of thin air and chemically-induced aromas." Guess the upcoming elBulli cycle at Next doesn't count?
Mariani has, in the past, described molecular cuisine as "mere sensationalism," which pretty much sums up his cute rant.