Hillary Clinton’s famous book It Takes A Village set out to explain how important it was to have a whole community involved in the rearing of a child. In our ‘now’ culture that book would be retitled It Takes A Celebrity.
Lisa Abend’s Time Magazine article Kitchen Gods was about… what else? Celebrity chefs. What does this have to do with our world of organic, biodynamic and natural wines? In a word, everything. The high-end celebrity chef (Gordon Ramsey, David Chang, Jamie Oliver) must do unique things. They cannot use standardized processed foods in their restaurants. They must seek out the new, the authentic and the uncommon. No celebrity chef would feature an item available everywhere. The impact on the artisanal food movement has been astounding. It’s totally de rigueur for celebrity chefs to visit farmers markets and bring the ingredients back to the studio. It’s almost a cliché.
Celebrity chefs begot celebrity restauranteurs (Danny Meyer and his Shake Shack). They in turn begot celebrity sommeliers (Kevin Zarely) who will in turn inevitably beget celebrity natural winemakers. It’s just around the corner. I predict organic vintners will be on the Today Show and the cover of Food and Wine. I envision biodynamic growers like Tony Coturri on ABC primetime in an Apprentice-style show called So You Want To Be a Winemaker.
It’s part of the way the world is now working. Artisanal and small batch producers are the new heroes of the food world. It is all towards a good end. If it takes celebrities to save the world, I won’t complain.