Chefs Offer Depressing Strategies for Cutting Food Costs

Is this really the best solution to rising food costs?
Is this really the best solution to rising food costs? Photo: iStockphoto

Even at the moment of their greatest glory, the city’s chefs can’t get away from the problem of food costs. Wall Street Journal reporter Elva Ramirez went to the Beard Awards on Sunday and asked some chefs what to do about rising food costs. Masaharu Morimoto is all for cooking in big batches and then freezing it all away. “Bigger is better,” the big-box chef says, unsurprisingly. “Cook one time. Save gas, save energy.” Not everyone agreed with this Swanson program, however. Michael Psilakis, as one might expect, sung the praises of offal as a solution: “It’s really a test of a true chef to take something that may not be the best part of an animal and make something beautiful with it.” David Chang, asked about the subject, doesn’t give an inch: Let people pay more — they’ll just appreciate the food more. “We’ll have a better food culture … Just because [food is] more expensive, don’t compromise and buy an inferior product.” Frozen dinners, offal, the stiff upper lip … if these are the best solutions chefs can come up with, we better start just eating canned corn and be done with it.

Chefs Talk Quality and Cost at the James Beard Awards [WSJ]