Jen Agg was on the most recent Canadaland podcast with media critic Jesse Brown. The owner of The Black Hoof in Toronto spoke about many topics but her timely invective against chefbro culture is the major takeaway. The salvo is borderline art, full of acute and perceptive remarks that resonate with equal impact on this side of the 401.
On whether restaurant culture is "bro-y":
"Is it? I don't know, I mean I never noticed that. Wait, does sarcasm translate through a microphone? Um, yeah it's mega bro-y man. It's crazy, it's crazy, crazy, crazy. It's all bros before hos, 100%."
"I always found it really funny how you could be making a gay joke while grabbing another man's balls."
"You guys [some cooks] are making the most offensive jokes about gay men but you literally - you have this points game for grabbing each other's balls."
"There's like a bro support network where everybody goes to each other's restaurants and everybody's like, 'You're killing it, you're killing it, you're killing it.' And there's so much of this kind of inner-circle cock sucking."
Other notable - and Montreal-pertinent quotes - from the interview.
On Joe Beef as a potential influence on The Black Hoof:
"I had never been to Joe Beef before I opened Hoof, which is shocking and embarrassing."
"Joe Beef does a beautiful aspic egg thing - it's fucking delicious. I love that they do that, it's so tasty."
In response to Brown's comment that "Montreal kind of had its own pre-existing food culture and the food was hip in Montreal prior to what you did.":
"Definitely. Au Pied de Cochon obviously. You can't ignore it. It was a big deal. Absolutely it was [a precursor]."
On the damage overzealous food bloggers bereft of nuance inflict (i.e. kale and charcuterie as trends):
"It's so dumb. And I know this is all being fed by people looking to put words on the internet."
On the ethics of horsemeat:
"Well you know, if you're going to eat a hamburger you can shut the fuck up about it."
Preach on soul sister, preach on.
· Why Food Trends are for Idiots [Canadaland]
· Jen Agg Rants [Eater Toronto]