Notorious crankypants Marco Pierre White — the man who, as the headline for today’s Salon story notes, “made Gordon Ramsay cry” — was in Chicago a few weeks back to promote his new book, The Devil in the Kitchen. Where did he eat? Alinea, of course. But while he gives Grant Achatz props for his technical chops (“This boy, I believe, can win three stars in the Michelin guide”), he found the experience too fussy and controlled. He’ll take a rabbit dog any day:
“But when I was in Chicago, I also went to Hot Doug’s, and it’s amazing. There’s a queue like you’ve never seen. Doug [Sohn, the owner] has got one eye on the kitchen, one eye on the room, and he’s taking their money. I loved him — he’s an old-fashioned restaurateur. Even that one, it isn’t just hot dogs. They are hot dogs with a difference. [Sohn] has a sausage maker, they work out the recipes — so you might have a sausage with rabbit, with mustard, and with the onions and cheese on top. What a lunch! But you know, and here’s the thing: That boy serves a hot dog — and a great hot dog, let’s not forget that — but at 4 o’clock he closes the door and he goes home to his family. He doesn’t leave anyone else to look over it. Interesting, isn’t it? He has the same philosophy as a great chef.”
Also, still doesn’t like Ramsay.