Rick Bayless Insults Yet Another California City's Mexican Food Traditions
My lord, does Rick Bayless want all Mexicans in the United States to hate him or something? Back in 2010, the celebrity chef of Mexican food notoriously said Los Angeles didn't have much of a Mexican-food tradition, then denied he ever said that while trashing Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold. Now, he's trashing the Mexican-food traditions of San Francisco, which just happened to gift America with tamale men; Mission burritos; and Elena Zelayeta, the country's first celebrity Mexican chef.
His latest pendejadas came on the pages of Zagat, which asked him about his overall thoughts on the San Francisco food scene. Of course, the interviewer asked Bayless about Mexican food in that city, to which he replied, "San Francisco doesn't really have much of a Mexican-food tradition aside from the taquerias in the Mission, which is a fairly limited thing."
Um, excuse me? No tradition? Idiot obviously didn't read my Taco USA, let alone ask the Mexicans who've lived in the Mission even before Bayless was some Okie manning a barbecue pit whether their traditions are nonexistent. Idiot didn't even visit San Francisco's vibrant Yucatecan food scene, beneficiaries of the largest Yucateco community in the United States. And to call the Mission burrito a "fairly limited thing" is akin to calling the 1974 Cadillac Eldorado a fairly short car.
Of course, Bayless wasn't man enough to stand by his comments and tried to whitewash them immediately. He took to leaving clarifications on the Zagat page that commentors quickly eviscerated ("SF isn't well-known for a plethora of Mexican dinner restaurants"? BLECCH). And when SFist reported on the fiasco, Bayless whined to them, "Please stop making things up just to grab readers. I never said or implied" that he found San Francisco food boring.
Memo to Rick: Just shut up when it comes to Mexican food in this country. Stick to your millions of dollars and not-bad cuisine. Otherwise, leave discussion of Mexican food in this country to the experts. And grow a pair.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Orange County dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.