The proliferation of TV food shows, the rise of the celebrity chef, and
the cult of Martha Stewart seem to suggest we're all busily preparing
gastronomic feasts while tuning into Jacques Pepin and watering our
home-grown herb gardens. And who stands to benefit most from this
trend--whether fact or fiction? Food purveyors, i.e., supermarkets and
their gourmet brethren. Gotta buy those sundried tomatoes (or frozen
To fuel the feeding frenzy, Sutton Place and Hay Day stores, located in
the D.C. And Connecticut areas, offer up a web site that advertises much
more than next week's special on raisin bran. It's not just a rutabaga,
it's a lifestyle.
A news section highlights a featured item (vidalia onions when we logged
on), and "favorite ingredients" included wheat berries and artichokes.
Cooking instructions for the former and tips on how to select, handle and
serve the latter will save you the trouble of tracking down your
not-so-friendly neighborhood produce manager.
Pedestrian ingredients were also noticeably absent from the brief recipe
section. No plugs for Velveeta or cream of mushroom soup. Creativity more
than compensates for the brevity of this link, short on quantity, long on
high concept: oysters brochette with remoulade sauce to start with,
grapefruit meringue pie as dessert.
A predictably pretentious wine section offers up overblown prose with its
suggested pairings. "Notes from our Nutritionist" disappoints as the only
blatant sales vehicle, written in conjunction with the company's catering
division and a veritable grocery list of brand names.