Thursday, May 31, 2012

Joel Robuchon Pen Voted "Best Restaurant Writing Instrument"

The food blog "Food On Drunk" last week crowned the Joel Robuchon Pen from L’Atelier, “Best Restaurant Writing Instrument.” The Joel Robuchon Pen (JRP) narrowly defeated finalists from Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc in Yountville, and Eric Ripert’s Le Bernadin in Manhattan. We caught up with the Joel Robuchon Pen shortly after the announcement.

REPORTER (on scene): Wow. What a victory Joel. How does it feel?

REPORTER: Well, as you can see, there’s quite a celebration going on down here. Joel, if we could just have a moment?

REPORTER: It’s total chaos here at the victory celebration. It would appear JRP is showering himself in Heidsieck Cuvee (see below), which, as everyone knows, is one of the most expensive bottles of champagne in the world. Two thousand bottles were recovered in 1998 from the Jönköping, a Swedish freighter shipwrecked off the coast of Finland. The Jönköping was delivering spirits to the Imperial Court of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia during WW1 when it was torpedoed by a German submarine. The 2,000 bottles on board survived for 82 years in the frigid waters and is now one of the most expensive bottles of champagne in the world. This is a very extravagant celebration to say the least, although it looks like JRP spelled it—oh, it looks like Joel is stepping this way? Joel? Joel, congratulations. After all these years of just signing the bill, it must be an amazing feeling to have won this award.  

Click images to enlarge.
 REPORTER: How does it feel right now to be the “Best Restaurant Writing Instrument” in the world? It must be a very emotional moment for you.

REPORTER: Well there you have it. The Joel Robuchon Pen sends thank yous to Li’l Baby Jesus and to, of course, Joel Robuchon himself. Which he appears to have misspelled amid the excitement and celebration which continues here. Next JRP will be heading home to Paris where he will be honored in a ticker tape parade. Thousands are expected to line the streets of Paris in JRP’s honor.

REPORTER: Ah yes, there he is, JRP, voted the "Best Restaurant Writing Instrument" in the world enjoying a ticker tape parade with fireworks down the Champs Elysees, which is indicated by a crude rendition of the Eiffel Tower in the background. JRP is riding in the back of a limousine cobbled together with parts from Peugot, Citroen, and Renault, which is being driven by an ornery French driver who is, of course, smoking a cigarette.

REPORTER: This just in. JRP has allegedly given himself a three Michelin star rating at the altar in Notre Dame Cathedral. At this time we do not know if this is even legal. It’s certainly unprecedented—we have footage? 

REPORTER: Yes, we have footage and as you can see the Joel Robuchon Pen has indeed given himself three Michelin Stars. “Three stars pour moi,” he says. From what we’re gathering from Michelin sources, they only give stars out as a rating device for restaurants. The Michelin spokesperson says they have never rated restaurant pens before. The spokesperson said they currently have no plans to rate restaurant writing instruments, but they’re not ruling out the possibility in the future. In which case the Joel Robuchon Pen would be the first writing instrument in the world to receive a three Michelin Star rating.

REPORTER: There are new developments in the Joel Robuchon Pen fiasco. We’re learning now that the pen from Eric Ripert’s Le Bernadin restaurant has defaced the JRP three star rating. This is indeed a strange twist to an already bizarre story. We'll bring you the complete story at 11.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Pen Thief

Tania has been stealing stuff. I never really noticed it before. And actually I don’t know the full extent of it. Like, is this a problem? I don’t think it is, but maybe it’s the start of something bigger? For instance, she steals pens from restaurants. The waiter leaves a pen to sign the bill, Tania keeps the pen. She doesn’t do it that often—as far as I know anyway—only if the restaurant is noteworthy. And in such cases it’s not difficult to justify keeping a crappy little ballpoint pen when you just dropped $600 on a meal and left a generous tip. We’re not in the “one percent,” so eating at these restaurants is essentially a once in a lifetime opportunity and, thus, who can fault us for wanting to take home a little keepsake by which to remember the experience? I don’t really even see the harm in taking home a plate, or some silverware. Like a knife. I should start stealing knives. If they try and get it back, I’ll give it back to them, alright: STAB! STAB! STAB! “Stay back! We left more than 20%! The knife is coming with us!”

“We should frame these,” I said after arranging them on the counter. Except there’s only three right now that are worth framing. Maybe four. That’s not enough in my opinion. It’s not impressive. Yet. So I’m encouraging my wife to steal more pens. 

One of these is not like the others. Yeah, well, we love Nepenthe in Big Sur (the green one). We’re practically locals. As for the other three, the Joel Robuchon L’Atelier pen is hands down the finest of the group. Tania describes it as “wonderfully thin.” And that’s not the only thing she uses that description for.
Tania wants these in the pen frame too, but I said, "First of all they're not pens. Second of all, you didn't steal them. They gave them to us." If we ever get back into the French Laundry, though, I'm going to help her steal the fuck out of a pen. Actually, fuck a pen, I'm going to kidnap Keller himself and make him poach eggs for us all day.

Tania also steals rolls of plastic bags from the produce section in the grocery store. They fit perfectly in our countertop garbage bowl. Yes, we have a garbage bowl. No, it is not a Rachel Ray signature garbage bowl. It’s just a bowl that we’ve designated as the garbage bowl, but the idea, I’m embarrassed to admit, did indeed come from that mashed potato titted raspy voiced slag. For the record, we’ve never made a single recipe of hers, not even the hotdog scramble watermelon enchiladas. Dumb cunt. But thank you for the garbage bowl idea. We’re saving up to buy a “real one.”

When we saw this at Target we marveled at not only that someone thought it was a good idea, and that they thought people were stupid enough to buy it, but that they made it look like garbage. Shouldn’t the garbage bowl look kind of, I don’t know, nice? Instead of like its contents? Or is the Vegas casino carpet strategy being employed here: barf camouflage?
The pen thing I’m down with. I think it’s funny. And, as I said, I want to frame them. Which is, admittedly, a strange crafter/Martha Stewart idea. And kinda trashy. “We ate at some motherfuckin’ rich-ass restaurants, dude!” It’s kind of like bragging about how expensive your sunglasses are. (That’s a Real Housewives reference, incidentally—if we’re going to talk about the perversion of good taste, we might as well invoke sophistication’s greatest enemies.) But the bag thing is borderline crime. Which of course means prison, and then Tania will turn into a chola, and then a dyke, and she’ll get weird gang tattoos on her face and a nickname like “Spooky.”

“They give those bags away for free,” Tania said when I confronted her about it. “How is that stealing? I can stand in any grocery store unrolling all of their bags and taking them so long as I buy some produce. Done. Mine.”

Fine. Whatever Spooky.