Gordon Lewis—and you know who he is, don’t act like you don’t—Herschell Gordon
Lewis once said, “I see film making as a business, and pity anyone who regards
it as an art form.”
if only Roland Goock had felt likewise, and who, you ask, is Roland Goock? Come
in close, kiddies, and bring some of that hooch with ya.
have searched the Gallery of Regrettable Food website, but I have not
found any references to Herr
Goock. Which is, um, regrettable, and a bit
surprising, as any given page of Roland Goock’s, The World’s 100 Best Recipes,
certainly belongs there.
come from a family of foodies. Some people have family bibles, we have cookbooks. Patrons and practitioners of the culinary arts, in our house food is serious business.
how in god’s name we came to be in possession of this grisly tome is a mystery.
None of us can remember. The copyright date is 1971: speed was cheap and
smoking was still good for you, a mindset of which the Polish Carp on page 49
are a few offerings in this book which don’t look half bad. There’s a picture of a Zuger Kirschtorte that could make Willy Wonka weep. The Strawberries Romanoff looks refreshing.
The picture of Crepes Suzette, with its dark background and brandy flame, is moody.
my god, the rest of it. Let me put it another way; if Herschell Gordon Lewis,
god rest his soul, had written a cookbook, this is what it would look like.
of Mr. Lewis. Let’s talk about page 42. Lobster Americaine.
It's hard to say how many milligrams of 1970’s Valium I would have to ingest before I could
look at this and not run screaming
into the night; jesus, talk about a “Blood Feast”. What
should be luscious chunks of lobster meat in a wine-tomato sauce looks instead like
something Jeffrey Dahmer would’ve cuddled.
I said, the desserts look pretty good but there’s only eleven of them. That
still leaves eighty-nine pics of main and side dishes which, at a casual glance, appear to be crime
According to the book jacket, The Worlds's 100 Best Recipes is “Beautifully illustrated, with full color photographs, a delight to the eye.” Not really. Not so much. I realize Roland Goock
didn’t take these photographs himself. But he picked ‘em. I’m not sure which is
in A Clockwork Orange, says, “It’s funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you see them on a screen.” Meaning, I think, art is sometimes truer
than what it aims to depict. I’ve been a little rough on Roland Goock, and from
reading his bio I have to admit, he appears to have the mentality of a foodie.
He understands food, it seems.
doesn’t know dick about food photography, however.
course, neither do I. Herschell Gordon Lewis didn’t set out to make Citizen
Kane, either. With this book, Roland Goock set out to make a work of art,
is my belief. How true his aim might be, I suppose, is in the eye of the beholder.
get me wrong, I love Herschell Gordon Lewis movies. But
part of their charm lies in the fact that they never
seem really real.
Lewis said it wasn’t about art, so I take back what I said before.
is the cookbook Ed Wood might have written.