McDonald’s Food Fete in Poor Taste

A posh tasting dinner made by celebrated chefs (from New York and on popular food shows) using McDonald’s ingredients. I can’t decide if I think this is the most hilarious or the most pathetic thing I’ve heard about in the food world of late.

It’s like the very worst episode of Chopped you could ever imagine. It’s bad enough when the contestants get stuck with ingredients like Cheetos or Spam. A McDonald’s Big Mac or Chicken McNuggets would be about as sadistic.

I’d hoped that maybe the event was to raise money for a charity, but a PR rep for McDonald’s confirmed that it was not. The dinner, she said was “a celebration of our menu and ingredients,” and an opportunity to “showcase their quality in a new and unexpected way.”

Hence drinks and dishes like an “Old Fashioned featuring McDonald’s Applewood Smoked Bacon,” “Kung Pao Chicken with Chicken McNuggets, rice wine vinegar, peanuts and iceberg lettuce” and “Slow-Cooked Beef with Blueberry Pomegranate Sauce and Mac Fry Gnocchi featuring McDonald’s French Fries, Eggs, Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie Base, Carrots and the 100% beef ground for our hamburger patties.”

But to whom exactly are they showcasing these dishes? Their patrons? It’s doubtful they attended the grand affair in Manhattan and aren’t likely to create these “sophisticated” meals -- with or without McD’s ingredients. Many are eating there out of necessity (the low prices), which makes the whole shindig in even worse taste (no pun intended). Add to that the recent uproar over McDonald’s explanation of how their employees could eke out a living on a minimum wage (assuming $20 a month health coverage and working two jobs of course!) and the lark gets even more distasteful (again, no pun intended). On a McDonald’s wage, it’s doubtful you’d be able to spring for ingredients featured in the dishes like saffron and Applewood smoked bacon. Instead, attendance was more along the lines of New York pop culture aficionados like the Thrillist, who covered the event, and who’s ilk is not likely to be eating at McDonald’s-- or experimenting with their ingredients.

Why these notable chefs would want to be associated with McDonald’s is beyond me, unless it’s for the publicity--in which case, that’s kind of sad, and further indication that the food world is getting nutty. McNutty.

Certainly these chefs all have better things to do – but if they do ever find themselves with time on their hands, there’s always oh, I don’t know, ways to educate people who eat at McDonald’s on how NOT to eat at McDonald’s?

I’m a fun girl. I swear. I get irony. But this is just dumb fun. Big, dumb, yellow arched fun.

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