Bogus trend story of the week: The Times discovers pot use in restaurant kitchens, links it to cuisine creativity.

Media criticism.
May 19 2010 5:51 PM

Bogus Trend Story of the Week

The New York Times discovers pot use in restaurant kitchens, links it to cuisine creativity.

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5) An important San Francisco chef says stoner food is just another version of comfort food. In other words, there is no stoner cuisine. Pot isn't fueling anything much in American restaurant kitchens except a big marijuana buzz.

Nowhere does the Times piece convincingly connect marijuana use to anything new that's happening in kitchens or to any food innovations. I'm not surprised. Despite all the talk about how marijuana promotes creativity, I've never been able to confirm a relationship between pot and creativity in my four decades of anecdotal field research among the stoner people. My preliminary conclusions: Creative people are generally creative when buzzed on pot or tipsy; noncreative people are generally noncreative when buzzed on pot or tipsy; and marijuana use often fills users with the self-illusion of creativity.

The very best evidence the Times piece can provide to make its pot-equals-new-kitchen-culture thesis is a pointer to a Web site where a video series depicts chefs partying, eating, smoking, and making "doobie references." I suspect that chefs have been entertaining themselves in this manner for decades and that the only new trend here is that they—like rock stars, movie stars, buskers, college professors, and basically anybody who can get a doctor to write a script for them—are now reliably out about their usage.

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