lowbrowculture

collects stories and ideas from John Kelly

You Say Toe-May-Toe...

I just watched the Toby Young/Michelle Bernstein spat on this week’s Top Chef regarding the pronunciation of “paella” and - weird as it is to say this - I totally agree with Toby Young. Unless you’re actually Spanish or in Spain, you should be pronouncing it with hard Ls. Pie-el-la.

But this argument made me realise that after watching four seasons of Top Chef, it’s time something was said:

IT’S PRONOUNCED RIZ-OT-TOE*. NOT RIZ-OH-TOE.

I mean, you’re chefs, for fuck’s sake. This should be sorted out by now. Every week, someone does a risotto. Every week, my wife and I facepalm at the apparent inability to pronounce this word. I think at this stage we’re actually dealing with willful ignorance instead.

This week, one dickbag chef decided to go one step further, pronouncing saltimbocca as ‘salt-im-boe-ka.’ PRO TIP: you’re wrong.

Update: Likewise, when I’m back home in Ireland, I’d be more likely to be understood if I asked for a “broo-shet-ah”, versus what I’d say in Italy, which is “Broo-sket-tah”.

  • Like the ‘paella’ thing, this is the standard ‘international’ pronunciation. If you’re Italian or in Italy, it’s more like “ree-sot-toe”.