You may or may not have noticed, but while you’ve been sleeping soundly in your beds, a small group of poseurs has taken it upon themselves to destroy all that’s holy and proper about food. Paul A Young is one of those. More specifically, he’s ”a groundbreaking and inspirational chocolatier who is at the forefront of the British chocolate scene.” We know this because he wrote it himself.
First, some background. A few years ago, spearheaded by a well-meaning Heston Blumenthal, ‘foodie’ culture (death be upon anyone who uses the term, even if it is now the only way to say you like something without identifying as a ‘geek’ or ‘nerd’) began what was believed to be a radical, scientific re-examination of what foods went with what and how, and you ended up with things like Bacon and Egg Ice-Cream. This was not an inherently bad thing, as some serious thought had gone into it, but soon restaurants were filled with other ‘wacky’ combinations that were low on genuine analysis of flavours but high on sheer zaniness.
This fad didn’t last long, but the residue was an odd new orthodoxy, where certain things were upheld to be Good Ideas, and the result is that we now have things like salted caramel. Let me tell you about salted caramel.
In order to make it, you have to add salt to caramel, and there’s a problem with that. It makes it too salty. If you were given a standard caramel-based dessert, would you reach for the salt cellar? No, you wouldn’t. Not even in Glasgow. And worse, salted caramel is now probably more common in restaurants than unsalted caramel. Perhaps they should give us caramel and a salt cellar - that at least allows choice, and shows everybody who opts for salt how completely gone they really are.
It’s not just salted caramel though. There’s chilli and chocolate. Paul A Young likes chilli and chocolate. And that’s OK now. Loads of people sell it. About 85% of London’s chocolate now contains chilli (that’s a fact, you can look it up) because someone, somewhere, decided this was a good combination. And does it go? No, of course it doesn’t. It’s chilli and chocolate.
That won’t stop Paul A Young though. When the Spanish conquistadors discovered chocolate, they took it with spices too. The only conclusion we can possibly draw from this is that Paul A Young directly endorses the genocide of Native Americans. There can be no other possible reason for combining chilli and chocolate.
Then we move onto the personal side of Paul A. Young. His bio here, is self-written. His Twitter feed is a plane crash, conversations with the slightly-famous and the semi-wealthy whilst being entirely unable to formulate a sentence in which his chocolates and the awards they’ve won are not mentioned. Unless he’s tweeting about his tattoos that is, or retweeting every morsel of praise he gets. “The British Chocolate Scene”? Have I accidentally clicked onto Chino_Wanker’s feed instead? Maybe it’s not the long hours and stress that turn most chefs into drug addicts - maybe it’s having to work with people like Paul A. Young.
In keeping with the short-lived but keenly-felt traditions of this blog, we can’t let his appearance go unchecked. Paul, despite being a ginger, has chosen to grow a beard. If there’s anything that could more strongly indicate a man who possesses a determination to make a bad situation even worse, I don’t know what it is. Chefs, confectioners, bakers: don’t put salt in your caramel. Don’t put chilli in your chocolate. Don’t write your own bios. And don’t give us so much ammo that I can very nearly make it through an entire piece about you without even mentioning the fact that you include your middle initial in your name on every single occasion. That would be the worst.
"@pipsdish @roche Salted caramels just won best in Europe in International chocolate awards so will bring some over."
"twitter.com/#!/search/frit … my latest tattoo addition yesterday by a real craftsman/artist @milesfts @FrithStTattoo colour added soon."
"@fudgefancies very welcome indeed. I never said how much we enjoyed your fudge. apologies. do you make a strong rum and raising fudge?"