Cliches and undercooking abound: fancy food trucks in Paris

As an Anglophone Canadian, it’s second nature to make fun of the French.

My Welsh grandfather, with his Winston Churchill ashtray, would often pronounce his hatred of the Canadian version, the Quebecois, while watching Toronto-Montreal hockey games back when both teams didn’t suck.

That’s how old I am.

The New York Times reports the Cantine California started parking in Paris in April, the latest in a recent American culinary invasion that includes chefs at top restaurants; trendy menu items like cheesecake, bagels and bloody Marys; and notions like chalking the names of farmers on the walls of restaurants.

What the story describes as the hugely popular burger truck Le Camion Qui Fume (The Smoking Truck), owned by Kristin Frederick, a California native who graduated from culinary school in Paris, I describe as an advert for chefs-don’t-know-crap-about-food-safety (see Heston-norovirus-isn’t-my-fault-Blumenthal, who prepared some stuff for the Queen).

American chefs are at the helm of some of Paris’s hippest restaurants, like Daniel Rose of Spring, Kevin O’Donnell of L’Office and Braden Perkins of Verjus. And the city’s collective crush on high-end hamburgers continues: Parisians are paying 29 euros, or just over $36, for the popular burger at Ralph’s, the Hamptons-Wyoming-chic restaurant in the palatial Ralph Lauren store.

The story is full of hopeless clichés and food porn, but worse is the food safety in the accompanying video, with apparently raw beef as hamburgers; I guess it’s OK because it’s grass-fed (note to insufferable foodies – that’s called sarcasm).

Amy’s going to France for research at the end of the month (that’s her, on the right, in France, me on the left). My recollection is she liked her street-food baguettes. The produce and seafood in Brisbane is far superior to Paris. The bloody Marys were better in Manhattan (Kansas).