Jack on the Go #398: “Nothing Bundt Cake – Hendersonville, TN”

This blog is dedicated to spreading the truth about Jack Scalfani, a child abuser and racist who has run up modest celebrity on the internet through his “Cooking with Jack” youtube channel. For a long but by no means exhaustive list of what Jack has done, please see this post.

Originally uploaded: 16 March 2016

Comments: enabled

Dear reader, I started this off with unreasonably high expectations. Of course that’s setting yourself up for disappointment, especially where Jack is concerned, so I have nobody but myself to blame. But I have such a weakness for puns, and I was so hoping that it might be at least tolerable, if not agreeable. Instead Jack being insensitive to dead people twice.

Now Jack has a major problem with empathy of any kind, and I understand how much of grief is formulaic, bound up in ritual and expectation. It’s difficult to expect someone to be able to understand loss when it’s so far removed from them (so far outside their “monkeysphere”, if you will). What one can reasonably expect, however, is for a stranger to not respond to a death in your family with “Oh, cool”. Jack’s ability to discern what is and isn’t socially acceptable barely functions, made far worse by how everyone around him humours him and lets him get away with it. The word we are looking for here is privilege. And if you want a real example of how little of a shit Jack gives: Jack can’t even bring himself to say nice things about her bakery, for fuck’s sake. Yes, I understand he (supposedly) has a duty to be honest about his experiences, but what was his advice? “Get a nice cake for a special occasion”? That’s a nitpick if ever there was one.

Really, what happened was that his precious masculinity was threatened. Jack has a toddler-like mentality of needing to be the centre of attention, and when those ladies decided to make a toast without him, he barged in to make himself known, get them to pay attention to him, record them, then have the gall to complain about how many women were there. He can’t formulate exactly why (because he is stupid) but any threat to his all-encompassing ego scares him. People weren’t paying attention to it, clearly it’s the fault of the women!

And to cap it all off: Jack has the absolute fucking nerve to fake-snore in front of people because they’ve chosen to devote their lives to enriching others. Some people actually value education, Jack. Jack’s anti-intellectualism represents a long-established and growing trend in mainstream American society that he (and his brother, and indeed the entire damned Scalfani clan) are complicit in. Jack doesn’t understand what it means to devote yourself to something that’s not “Fame by any means necessary”, let alone devoting it to others. And he certainly despises education and those who choose to participate in it.

I got very heated in this one, and I apologise. Such personal attacks are perhaps not constructive but they are cathartic for me.

Cooking with Jack #762: “Zelite Infinity Japanese Knives – Product Review”

This blog is dedicated to spreading the truth about Jack Scalfani, a child abuser and racist who has run up modest celebrity on the internet through his “Cooking with Jack” youtube channel. For a long but by no means exhaustive list of what Jack has done, please see this post.

Originally uploaded: 15 March 2016

Comments: enabled

Nine years.

Nine long, bitter God-forsaken years as the world burned around him.

Nine years of racist bullying, nine years of hateful misogyny, nine years of convincing others to treat cooking like a horrid chore they should be afraid of.

Nine years of building a cult of personality out of shoving as much food down his gullet as he can manage and setting himself up as a culinary expert.

And he still knows nothing.Still doesn’t have even a tentative grasp of the basics of cooking. How?

I’ll try and get this out before I fully turn into Edmond Dantès. It’s just hard to know where to even start, here. I mean for starters I actually can’t verify any of the things Jack says about the company on their website. To keep this (mercifully) brief I won’t analyse any of it, or waffle about knives, you can get that elsewhere. I try my hardest not to critique Jack’s cooking or technique, I really do. What’s worse is that his dim inkling of what the right thing might be is always infected by his stubborn refusal to not do it, or indeed to get it wrong. It’s two steps forward, ten steps back.

Watching him flail those knives about made my fingers twitch. He just has sparkles in his eyes for expensive packaging and nice advertising copy, and I suppose being thought of as important enough to be sent a free sample was a nice boost to the ol’ Scalfani ego. If I were to speculate, which of course I would never do, but supposing I was one to speculate, I would say that from the severe price reduction on these knives in online shops, the inflated follower to following ratio on the official “@ZChef_Knife” twitter account, that this product is perhaps not performing as well as it could be. Though I’m not one to speculate, it would seem as it sending knives to a middlingly popular dullard is a last-ditch attempt to spur on sales of said knives. That sounds like a very mean thing to speculate on, though, which is of course why I don’t speculate, naturally.

There’s a “Calvin and Hobbes” strip where Calvin is pretending all his toys are converging into one freak megadisaster; that’s how this made me feel. Jack, can’t we play something else?

Cooking with Jack #20 “INSTANT MARINATER – PRODUCT REVIEW”

This blog is dedicated to spreading the truth about Jack Scalfani, a child abuser and racist who has run up modest celebrity on the internet through his “Cooking with Jack” youtube channel. For a long but by no means exhaustive list of what Jack has done, please see this post.

Originally uploaded: 24 January, 2009

Comments: Enabled

Oh my Jack, we have an opening!! And I don’t know what I hate more, the childish panto mugging or the agonisingly generic cock rock that is meant to make the subject matter seem cool and rebellious but betrays it’s hoary, institutional nature. His current one isn’t any better, mind, but what this one lacks in technical skill it makes up for in compression artefacts.

Half an hour seems an awfully short time to marinate a thick piece of chicken in bottled teriyaki sauce with little in the way of acidity. But then I’ve never subscribed to the “chicken in bottled goop” school of cookery (I like making my own goop). Jack would have you believe that his show is real, raw and captures the unheard voice of the proletariat. That may be true if said proletariat is a bloodthirsty and bigoted domestic abuser, however a gram of common sense writes these product reviews for him.

On the technical side, the font for the website has changed but not in the ending! Consistency, Jack. And mind your head on those all-caps. We’ve also started titling and numbering episodes on a plain black screen like autopsy footage. And I loved “If you know what twitter is…” Oh, 2008. 

To pull back the curtain a hair, I’ve decided to compile all of Jack’s many crimes into a single page so as to not refer to them all the time. So if you, the dear reader, have a video, an image or a link to Jack’s own content where he’s racist, misogynistic or abusive to his family, please don’t hesitate to share it with me! 

Cooking with Jack #19: “The Garlic Grater – As Seen On TV”

This blog is dedicated to spreading the truth about Jack Scalfani, a child abuser and racist who has run up modest celebrity on the internet through his “Cooking with Jack” youtube channel. For a long but by no means exhaustive list of what Jack has done, please see this post.

Originally uploaded: 13 December, 2008

Comment: Enabled

Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself, but twenty-five dollars?! For a saucer?!! Why don’t you just spit on the homeless, Jack.

Granted, preparing garlic is one of the ongoing culinary spats, even if the anti-garlic press mania has died down somewhat. (I don’t, in case you’re curious). And yes, mincing garlic with a knife can be difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing. Still, 25 bucks for that piece of porcelain and some cheap, not-particularly-food-safe looking plastic, for something you can get at any Asian store for under five dollars. For a man who will complain until he’s blue in the face about paying more than sofa cushion change for anything it seems out of character. Lord knows I wouldn’t pay anywhere near that, especially not when I keep my knives handy.

and don’t even get me started on jarred garlic

Cooking with Jack #18: “Lazy Man’s Lasagna”

This blog is dedicated to spreading the truth about Jack Scalfani, a child abuser and racist who has run up modest celebrity on the internet through his “Cooking with Jack” youtube channel. For a long but by no means exhaustive list of what Jack has done, please see this post.

Originally uploaded: 06 December, 2008

Comments: Enabled

Bless, an embarrassment of riches, a true classic. Where do I even start?

First off I suppose I need to acknowledge the trend of (mainly unremarkable white people) people of claiming cultural heritage they’re pointedly rather removed from. Though the urge to separate oneself from the herd is understandable, but anyone who actually grew up appreciably different understands the desire to fit in. Jack will claim his Italian heritage repeatedly, although always in the context of pasta and not, say, escaping economic hardship in between World Wars. Jack’s sense of self depends almost wholly on how he can outwardly portray himself, and whether that’s as an entertainer, an Italian or a “foodie” depends on what he can best appropriate himself and his experience at that particular moment.

With that out of the way… I mean, it’s obvious what I’m going to say, isn’t it? How is this lasagne? Yes, non-layered lasagne do exist, even those have the common denominator of the large sheet noodle: The actual lasagne. This is penne with cheese and sauce. Cheese, and how: the cheapest of grainy, flavourless supermarket ricotta and dry mozzarella, in watery and unnaturally red sauce jarred sauce. Just imagining a mouth full of the soggy noodles and grease is making me ill. Why lasagne? Why not just “pasta”? Why do you want your audience to get as sick and as obeses as you, Jack?

And the portions. My fucking god. Waste being as integral to the Jack oeuvre as it is, his use of aluminium trays is sad but unsurprising. But the giant pot of pasta- no “I’m making a double batch”, no “I’m trying to feed a crowd of kids”-gives a great insight into what his diet is like. The giant heap of food he serves up for himself at the end: Just think, we’ll see him try different fad diets, complain about his weight and give out “healthy eating tips” in the years ahead. From this man. Think about that as you watch him stuff pasta into his face.

Cooking with Jack #761: “How To Make Nashville Hot Chicken At Home”

This blog is dedicated to spreading the truth about Jack Scalfani, a child abuser and racist who has run up modest celebrity on the internet through his “Cooking with Jack” youtube channel. For a long but by no means exhaustive list of what Jack has done, please see this post.

Originally uploaded: 11 March 2016

Comments: Enabled

Let me reiterate right off the bat: Jack is a bigot, Jack has expressed his desire to commit genocide by fire-bombing civilians, and he is a child abuser. Anyone who sponsors him, Food Beast, Pabst Brewing Company, AstraZeneca, are all complicit in supporting a man who commits domestic violence.

With that out of the way… There are limits, sadly, to what text as a medium is able to convey. So I want you, dear, reader, to imagine me, sprawled in my Ernst Stavro Blofeld-like computer chair, cackling, a bitter laugh at each fresh development. Jack admits he has a chronic medical condition no doubt caused by his morbid obesity. And, the advertising copy would have us believe, he’s never sought help for it until a drug company was kind enough to send him a box of pills. That’s kind of the opposite of the “Without hesitation” hashtag, isn’t it?

I haven’t even gotten to the cooking yet. I think it’s best summed up by Jack himself refusing to eat it on camera. Fried chicken done properly, any style, is a glorious thing, a crisp and savoury outer crust giving way under the teeth to glorious succulent meat within. Greasy enough to be satisfying but free of excess oil, interplay between texture and flavour, every bite should be an enticement to humanity’s lizard brain to ferociously rip and tear the meat off the bone. You’d think Jack would want to pass on his (supposed) passion for Nashville’s most famous dish in his (supposed) beloved city by doing it justice, taking everyone through each step no matter how difficult and instructing them how to make the best fried chicken possible. Instead he rushes the video, shows nothing clearly and refuses to even eat it himself, almost as if the very idea of doing a compensated sponsorship is beneath him.

What an anaemic recipe. I’ll be honest: I was almost at the cusp of possibly being interested in trying this recipe given my love of fried chicken and my desire to try the “Nashville Hot” style that’s been popular of late. But Jack’s poor grasp of technique, his anaemic spice blend and horrid-looking spice mop… If I’m going to devote time and energy to a recipe, I’m going to actually give it my all. That spice mop in particular will haunt my dreams. I’ll wake up in a cold sweat tasting rancid, burnt lard.

To condescend to their erstwhile friend we have three non-regulars in this video. Jack’s judgemental, holier-than-thou friend, his aggressively racist brother in size, and a woman with black dye regrowth that would make an uncommitted fourteen year old Goth embarrassed. All three of them look as if they consider velveeta too foreign and dig into the “hot” chicken with the reckless abandon of a newborn lamb. This video is an atrocity that I’ll gladly put into my schadenfreude rotation for when I need a pick-me-up.

Cooking with Jack #16: “How To Make the Perfect Omelette”

This blog is dedicated to spreading the truth about Jack Scalfani, a child abuser and racist who has run up modest celebrity on the internet through his “Cooking with Jack” youtube channel. For a long but by no means exhaustive list of what Jack has done, please see this post.

Originally uploaded: 22 November 2008

Comments: Enabled

Enjoyment of food is, like anything, subjective, and one person’s perfect recipe is another person’s “That’s far too much garlic, what were you even thinking?!”. Similarly, one person’s “perfect omelette” is another’s “rubbery, overcooked mess with too much crap in it”. Using the constant radiant heat of an oven to evenly cook isn’t exactly a new idea but has certainly gained prominence in home kitchens over the years. Really, though, for someone so determined to under-cook meat Jack’s eggs always look so awful.

Honestly? I’m sitting here trying my hardest not to critique or suggest how this unappetising dish could be made better. Sure, the technique is sloppy and the result unappetising, but it doesn’t surprise me that this is the 3rd most viewed Jack video (at the time of writing). Not just because “perfect” or “ultimate” is a well-worn attention grabber on the internet, although it certainly is. It’s novel, and even pithy compared to the “long stretches of dull” motif that is Jack’s raison d’etre. We even get the classic Jack staple of serving food that immediately makes me think of curettings!

But really Jack, butter? A little bit of butter on your omelette is unhealthy? Not the mountains of cheese you heap on every dish? We’ll speak more about cheese next time…

Cooking with Jack #15: “Thanksgiving & Easter – How To Make Perfect Stuffing”

This blog is dedicated to spreading the truth about Jack Scalfani, a child abuser and racist who has run up modest celebrity on the internet through his “Cooking with Jack” youtube channel. For a long but by no means exhaustive list of what Jack has done, please see this post.

Originally uploaded: 15 November 2008

Comments: Enabled

Urgh. I mean… Urgh. I’m not asking him to complete a whole food safety course or anything but his obsession with getting his family to ingest pathogenic bacteria is beyond the pale. The recipe itself isn’t outside of what I’d expect to see in any other cooking resource, though with all that fat from the sausage the fact that you still need over a cup of butter seems pretty excessive (in addition to the giant gobs of butter he decides to shove down the turkey itself!). Again I’m all for butter but as Robert McNamara (famous for firebombing civilians much as Jack would love to!) would tell you, proportionality should be a guideline. As much as there’s no need to cut back, going overboard can be just as unpleasant. I imagine every bite of this meal would be a deeply unpleasant mouthful of grease. That’s all I really have to say, honestly.

We have some all-time classics coming up! Are you excited, because I’m excited.

Cooking with Jack #760: “NY Times Recipe Goes Viral!”

This blog is dedicated to spreading the truth about Jack Scalfani, a child abuser and racist who has run up modest celebrity on the internet through his “Cooking with Jack” youtube channel. For a long but by no means exhaustive list of what Jack has done, please see this post.

Originally uploaded: 08 March 2016

Comments enabled: Yes

Recently I published some thoughts on the word “Clickbait”, and how it didn’t apply to Jack’s recent commercial and aesthetic decision of chasing a zeitgeist several years past. Allow me to rescind that for this video. Titling the video as a sentence fragment devoid of context, revealing nothing about the video as a title smacks of desperation. Sadly Jack fails at even this basic piece of internet showmanship, making it direct but confusing. Unless I’m missing something Jack has no affiliation with the New York Times, and something “going viral” in 2016 is barely novel; the result is a bizarre mess devoid of context rather than an enticement.

The recipe, which without even watching the video I knew was this one from two whole months ago, which Jack seems fourth or fifth hand familiar with. Given Jack, and indeed the entire Scalfani family’s, disdain for reading and writing it’s not surprising, and doing even the barest minimum of preparation for an episode is, by now, a long-standing Cooking with Jack tradition. I’ve discussed the consumerist origins of the “combine packaged ingredients” style of cooking elsewhere and feel no need to repeat myself, suffice to say I don’t find it appetising. I’m sure slow-cooking really brings out the rich chemical tang of industrial gravy and dressing. Indeed that appears to be the primary criticism of this dish, along with the overwhelming saltiness.

Tammy makes a perfunctory appearance, again lured by the food. There’s also a man who looks like a convicted child molester whom I can’t place, but Jack describes as family. I’m town between “evanglical thing” and “Tammy’s family”, although “Jack’s estranged stepfather” is also a possibility. Who knows, he sends a chill up my spine either way.

 

 

Cooking with Jack #14: “Thanksgiving & Easter – How to Cook a Turkey”

This blog is dedicated to spreading the truth about Jack Scalfani, a child abuser and racist who has run up modest celebrity on the internet through his “Cooking with Jack” youtube channel. For a long but by no means exhaustive list of what Jack has done, please see this post.

Originally uploaded: 29 Oct 2008

Comments: Enabled

Hoo boy, where do I even start? Let’s start with some restrained, tacit approval because a roast is, indeed, a hurdle many getting into cooking need to clear. Roasts are often prepared to mark special occasions, too, which no doubt adds to the pressure of having to cook one not just well, but spectacularly. With that said, if this is how Jack roasted turkey all his life no wonder he likes his chicken raw just to have it a little bit, as he puts it, “juicy”. With all the cross contamination going on in this video alone it’s surprising it didn’t make him violently ill. You, dear reader, are capable of doing an internet search to see the leaps and bounds we’ve come in roasting poultry and other meats recently, so I won’t repeat it for you. It’s hard to believe but this is, by a long margin, *not* Jack’s worst turkey roast, a field of stiff competition. Those gobs of butter he shoves up the poor bird’s skin though… Believe me, I don’t think holiday meals should skimp on the butter by any means, but why go overboard and make sickeningly greasy turkey that’s still overcooked? I’m also not sure if the half-assed manner in which the temperature to weight guide is thrown up is laziness, contempt for his audience or a healthy mix of both.

And do people ritually eat turkey on Easter and I’m not aware of it, or did Jack just pick a random holiday and run with it? My experience around Americans has always led me to believe that Easter isn’t one of their preferred holidays (too pagan perhaps), which would explain it. Still, it strikes me as unusual.