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 April 2016
I rather enjoy reading the work of restaurant critics such as Pete Wells or Jay Rayner. I don’t live in New York or London and I rarely have a chance to travel out there, but their work is so enjoyable and on the pulse of food trends that they’re often as evocative and educational as they are entertaining. As much as they can give the reader a very well developed sense of the geography as they traverse their local and national food scenes, you also understand that no matter what their subject matter they would be an entertaining read (Mr Rayner is in fact a published author). Beyond that, there’s also the undeniable sense of living vicariously through their writing. You and I will never in our lifetime have the funds, not even to mention the sheer time necessary to devote to restaurants. As much as I can complain and find fault with the “review as entertainment” in 2016, being able to eat words off a page can be an undeniable pleasure.
I bring this up solely because, as per usual, I have no idea what I’m meant to get out of watching Jack eat. He loves to call these little escapades of his “reviews” but he never says anything substantial about any of the restaurants. Most of the video is Jack and his friends in mid shots talking, saying it’s awesome or less commonly recently, saying that they don’t like it. Jon takes a seemingly resentful pot-shot at a group of women having a hen’s do. In the autumn(?) of Jack’s life being posted to youtube, does he mean that we live vicariously through him? My interpretation is that he feels everything that he does is inherently interesting to his audience and that yes, one watching his pathetic life on youtube is meant to enjoy it as Jack does.
The problem here is that there’s very little joy in Jack’s life. His ability to present food, any food at all, to the viewer in a way that’s appetising is limited to loud permutations of “Mmmm” and “Wow” and “Amazing”, and what’s more he’s not discerning. He can certainly be angry or throw a tantrum, but his complete lack of knowledge combined with the clear fact that he doesn’t now, nor has he ever, eaten particularly well doesn’t paint a picture of joie de vivre. It paints a picture of a downtrodden man for whom things like excessive cheese or house-made pickles, or simply the concept or fresh, tasty food is an unfathomable magic trick.