Welcome to another installment of Shrimp & Grids, the column where we dissect the meals of Instagram’s most followed. Why would we subject ourselves to such scrolling? Because whether we like it or not, the influencer economy is shaping what we buy, wear and yes, eat. Let’s dig in!
Serena Williams recently ate something very fancy, though it’s impossible to discern what, exactly, it is. Behold: an Instagram post from the thirty-nine-time Grand Slam winner, thanking a personal chef for his work. Williams, competing in this year’s French Open in Paris, apparently hopped the pond early to stay at this fancy house on the Côte d’Azur and eat this fancy meal, whatever this fancy meal is. For sure!
At first I, like 97% of the commenters on Serena’s Instagram post, was utterly unclear on what I was looking at here. According to one commenter (who’s allegedly quoting the chef), it’s a golden, lactose-free floating island with coconut caramel. That sounds right. Perhaps Serena’s secret to winning so many golds is quite literally ingesting it on a regular basis. In any case, I think this plate is the closest I’ve ever seen to Jack Donaghy’s description of the world’s most expensive dessert. And like Liz Lemon, I’d probably take a doughnut in the microwave over this.
Are we influenced? I don’t think we’re supposed to be influenced by this golden dessert. No, we’re supposed to wish we were in the tax bracket where being influenced by this golden dessert is even a possibility.
There’s only one way to say it: here’s Ronda Rousey paying homage to a cow named Bavette whom she did, in fact, consume. The tribute includes three photos, including one of a calf named Myrtle drinking from Bavette’s udders, one of Ronda smiling in the sunset (no Bavette), and one of Bavette sizzling on the grill in the form of beef.
Let’s back up. Ronda Rousey, lest ye forget, is a professional UFC fighter and WWE wrestler, though she hasn’t competed in a couple years. Currently, she and her husband, Travis Browne, own and operate Browsey Acres, their farm in California. There, the couple lives 80% off the grid, according to their website, raising fullblood Wagyu cows and selling their meat. According to their marketing, buying their Wagyu meat means “taking emotional responsibility for where your food comes from.” So last week, Rousey and Browne bid adieu to their beloved Bavette and made her into burgers.
I’m being snarky about this, yeah, but obviously Rousey is doing the right thing here. The American beef industry is a gigantic nightmare and a big contributor to climate change—we really should all eat less beef, and when we do, opt for ethically raised beef, if/when it’s affordable. Perhaps becoming best friends with a cow will allow me to do just that.
Are we influenced? In the general sense, yes! But unfortunately, I cannot fathom paying that much for a box of meat, albeit, I’m sure, very good meat. Sorry, Ronda. Please don’t hurt me.
I can only presume Amaury Guichon will be the topic of the next series of National Geographic’s Genius. The Vegas-based pastry chef makes chocolate sculptures. No, not sculptures—really, amazingly accurate replicas of daily objects (Lamps! Violins! Snakes!) made entirely of chocolate. I stumbled upon him via The Rock (who else?), as Guichon was commissioned to make personalized THE ROCK dumbbell plates (what else?) for the actor’s birthday. Here’s a little bonus video of The Rock receiving his gift, and repeatedly referring to himself in the third person. For the record, Dwayne says it’s “good-ass” chocolate.
Are we influenced? Similarly to Serena’s post, Guichon’s sculptures don’t exist within the realm of desserts I’m able to purchase. This is more “get lost staring at this man’s Instagram feed for hours” content, rather than go-out-and-buy-it content. To be free of the urge to purchase is such a relief.