What makes somebody cool? Who knows? You either are or you’re not…..
The Daily Meal’s 60 Coolest People in Food & Drink. From New York City’s April Bloomfield and the Bay Area’s Cindy Pawlcyn, to Michelle Obama and…George Clooney? Yes. They have all earned a spot on this year’s list (below).
A little more about the list…
The point of singling out cool folks in these areas, to us, is that men and women who are genuinely cool tend to be the true innovators in their fields, precisely because, by definition, they aren’t overly concerned with what their colleagues are doing or what the critics or those who tweet and Yelp might think. They make their own rules, and in so doing lead us into new territory.
This is a lot different from the types of lists you’ve probably seen from The Daily Meal in the past, primarily because it’s not ranked. There are no degrees of cool – you either are or you’re not. For that reason, these “cool people” are listed alphabetically. There will surely be some folks out there who think they’re cool and wonder why they’re not on our list. And there’s a simple answer to that one: If you say you’re cool, you’re definitely not.The people we’ve chosen for our list express their cool factor in various ways.
We write regularly about all the most interesting, accomplished, and innovative figures in food and drink — the most powerful people in food and the best chefs in America and internationally and, heck, even the nation’s top event planners. Now, though, it’s time for our annual salute to the coolest people in the gastronomic universe.
Of course, you can be cool and powerful, cool and interesting. You can certainly be cool and innovative. In fact, part of the point of our singling out cool folks in these areas is that men and women who are genuinely cool tend to be the true originals, the true creators — precisely because, being cool, they aren’t overly concerned with what their colleagues are doing or how the critics judge them or what all those Yappers, er, Yelpers might think. Cool people just do what they do, usually really well, and in so doing, lead us into new territory.
The tricky thing about compiling a list like this, of course, is that defining cool is more difficult than defining powerful, interesting, and the like. Cool is elusive, subjective, ephemeral. I mean, what is cool, anyway?
cSlideshow: The Coolest People in Food for 2013 Slideshow
Well, it’s an aesthetic, a way of behaving, an attitude; it has to do with self-confidence, self-assurance, aplomb, imperturbability, a sense of perspective. Cool people are true to themselves, and don’t serve the masters of fad or fashion. Hipsters aren’t cool. Cool is the opposite of trendy, the antithesis of “hot.” If you think you’re cool, you might very well not be. If you say you’re cool, you’re definitely not.
The people we’ve chosen for our list express their cool factor in various ways. It might simply be a matter of how they approach their chosen métier or how they deal with critics and/or customers. It might be shaded by the way they dress or act or decorate their bodies (are tattoos cool? only cool ones) — though this isn’t enough in itself to make them cool. It might have something to do with outside interests, whether it’s playing a mean blues harp (like Norman Van Aken) or giving up playtime to do some good in the world (like José Andrés, John Besh, and Ann Cooper, among others). It might be none of the above.
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