The View from My Kitchen

Benvenuti! I hope you enjoy il panorama dalla mia cucina Italiana -- "the view from my Italian kitchen,"-- where I indulge my passion for Italian food and cooking. From here, I share some thoughts and ideas on food, as well as recipes and restaurant reviews, notes on travel, and a few garnishes from a lifetime in the entertainment industry.

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Grazie mille!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

UPDATE: Gretel Ann Fischer Calls It Quits

Excuse Me While I Dry My Tears

Well, well. From the “Karma is a bitch” department comes word that the most execrable example of poor sportsmanship since Tonya Harding is closing the doors to her business.

Vermont's alleged baker and erstwhile reality TV personality, Gretel Ann Fischer, told her coterie of supporters – both of them – that she was bailing on her bakery. Let the finger pointing begin!

Speaking of the television network behind “The Next Great Baker,” Fischer says, “I can never repair what they did to my reputation.” TLC, you should be ashamed of yourself for the manner in which you “edited” this fine woman's appearances. Why, it's patently obvious that you forced her to plaster
a smug grin on her face as she delivered lines like “"I just knocked out a good percentage of her profits right there," and "Apparently everyone else doesn't realize this is a competition." And you must have been behind her smarmy likeness on Twitter. You know, the one where she's grinning like a pig in slop and holding up a sign that reads, “It's not's culinary 101 – what you learn when you go to culinary school.” Somebody pass me a barf bag.

And shame on you, too, Winooski-ites. "I lost contracts. I lost wedding cakes. I lost a lot of business," wailed the pillar of integrity. Walk-in traffic dropped off and orders were canceled. What's wrong with you people? Who are you to sit in judgment and equate moral standards to business practices? And so what if she did just stick her finger in the community's eye on national television? Is that any reason to stop supporting her?

In her own little world, there's absolutely no reason to believe that Gretel Ann had anything whatsoever to do with her own downfall. It's the economy, stupid. It's competition from other restaurants. It's taxes! Ah-ha! It's Bush's fault! Or Obama's! Or maybe the Pillsbury Doughboy's, I don't know. But it couldn't possibly be hers.

Good ol' Gretel Ann. Always gracious in the face of defeat.

I read a few of the comments that accompanied various online stories about the closing. “Who would have thought that a person's business would be negatively impacted by showing the world that they are dishonest and untrustworthy?” And, “That's the same attitude as a criminal who winds up in jail and then labels himself a 'victim'. I wouldn't want to do business with this lady either.” Or, “Blame the TV show for showing her true character? You reap what you sow and people get to choose where they spend their money. They obviously choose not to spend it with someone who sabotages others.” Several other comments reflected that her products were overpriced and of poor quality. I suppose TLC is to be blamed for that, too.

Anyway, on the brighter side, Fischer vows that, although she plans to remain in the industry, she is not planning to open another bakery. And with luck, she won't be making anymore TV appearances either. To paraphrase a quote from a famous 1962 press conference, “But as I leave you I want you to know.... just think how much you're going to be missing. You don't have Fischer to kick around any more.” Her fifteen minutes of fame behind her, let's just hope she fades off into quiet obscurity. And stays there.

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