I’ve been spending the past few weeks or so watching the fidget spinner craze balloon into a matter of national concern. It’s a three-pronged contraption with a static wheel in the center, a fad to rival the Furby.
The fidget spinner has, let's be clear, been on the market for many decades. It's long been billed as a distraction-inducing cure-all for those who of us who suffer from anxiety, ADHD, and analogous conditions. Yet the gadget's been enjoying a groundswell in popularity since April, becoming the opiate of schoolchildren who are bored out of their minds. Since it caught on, people have seemed to delight in its multivariate uses, so much that it’s been banned in classrooms.
The mania has largely avoided permeating the culinary world apart from one notable instance—late last month, mild-mannered restaurateur Eric Ripert expressed consternation with fidget spinners at Le Bernadin, imposing a ban on them within his kitchen.
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The team behind Houston seafood eatery REEF took to Instagram a few days later to issue a rather cheeky retort to Ripert’s insistence that this gadget couldn’t possibly have a place in the kitchen, demonstrating that it could Pollock a nice plate of steak:
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Well, there you have it. I've avoided covering the fidget spinner because I figured, incorrectly, there’s approximately nothing about it to cover when it comes to the realm of home cooking. What use, after all, could this tool possibly have in a kitchen, beyond making an undesirably cumbersome mess?
Consider this a mea culpa: I was wrong. Heed Reef's recommendations and use a fidget spinner to plate your next home-cooked meal with elegance and splendor. You heard the chef. Don’t confiscate; elevate.
Imagine any other use for a fidget spinner in the kitchen? Let us know in the comments.
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Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.