A Conversation With David McGimpsey

A Conversation With David McGimpsey


I met David McGimpsey years ago at open mic night. His passion for food and writing instantly convinced me to take his class at Concordia University. We sat down for pigs feet, beer, and conversation at a blue collar diner in Pointe St Charles. My transcriptions of our interview are marked with the tar-coated laugh of a regular. Here are some choice excerpts of our conversation

Comedy writing workshops:

There's a reason somebody is writing jokes for Reba. And it's not because they're terrible. The reason they're writing jokes for Reba and you're not is because they're good at it. "Compartmentalize jokes, the same ones are happening"

The SNL Live From New York has the best bit on comedy ever" I found the one phrase that makes everything funny, "Chris Farley enters room".

On Smoking:

In some bars in Philadelphia you can smoke. If they can do it in Paris, they can do it anywhere. If they can somehow convince people in Paris not to smoke indoors.

"Vegas will the last place obviously they ban smoking, they want you in a state of whatthefuck..

Philadelphia is really hard because in the city itself they've done that but it stops at the county line, They don't want to give all their business up. But in a state with a lot of working class coal miners its pretty hard to convince them its ok if you die from working in the coal mine but you're not allowed a cigarette."

On Sports

NHL: They wouldn't be fucking around so much if they didn't have such a loyal fan base. When it starts again they'll be right where they were.

I love sports because they mean absolutely nothing. You can believe and have all these emotions but at the end of the day it doesn't matter. Nothing will change.

"I never confuse sports with a social function or event"

Sports as nationalism.

I love games because it gives you an opportunity to care about something that doesn't mean anything. Because you know it doesn't mean anything you can let yourself so a little bit.


I don't like the Beatles ok, that's my crime.

The internet is crazy. I made fun of Bruce Springsteen being old. And his response to this "I hope you die"

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ --------------------------------------


What are your thoughts on food blogs?

I like them when they're good, as long as they're directed through the person. I don't like food blogs as much as I like blogs about food by cool people.

So it's good writing?

The problem with writing food writing is that it has a built in flaw, monotony. Because you travel you eat well, every story is the same, "I ate here it was delicious, I stayed at this hotel, fucking fantastic". So what you say to get around the monotony. Do your research and go to places so you're not necessarily writing a restaurant review. If you're writing a blog about you're sort of burdened to tell a story about yourself in some way because the ultimate thing is that it's a given. It's a given that the steak is delicious. And it's sort of hard to make that story compelling. You blog or you write it you say the same thing over and over.

If you put yourself in then that's new and that changes with every story and that makes it way way more interesting. It's no longer a review you don't have to be goldilocks about it, "This is too cold this is too hot".

Do you think that reviews are still relevant with Yelp, or on the internet where everyone is a critic?

No I don't. I think they can still work. They can be. Like the New York Times story on Guy Fieri that was great. So there you have a piece like a restaurant piece but with humor.

Do you think magazines like Lucky Peach have established food writing as a field outside the dining section?

That's the problem with what people think I do.  They say, "Come review my restaurant" and I don't do that. I don't write reviews. I've never written a book review. If I read a book that I didn't like, I don't care.

Why is it called pate chinois?

The working class fare of the Quebecois can be attributed to their own opinions of self. The image constructed by generations of Quebecois stuck between the snobby English and the snobby French. They are humble people. Peasant food and lots of it to feed workers. There is a pride in living on needs not wants.

Leave a comment

Visit our community forum!


OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID
Creative Commons License
This blog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.