It comes, oddly enough, from chef Rick Bayless. This morning, Bayless's quarter-million-or-so Facebook fans woke up to the chef doing a fairly elaborate Bob Ross impression, channeling the venerated public television painting instructor in a one-minute video. Bayless, sporting a pillowy wig, announces that "today we're going to complete our wonderful chilaquiles village" before proceeding to mock-paint what he calls "happy little cilantro leaves" on a makeshift easel displaying eggs and chips. It's surreal, but it's also delightful how all-out Bayless goes. Watch:
What's going on? Here's what Bayless posted with the video: "Someone on Twitter called me 'the Bob Ross of Mexico.' Wonder why …" Frankly, we do too. Bayless is a megastar chef, accomplished restaurateur, best-selling cookbook author and supreme guru of all foods Mexican. (He was also an F&W Best New Chef in the inaugural class of 1988!) Maybe this tweeter was referring to Bayless's role as host of PBS's Mexico: One Plate at a Time, now in its tenth season. It's educational, it's entertaining, it's really excellent and it has nothing at all to do with painting or Bob Ross. Perhaps it's that Bayless shares with a Ross a gentle, encouraging demeanor, or a certain conversational similarity. In the video, Bayless does a great job of recreating Ross's tingle-inducing vocal delivery, but we haven't heard of anyone watching Bayless for an ASMR response.
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So, yeah, nothing about this makes sense. The fact that Bayless isn't actually painting, but rather applying green splotches to an irregularly-assembled collage of photos, contributes to the dreamlike feeling. This may, in fact, be a real dream that Bayless had after a Joy of Painting Hulu binge. In any case, bravo, chef, for this dead-on impression. (And for doing a stellar job promoting your new book, More Mexican Everyday.)