Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Criticizing the Critic

Robert Courtine, author and the former restaurant critic for the French newspaper Le Monde for many years, had the habit of visiting prestigious restaurants in France and setting traps for them. During one period of time he visited each of the three-star restaurants in Paris. He would order a tomato salad and then give a bad review if the tomatoes had not been peeled and seeded or if he had not been asked what type of oil he wanted in the dressing. Another occasion, Robert was dining at the Chantecler in Nice, he made a scene when his crepes Suzettes had been made with orange peel and not, as they should have been, with tangerine peel.

These types of critics has made the critic the enemy in many establishments. Although deep down inside every owner and chef wants the critics there, but I feel the hate comes from their own knowledge of flaws within their establishments that could be exposed.

I don't think that critics are the restaurant enemies. Being critical is one of the factors that makes us who we are. Restaurants, like a concert, the movies or any other public artistic endeavor, are open to being criticized. Think about the art or music critic that loves paintings or the symphony, I believe most restaurant critics adore food and have happily devoted large portions of their lives to consuming good meals.

For me the ultimate critic of the restaurant,is the public, for the public are the people who will eventually determine whether a restaurant thrives or eventually goes out of business.

This mornings edition of the Boston Globe gave us a 2.5 out of 4 stars. I'm very happy with this and it was a very positive review with criticism that I completely agree with, in fact certain criticism that I will be doing some serious work on to improve that particular fault. It is this criticism that helps me be a better chef and restaurateur, that helps me to realize certain faults that may be overlooked in the day to day rush of the restaurant business.

Follow the Link to read the review.....

Boston Globe Review

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