Written in the stars: the art of the bad review
May 18th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
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Today marks the 50th anniversary of the New York Times restaurant review. We're honoring the art of criticism in a series on the subject.

It took Jay Rayner around 700 words to lay waste to a Russian empire. In a blistering review of famed Moscow restaurateur Arkady Novikov's eponymous London outpost this past February, the Observer critic pronounced the establishment so "astoundingly grim you want to congratulate the kitchen on its incompetence" and compared its cuisine to cheap Chinese food. He was just getting warmed up.

“And so my advice to you. Don't go to Novikov. Keep not going. Keep not going a lot," Rayner wrote. "In a city with a talent for opening hateful and tasteless restaurants, Novikov marks a special new low. That's its real achievement.”

Harsh words, but for a professional restaurant critic, this was par for the course. As with any creative medium, the culinary arts are subjected to critical judgments. With the good, comes the bad. Or in the case of Novikov, the “very, very bad.”
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March 7th, 2011
07:15 PM ET
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The International Association of Culinary Professionals doesn't just award distinguished cookbooks; it also celebrates excellence in food journalism with the IACP Bert Greene Awards. Grab a snack and get clicking.

2011 Bert Greene Finalists

Culinary Writing about Beer, Wine, and/or Spirits

"Drinking in Islamabad"
Lawrence Osborne
Playboy Magazine

"Revolutionary Spirit"
David Wondrich
SAVEUR Magazine

"Divide & Conquer: Thanksgiving Wine Pairing Dish by Dish"
Patrick Comiskey
www.zesterdaily.com

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Filed under: Blogs • Magazines • Newspapers • Think


A critical outing
December 23rd, 2010
10:30 AM ET
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In a town obsessed with celebrity and publicity, there are a few well-known residents in Los Angeles who prefer their picture is never taken - Los Angeles Times food critic S. Irene Virbila is one. That professional anonymity ended Tuesday night when she and three others arrived at Red Medicine, a new Vietnamese restaurant in Beverly Hills. Virbila had her photo snapped and her party was turned away and refused service; a bitter pill to swallow for a restaurant critic.

Red Medicine is the latest project from Umami Burger founder Adam Fleischman, Noah Ellis, previously of Michael Mina's restaurant group, and Chef Jordan Kahn, who counts stints with chefs Thomas Keller, Grant Achatz and Michael Mina on his résumé. So why would a brand new restaurant, with three high-profile partners, risk outing and angering the LA Times food critic, a fixture on the scene for the last 16 years?
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Filed under: Critics • Critiquing Criticism • Feature • Gossip • News • Newspapers • Restaurant News • Think


Box lunch
June 25th, 2010
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • Paper, plastic or bacteria? Turns out grocery shoppers aren't washing those reusable bags as often as they should. - Los Angeles Times


  • In a sick twist of heartburn-related fate, Pepto-Bismol is now an official sponsor for Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest. - Wall Street Journal


  • Eva Longoria Parker said her production company is working on a new Vh1 reality show based on her restaurant, Beso. - The Marquee Blog


  • Did you say a Venti Chardonnay? Starbucks will try selling beer and wine at what the coffee company's executives are calling a "coffee theater." - Huffington Post
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Filed under: Box Lunch • News • Newspapers • Think


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