At first, I did not want to write about food

Posted: December 26, 2010 in michelin star restaurant

At first, I was not interested by restaurant reviewing.
To me, this was intimate, personal and  so subjective as an appreciation  that I did not see the point of telling to others that what I liked or did not had chances to be what they would enjoy or not.

But then came the shock: the restaurant industry turned into a huge fashionable business,
and like any empire attracted its hordes of supporters, detractors and a few honest voices
naturally overwhelmed by the first two predominant masses.

Shocked, I was: I have always believed in true artisan chefs, and here came their hollywood
twins. I have always valued food with the highest respect by spending years of cooking at all levels,
continually mastering and studying  the development of flavors and cooking techniques only to see
some circumstancial food reviewers with few knowledge of food acting as experts. Let alone the unacceptable:
star food critics, recognized by those they are going to review, turning their predictable writings into litterature
essays. And the joke does not end there: some, not just food critics,  have obviously priviledges that most diners do not get to enjoy.  That, I was not going to accept . Especially for someone like me who believes in authentically accurate
and honest restaurant critics as the only way to perpertuate excellence in the restaurant world.  Thus I decided to put my experiences online so that you judge for yourself about who is honest and who is employing double standards.

I decided to put my long years  of cooking and passion for food at the service of the type of food critic that I value:

-It has to be absolutely anonymous. It makes no sense to write about a restaurant where you are recognized.
You can argue that the same food and privileges will be accorded to you as to anyone else, but that is purely
and simply wrong: in many cases, when they recognize you and know that you will write about them, it is not one cook of
their brigade who will cook your food. It is usually the master Chef himself who will oblige.
And what about this: how come some are allowed to take pics of their food, then when you visit the establishment
you are not allowed that priviledge. I have no problem with not taking photos, but when one is allowed privileges that
others are not, that rings lots of bells! Or else, if your restaurant is a private club..then it should be known to its patrons.
I only trust anonymous reviews (not to be confused with non serious anonymous scripts of whining, bashing).

-A food critic has to be honest with her/his ownself. If you do not cook, of course you will know what is good and bad food.
But whilst you are there, expand that passion for food into practise. Cook, cook, cook! Study the ingredients, travel a lot,
submit your palate to all sort of food, visit the markets, the farms. After all, it’s supposed to be your passion.

-No need of “celebritism” in restaurant reviewing, Rfaol! I seriously do not get this one. It is food you eat,
not an achievement in life! The other day I saw that article about the first man who visited all 3 Michelin stars.
C’mon…many have long been doing that, Lol! Let alone those who are doing it as a job. What do you think those 3* Michelin
inspectors have been visited? Rfaol!  Ok, for the first man who landed on the moon, but please let’s
not go crazy with simple things like this (eating at a restaurant is not an exploit, buddy!). A food critic is not creating
anything, the artisan Chefs are!

-No need of litterature essays when writing about food: Folks, this is just about food. You know, that simple
act of just eating. It does not take paragraphs of litterary contorsions to get to the point!
When I read a food report where 90% of the contents is more about jumping and playing with
what words are trendy enough to attract a reading audience … I raise some serious concerns: what is the writer
trying to sell here? some scripts to impress its readers? It’s supposed to be about things as simple as “”that
piece of meat was not evenly cooked”” or “this salad was fresh and tasted great”. Not a litterature degree! Rfaol!
Save that for where it is expected. Afraid that some might find it borying? Lol…just tell them to head to their
local librairies then ;p Walking, eating, breathing do not need a thousand of ethymologic techniques to be understood.
I know, it sounds serious and impressive to put a showoff of words at play, but at the end of the day it adds nothing
to what we do really need to know.

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