For anyone in the restaurant industry, this week the buzz is all about Maclean’s Magazine and their Canada’s Best Restaurants edition, in which a team of food critics led by Jacob Richler picked the Top 50 restaurants in the country.
Richler knew what he was getting into – the first line of his introduction makes it clear:
However much work goes into such things, they are seldom praised and always attacked – and gleefully.
What has been surprising is just how vehement those attacks are. I’ve seen no glee, just a level of childish pettiness that is embarrassing for the entire restaurant industry.
It would be idealistic to hope that food writers and the chefs and restaurateurs they write about would aspire to a level of maturity and professionalism in their interactions. That they would approach the work of the other with a realization that the “enemy” is just trying to do their job to the best of their ability with fairness and integrity, and that other factors (editors and readers in the case of writers; business partners and staff in the case of the restaurant owners) sometimes come into play. A restaurant review should never be personal, and should never be taken that way. At its best, a review is the perfect example of a symbiotic relationship where food writer and chef help and promote each other’s businesses (a review – good or bad – gives a restaurant publicity, and a popular review helps to sell copies or push traffic to a website).
Remember the sad, tired cafeteria on the 8th floor of the Bay Queen Street? Now it looks like this. The Arcadian Loft is a new event space run by Oliver & Bonacini set to open soon.
Annona in the Park Hyatt Toronto (4 Avenue Road) has introduced a spring sharing menu, featuring dishes suitable for 3-4 people and including lobster grilled cheese, seafood risotto, rack of lamb, and filet mignon.
Tomorrow is FoodShare‘s Great Big Crunch. Register with them and then eat an apple. Yeah, it’s mostly for schoolkids, but apples are tasty and it sets a good example for the kids in your life.
Dear fellow fatties, join me in gesturing, “Price Is Right”-style, at a new program for determining health risks related to weight that says exactly what we’ve all been saying for years – WEIGHT IS NOT AN INDICATOR OF HEALTH. Fat folks can apparently be just as healthy as skinny folks, and, I know, surprise, just as smart when it comes to knowing their own level of well-being. [Toronto Star: HealthZone] [Globe and Mail] [National Post] [Toronto Sun – avoid the comment section here; the trolls are out in full force.]
Wait, if Canada’s version of the Food Network is “better” than the US station (and okay, Martin Picard does make a difference), why are we still getting all the crap shows from the US? Also, we’ll trade you 3 Canadian food network “celebrities” of your choice if you give us David Rosengarten (who is no longer on the Food Network, which is a crying shame.) [Village Voice: Fork in the Road]
The 411 on lactose intolerance; the least fun you’ll ever have while drinking a milkshake. [Globe and Mail]