Lucky Dip – Thursday, September 8th, 2011

How awesome is this? Supermarkets that grow produce on those vast expanses of useless flat roof. Win-win-win. [Toronto Star]

Polish up your resume, wanna-be restaurant critics; rumours are that Sam Sifton, critic for the New York Times is moving on to the national desk. Who will get the tasty top job? [Eater]

Who cares about celebrities when you’re enjoying a good steak frites? La Societe overcomes its reputation as a richy-rich hangout. [NOW]

Cookbooks as literature. [The Awl]

McDonald’s here in Canada is getting all swankified. But you’ve gotta love Eater’s reasoning on the inclusion of fireplaces; “it’s cold in Canada”. That’s right, all year long – that day in July when the temperature cracked 40°C – that was just a dream. A cup of coffee in front of the McD’s fireplace will be a welcome reprieve from shivering in our unheated igloos. [Eater]

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Critics vs Bloggers (Again), with an Evil Twist

There’s yet another article making the rounds on the differences between professional food critics and bloggers. It mostly trots out the same old arguments; ones that we still haven’t been able to find a solution for, and mostly skewers bloggers for all of the same old things we’ve been skewering bloggers for all along (visiting too early, not being informed about the cuisine, not doing research, not writing well in the first place, being shills for the restaurant in exchange for free food), but there’s a new allegation I haven’t seen before…

Quite a few publicists double as bloggers to raise the profile of their clients.

Uhh… I am boggled by how seriously uncool this is. I mean, this is a huge conflict of interest, and makes all publicists and bloggers look suspect. How is a reader (and potential customer) supposed to know the difference between a fair and unbiased opinion and a blog post by someone who is not just getting paid to write about the business, but who is getting paid to promote the business to other writers? I can’t believe that people are allowed to get away with this.

If I was approached by a publicist who did this,  I’d refuse to work with them.

The question is, do I have to start checking out every PR company that approaches me to find out how ethical they are? Or is the hassle of that why they’re allowed to get away with it in the first place?

Not cool, folks, really not cool.

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