Thursday, July 7, 2011

who babysits the babysitter?

I just stumbled on this article and thought it was worth a read.  Although I disagree with many of the points made it isn't all a load of bull.  After all it was put together by acclaimed pulitzer-prize winning restaurant critic Jonathan Gold.

I'm not going to get into the list because it's purely an opinion piece(as is this).  I mainly wanted to ask who critique's the critic?  Obviously in this case, Gold has quite the prize under his belt, but even still how did that come to be?  Who do we trust?  Between Yelp and Tripadvisor, Mr. Gold and his colleagues, and a local magazine among many more critics, amateur or professional, where do we go to be judged?  Who do I trust to taste my food?  To rate my hospitality?  If we're pulling names out of a hat here than I just assume get my feedback from my mother.  I'm four stars in her eyes every time, lol!

In the case of the babysitter we have the nanny cam, we are the babysitters to the babysitters.  So collectively we as chefs collectively are our own critics and the only one's we can trust.  I guess James Beard got it half right.  I want everyone to be completely satisfied and overjoyed with there experience at my establishment, but to cook for another chef, now thats when I have a little more fun and give it that little bit extra.  Sorry mom.  I love you, but my peers will always be better critics of my food than you.  But I always appreciate the encouragement.

Monday, July 4, 2011

winning! a week in mad town.....? pt 1

 Wow!  What a busy summer so far!  Most recently I returned from my trip to Madison last week.  I won a recipe contest with Emmi Roth cheese company, and they flew me out and gave me the whole treatment:  hotel, car, dinners, tours, lunches, cheese making 101, and of course lots and lots of cheese tasting.  It was really quite amazing!

I apologize for not going into details of the cheese making and tours.  I tried many cheeses and a few experimental types of cheeses.  Cheesemakers are just like us chefs.  They get all excited about new combinations and ingredients. Mike, thee ultimate cheese nerd(genius), loaded my brain with an  insurmountable amount of amazing cheese knowledge.  Thanks Mike! There were many more pics of the entire experience, stay tuned for further posts.

We dined at various spots in Mad-town.  Most notably, L'Etoile.  I have been dying to dine here for too long.  Although, yes, the meal was amazing it didn't quite live up to my expectations.  I won't go into specifics, and I'm not saying my evening wasn't enjoyable.  It was just not the hype I built it up to be.  Chef Tory Miller is a magnificent chef and reluctantly against his preference he came out to greet us.  Thank you very much Chef Tory.  The service was beyond what I have experienced in the past.  The food was delicious and the wine was.... well wine hehe!  I did not get any pictures though sorry.

Wednesday was a free day.  On a whim we decided to take our paid rental car to...........Chi-town!  I cannot go into this dreamlike evening quite yet as I am still gathering all of my pics, but oh yes it will come soon.  A little hint of my evening is pasted below.  Just me and a man I greeted simply as Chef Trotter...........

To be continued.