My ChefsOpinion About New York Times Food Critic Pete Wells Recently Published Devastating Review Of Thomas Keller’s Manhattan Restaurant Per Se

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A dish served in an egg shell at Thomas Keller's Per Se. Credit Rob Kim Getty Images for Starwood Preferred Guest

A dish served in an egg shell at Thomas Keller’s Per Se.
Credit Rob Kim Getty Images for Starwood Preferred Guest

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New York Times  food critic Pete Wells recently published a devastating review of Thomas Keller’s Manhattan restaurant Per Se.
While I personally respect professionals like Thomas Keller for their skills, media savvy and good luck, NOBODY is infallible.
And please,  never forget the other thousands of equally great chefs around the world who serve equally great food (at least) on a daily basis without being recognized on the monumental scale that some (very few) other chefs have had the good fortune to receive. Not for nothing, the saying goes – “The higher they fly, the deeper they fall”
Remember, there are only a handful of artists in any medium whose work will command millions, while an ocean of others will produce innumerable masterpieces which will wither unrecognized and are never seen by more than a handful of lucky patrons. The same goes for food, service and other masterpieces of our hospitality industry.
Those of us who don’t make it big will just have to suck it up and take the reward to which we are accustomed best – a decent salary (mostly) and the happy faces of our guest’s on their way out 🙂
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And yes, sometimes, even the best of us screw up and we need to be told about it in order to be able to make corrections !
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Read more: http://www.mensjournal.com/food-drink/chefs-restaurants/american-fine-dining-isnt-for-you-per-se-20160115#ixzz3xj4XDwH7

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I have just posted a review of this article on my FB site, which resulted in the following comment :
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Larry Campbell :
“Haters… I believe this is an art and some of us are better then others. Don’t hate respect.”
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To which I replied :
“To be a great chef means you are a top craftsman, not an artist.
Our professional label is “COOK”. Chef is a title.
While it is nice to be admired in ones profession, one should not lose sight of reality. Fine dining, at any level is just food, service and environment elevated to the next level. Not magic – just professionals doing their job. The point is that so few folks nowadays have any idea what good food, great service and sublime dining-environment is and are therefore fascinated with the new element of their dining experience and thereby mistake that for extraordinary quality 😦
Food like this has been served in restaurants around the world for ages. Most Americans have never been exposed to any high quality dining experience and are therefore smitten with old hats.
This is not to take away from Per Se and especially not from Thomas Keller, but great dining has been around forever and will continue in thousands of restaurants around the word.
Ballyhoo and/or crappy reviews will not change that.
Gourmets, Bon Vivants and Hospitality-Professionals will make sure that superb dining experiences will live-on, no matter if they are the “In” thing of the moment or not ……..”
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Comments Welcome 🙂
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3 comments

  1. Hi Hans–Great Posting. I follow your postings and loo forward to them. I think the Keller example is spot on and echoes what I argued in my book, A Brief Culinary Art History of The Western Chef Avante-Guarde Through The Late 20th Century. Hans, I have starting the research on my next book on a culinary history of The East. I am also publishing a fictional chef called Zeus’ 10th Daughter. The book is a culinary a narrative novella and is an easy read and will be published this year. I would like to email you a draft to see what you think. Constructive criticism is welcome. My email is chefbaran@yahoo.com   Please let me know!           Best, Tony    Chef Tony Baran Please see my new culinary art history: A Brief Culinary Art History of The Western Chef Avante-Guarde Through The 20th Century by Tony Baran.Available on Amazon

    From: Chefsopinion To: chefbaran@yahoo.com Sent: Tuesday, January 19, 2016 3:43 PM Subject: [New post] My ChefsOpinion About New York Times Food Critic Pete Wells Recently Published Devastating Review Of Thomas Keller’s Manhattan Restaurant Per Se #yiv2730988464 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv2730988464 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv2730988464 a.yiv2730988464primaryactionlink:link, #yiv2730988464 a.yiv2730988464primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv2730988464 a.yiv2730988464primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv2730988464 a.yiv2730988464primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv2730988464 WordPress.com | Hans Susser posted: “>>>>New York Times  food critic Pete Wells recently published a devastating review of Thomas Keller’s Manhattan restaurant Per Se.While I personally respect professionals like Hubert Keller for their skills, media savvy and goo” | |

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