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Thanks Don: Chef's Names in Subject Lines


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This is related to the mention of Dave Chang's podcast in the Momofuku CCDC thread, and it's long and rambling.  The short version is bolded below.

I find Dave Chang an interesting and entertaining guy, not to mention opinionated(!!), and I recently started listening to his podcast.  In early February he had a podcast titled "A Candid Conversation Between Chef and Critic, With Adam Platt", who is the food critic for New York Magazine.  As podcasts usually go, it was a meandering conversation but part of it centered on a newly opened Chang restaurant (I don't recall the name or location).  Anyhow, the critic went out of his way to emphasize that he didn't consider Chang to be the chef of this restaurant, and of course Dave agreed.  The critic made this point over and over like it was some sort of revelation, and it was almost as if he felt he was breaking new ground by separating the restaurateur from the actual person doing the cooking.  In my mind, I was like, "Duh.  Dude, we get it already.  Move on!"    Platt seemed to be patting himself on the back for making this distinction. 

So I'd like to thank Don for highlighting the person in the kitchen and not the celebrity chef on all these threads!  I might not have "got it" when I first joined this site, but somewhere along the way, I saw the wisdom and importance of it. Thanks!

Back to the podcast, I was really annoyed with Adam Platt's attitude regarding his power and influence.  Chang understandably took the side of chefs and restaurants vs. the side of critics and was pushing back on this guy and giving him some shit.  Platt on the other hand was completely caviler in what his reviews could do to a restaurant and took little to no responsibility for what a bad review could do to a restaurant.  I'm not implying that critics shouldn't tell it like it is, good or bad, but to completely downplay or dismiss his influence seemed like total BS and sort of covering his ass.  In my mind I was saying, "Dude if your word/reviews are so meaningless, why are you even there?!?!?" 

Disclaimer:  This was my first exposure to Adam Platt.  He may be wonderful and thoughtful and have sunshine coming out of certain body parts, but his attitude on this topic really bothered me and I'm not a fan!!  ;-)

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