August 30, 2013

Chefs respond to reviewer's unsavory musings with decapitation

Chefs respond to reviewer's unsavory musings with decapitation

Okay, digital decapitation. Still.

Making the rounds in this week's news was North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's heinous execution of his pop star ex-gilfriend and several other musicians and, concidentally, a photo of the severed head of an Irish food reviewer. Not a good week for women in the public eye. 'cept Lucinda O'Sullivan, the aforementionedn latter, is alive and, we think, well, but for an abundance of scathing emails and tweets, no doubt.

O'Sullivan's unsavory review of just-opened Dublin eatery Cleaver East, owned by Michelin starred chef Oliver Dunne of Bon Appetit and Rory Carville, formerly of Lock's Brasseries, irked the men to the point of retaliation. They replaced a pig's head in a promotional photo, in which one brandishes a cleaver and the other said head, with O'Sullivan's and shot it into the Twitterverse.

On his blog, Dunne shares his sentiments about the review and his allegiance to homegrown Irish chefs, who he employs at his restaurants.

This scene begs a few questions: do food reviewers have too much power? Should chefs fight back when their food's been negatively assessed? What is the appropriate/fair grace period for allowing restaurants to get up and running before reviewing them? How many times should a person — reviewer or otherwise — dine at a restaurant before developing a firm opinion about the food quality and overall experience?

We emailed esteemed food writer Mark Bittman to find out the New York Times' guidelines for reviews, along with his personal sentiments, but he could not be immediately reached for comment. We'll update this post if we hear back. In the meantime, what do you think?

Read more about the debacle on Eater.

About the Author

Brook Larios

Brook Larios

Brook's 14 years of professional communications experience spans newsroom reporting, national nonprofit and luxury public relations management and building a successful pr agency founded on uncommon connections and creativity. She's a lover of horses, fitness, reading, nature and good conversation. Zany and approachable, Brook prefers removing the surface rather than scratching it.