Zagat on What Pros Want / Food Blogging Fairness


Zagat published a list of “What the Pros Want in 2008.”

Restaurant industry insiders weigh in on what they’d like to see more of – and less of – in the New Year

My favorite We Need More(s):

…American charcuterie and cheeses on restaurant menus.”

- Michel Richard, chef-owner, DC’s Citronelle and Central

“To-go packaging made from recycled materials. Sustainable products and foods made and raised by artisanal, small farms. Foie gras!”

– Karen and David Waltuck, owners (David is chef), NYC’s Chanterelle

My favorite We Could Do With Less:

“The words ‘celebrity chef’ and my being misrepresented as one.”

– Paul Kahan, chef-owner, Chicago’s Blackbird

Because when I was a cook eating in Blackbird in ’99 he’s the guy that signed my menu: “Cook what you love” and he embodies it.

The We Could Do With Less I take personally:

“Blogging by non-food professionals/experts: I’d rather see more accomplished food writers/critics who I respect reporting on food and dining. Let the professionals do their work. Blogging these days is often too influential in negative ways for chefs and restaurateurs.”

– Roland Passot, chef-owner, SF’s La Folie, among others

However low-tier I may be, I am now a legitimately published writer and have, however closely, dodged the crosshairs of this comment. Still, for several months I was just a guy with a blog; yet I feel I have been respectful about my comments on the St. Louis food scene, and food in general, by simply calling it like it is and always being sure to reference that it is my opinion.

Now admittedly, I have typed up a couple less than flattering posts that I decided to shelve, but there in lies the respect.

What do you think? Have I been fairly writing about food as an amateur?

And furthermore, if the less seasoned writers of the world never write about food, who then becomes the professional?

2 Responses to “Zagat on What Pros Want / Food Blogging Fairness”

  1. Dan D. Says:


    Have you heard Paul Kahan’s interview from It’s really interesting, as are several others on that site.

  2. Stephanie Says:

    Um, hello? “non-food professionals/experts” are called CUSTOMERS, dude! It’s like friends telling each other about a new place they tried…it’s how people talk. So, yes, bill, I think you are fair when you write about food and places to eat. (Even though I don’t agree with your Faraci’s review…though I’ve never seen the workers smoking in there…blech.)

    The great thing about blogs is also what can be the most annoying thing about blogs…they allow anyone to express their opinions. There are blogs that are more well respected than others and I can see how those can hurt a reputaion. But, well-respected blogs are so for a reason, so if they say something negative about a restaurant, it probably holds some value. This guy sounds like he’s blaming stuff on blogs, but he should instead be using blogs as a tool to make improvements. There may be some bad, silly things said on smaller, less-read blogs, but those don’t have enough impact to cause notice, I’m sure. If his business was hurt by a blog, there was probably a good reason.

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