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Your favourite UK food critic


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56 replies to this topic

#31 Man

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 12:52 PM

Food boards are the best way of discussing food, I think we will see a return of their influence when enough people finally rumble the bloggers' game.


I totally agree and share your hope, food boards are for discussion, food blogs are for self expression - I've never seen on a food blog a meaningful discussion of the type one can have here on eg, just sequences of more or less inane comments.

You also mention earning money. I don't think anybody who's wealthy enough to go frequently to very good restaurants anyway will find it easy to make a serious change to his income through blogging. There are, it's true, some pathetic souls who move mountains to announce themselves to PR companies in search of a free meal, but they must be either desperately poor or have lacked affection as children. And it is doubly pathetic that restaurants waste food and money on them.

'Status building' may be as you say another possibility, but once again real status is obtained by a minuscule fraction of food bloggers, who most often, like the Dos Hermanos case mentioned by Harters, are professionally interested in food related careers. Apart from them, I guess well-adjusted people try to gain status with their peers in their own profession and don't consider fooblogging as a means to gain status.

#32 cachan

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 12:31 AM

Last Wednesday in the Metro, Marina O'Loughlin did her last review for that paper. Anyone know why and where next for her ?

#33 liuzhou

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 12:44 AM

Last Wednesday in the Metro, Marina O'Loughlin did her last review for that paper. Anyone know why and where next for her ?


Yes. She has just been appointed restaurant critic at the Guardian. Her first review for them was published today.

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#34 Putty Man

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 01:19 AM

Last Wednesday in the Metro, Marina O'Loughlin did her last review for that paper. Anyone know why and where next for her ?


Yes. She has just been appointed restaurant critic at the Guardian.


Result! Hopefully this means that Jay Rayner has been canned.

#35 liuzhou

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 02:39 AM

Result! Hopefully this means that Jay Rayner has been canned.


Interesting concept. One newspaper employs a new restaurant reviewer so a different newspaper must have canned theirs.

Jay Rayner is restaurant critic for the Observer. Although it shares owners and a website with the Guardian, they have always been separate newspapers.

Marina O'Loughlin has been employed to replace John Lanchester who, I believe, left of his own accord.

Edited by liuzhou, 01 September 2012 - 02:45 AM.


#36 Putty Man

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 09:05 AM

Interesting concept. One newspaper employs a new restaurant reviewer so a different newspaper must have canned theirs.


I'm sorry. Have I upset you?

Jay Rayner is restaurant critic for the Observer. Although it shares owners and a website with the Guardian, they have always been separate newspapers.

Marina O'Loughlin has been employed to replace John Lanchester who, I believe, left of his own accord.


Point taken. However, given that Rayner is so omnipresent these days I can forgive myself.

Still, it's a shame though.

#37 liuzhou

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 09:36 AM

I'm sorry. Have I upset you?


Not in the slightest.

#38 cachan

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 01:38 PM

liuzhou, thanks for the clarification !

#39 OscarJMalek

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 07:05 PM

Matthew Fort and Jay Rayner perhaps...

Least favourite; Frances Bissell by far!
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#40 MacD

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 10:57 AM

My favourite probably has to be Jay Rayner - but I don't often read other Sunday papers, so can't really make fair comparisons. I like his balance between food comment and other stuff - and he strikes me as a messy eater who ends up with food all down his shirt, which is what I'm like.

The critics who really annoy me are the ones which use up 3/4 of their column space talking about something unrelated to the food - and often not even related to the restaurant.

I think Matthew Fort comes across as a bit pompous, and when Matthew Norman used to write the Guardian column, he drove me mad with his really long, over complicated sentences, with more parentheses than you could poke a sharp stick at. I sometimes needed to reread a sentence four times before I could work out what he was saying. Almost like he was trying to be too clever, but lost the flow of the piece by doing it.

#41 IrishAdventurer

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 06:19 AM

Like many of you, I don't read many UK critics other than Jay Rayner. I think overall he's very good. If you think he's pompous, you've never read Tom Doorley, the Irish 'critic' who is supposed to be a wine expert but couldn't tell you what colour wine is, and really is full of himself.

Before the Times paywall went up, and when I still lived in Ireland, I read Giles Coren and AA Gill quite often. Never really liked Coren, and I think Gill is a good writer who happens to write about food some of the time. I like his style, but it doesn't always work when reviewing food. Plus (and I accept I'm likely to be abused for this opinion) I think it's slightly odd having a recovering alcoholic reviewing restaurants. The food should of course stand alone, but in most cases, people do drink alcohol when they go to restaurants and it is part of the experience, no different from the company and the occasion etc. You could argue that not having wine with his meal allows him to be more subjective, but at the same time, it means his experience of a meal will be different to probably 90% of the people who eat there (something that is also true because he's a well-known critic). It doesn't invalidate his criticism or praise of a restaurant, and I'm not suggesting he can't or shouldn't review restaurants, I just think it's an odd choice, even from his perspective.

#42 Harters

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 07:51 AM

Most of us drink alcohol. Some of us don't.

I don't think I have a significantly different restaurant experience than my companion in life does.
John Hartley

#43 RDB

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 10:31 AM

I hate to link the daily mail, but this is just so funny, I had to...

http://www.dailymail...o=feeds-newsxml

 

Would loved to have heard the tasting notes discussed ...


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#44 PSmith

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 01:32 PM

:laugh:

 

I saw that.  Actually Ristorante pizzas are quite good.  My pizza of choice when I want a night off from cooking.


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Latest blog post - Oh my - someone needs a spell checker


#45 jonwig100

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 12:45 AM

I seem to be resurrecting this after a year, but my excuse: I'm new here.

 

A restaurant reviewer who particularly irks me is Matthew Norman in the (UK) Daily Telegraph. When he gets to the meal itself, he's to the point, but that's generally more than half way through the review!

 

Because he also writes about sport, music and politics, his reviews are too widely spread.

 

But the Telegraph does have some excellent food writers: Victoria Wood on wine and Xanthe Clay on just about anything gastronomic.


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#46 liuzhou

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 02:44 AM

When he gets to the meal itself, he's to the point, but that's generally more than half way through the review!

 

Not as bad as Giles Coren who spends two-thirds of his column rabbiting on in much the same way as idiots do on the bus, yelling into their mobile phones.

 

"I'm on the bus!"

"My washing machine is broken and I'm doing to buy a new what's-it"

"Only bought it in 1972. It's a disgrace. That is what what it is"

Finally he remembers he is a restaurant critic and mumbles something about having eaten somewhere.

He and the obnoxious AA Gill disappearing into obscurity behind the paywall was a great day for food writing. Or writing in general.
 



#47 confiseur

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 07:15 AM

I used to really enjoy reading Jonathan Meades reviews... lived in CH then so my very expensive Saturday 'Times' was read cover to cover.

 

AA Gill is a good writer in general who writes about food quite well.

 

Mr Rayner?,perleeze...straight from central casting... pompous and more than a little too convinced about himself.


Edited by confiseur, 11 September 2013 - 07:22 AM.


#48 Putty Man

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 01:51 AM

Mr Rayner?,perleeze...straight from central casting... pompous and more than a little too convinced about himself.

 

You just know that he's got a cape in the wardrobe.



#49 gfweb

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 04:46 AM

I find all of the UK critics (at least the ones that make it over to US readers)  over-the -top.  All seem to be looking for the zinger line more than a thoughtful review.



#50 liuzhou

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 06:13 AM

Rayner amuses me more than any of the others. In a good way. And he knows what he is talking about. And sticks to the point.


Edited by liuzhou, 14 September 2013 - 06:18 AM.


#51 jonwig100

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 01:43 AM

Rayner is a mixture of the balanced and erudite (for example, his book A Greedy Man in a Hungry World) and the purveyor of humour which is - to be charitable - an acquired taste!

 

His latest review, of the Oxfordshire (UK) Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons is, I think, most enjoyable. I didn't know it was probably the most expensive restaurant in Britain. Is that true?

 

It's here: http://www.theguardi...staurant-review



#52 JudyB

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 11:55 AM

Rayner is a mixture of the balanced and erudite (for example, his book A Greedy Man in a Hungry World) and the purveyor of humour which is - to be charitable - an acquired taste!
 
His latest review, of the Oxfordshire (UK) Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons is, I think, most enjoyable. I didn't know it was probably the most expensive restaurant in Britain. Is that true?
 
It's here: http://www.theguardi...staurant-review

It's hard to tell - I suspect that The Fat Duck plus wine flight might be more expensive, but their website doesn't list the costs of tthe wine flights anymore... I seem to remember there being a "basic" wine flight and the option of a much more expensive one - which would probably go over the figures Jay quotes for Le Manoir.

Edited by JudyB, 17 September 2013 - 11:55 AM.


#53 annabelle

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 12:00 PM

I like Jay Raynor.  (I don't care if he has a cape in his wardrobe.)  I like Gregg Wallace, too.  He was a judge of MC Professionals on BBC with Michel Roux.  They were both very exacting, but encouraging and not sneering like the American chef judges can be.



#54 Matthew Grant

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 12:44 AM

Is the Gregg Wallace comment a joke?


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#55 Prawncrackers

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 01:23 AM

I almost spit my tea out!!

 

Food. Critic.  Neither word applies to the Egg.



#56 Man

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 12:34 PM

If not even calling him Raynor provokes him to intervene, I guess he'll never do so. :smile:



#57 thampik

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 09:54 AM

A couple of recent Guardian reviews reminded me why I generally enjoy reading Mr Rayner. With him, the reader usually gets a sense of the excitement and enjoyment when an experience is good (http://www.theguardi...staurant-review) and a sense of genuine disappointment when it is poor (http://www.theguardi...staurant-review).