Posted 27 May 2003 - 09:17 AM
What do you do if called upon to review a restaurant with a cuisine you know nothing of? Let's say Jovian. Do you read up on it (books or web)? Call on a board of "experts"? Wave hands?
"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.
"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."
Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM
Posted 29 May 2003 - 06:35 AM
More often, though, I pore over cookbooks or visit ethnic markets ahead of any visit to a restaurant whose food I might not be acquainted with. And DC is full of people who have traveled all over and make great guides to said restaurants.
Posted 29 May 2003 - 06:43 AM
1) When you do "ethnic" reviews, do you care much about authenticity or do you only care what tastes good to you?
2) Are there any ethnic, regional, or specialty cuisines you just don't like? Or, to a lesser extent, are there any cuisines that you feel are nice enough but so inherently limited that you can't find much good to say about them? (Feel free to name names!) And if so, how do you work around that when you're stuck reviewing restaurants that serve them?
Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, email@example.com
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)
Posted 31 May 2003 - 06:26 AM
2) I'm pretty open-minded. There are some African dishes I'm not particulary fond of (the food from Burkina Faso tends to be heavy and dull, for instance) and I find some Filipino cooking too greasy for my taste, but my job is all about transcending personal taste. I evaluate things all the time that I might not choose to eat on my own dime. Several years ago, for example, licorice was all the rage in desserts. I hate licorice. But I tried to be fair about writing about the flavor.
Posted 01 June 2003 - 12:40 AM
By the way, since I don't live in the DC area, I haven't been familiar with your work, but I've been impressed with the answers you've given in this forum.
Have a look at my website, fluteperformer.com!
Posted 01 June 2003 - 03:55 AM
Most critics have to have an open palate to do what they do. I couldn't be a vegetarian and do this job, for example, nor could I be a picky eater (that's different from being discerning).
I am not an advocate of big portions, but I still write about them. I don't care much for chocolate, though I always order the chocolate dessert on the menu of a given restaurant because I know I'm in the minority when it comes to that flavor.
As I stated earlier, restaurant reviewing requires the writer to transend personal preferences. It's not always easy, but try I do.