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Is Posting Restaurant Pics Actionable


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#121 cdh

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 03:11 PM

Yes, Doc, it would be copyright infringement.

Making a "copy" has been extended to mean making a two-dimensional reproduction of a three-dimensional original and vice versa. And if that is not silly enough, it would also be a violation of the copyright holder's monopoly on making derivative works based on their work...

Edited by cdh, 05 January 2006 - 03:12 PM.

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#122 Holly Moore

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 03:16 PM

One thing I find satisfying is that while plated food is not given copyright protection, my photographs of plated food are.
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#123 Rebel Rose

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 03:30 PM

But food is a physical product so there would also be trademark law. I had to look into that once.

You can't combine two older inventions to make a new one and trademark it. So, for instance, she couldn't combine mashed potatoes and gravy to create a new trademarkable combination. Or roast pork and corn pudding. And I don't think you can trademark vegetables. Maybe donuts . . . :raz:

But I guess if Greenwood really wants to defend her copyright, she could create some sort of gnocchi alphabet soup and spell out an original message on the plate. (Gee, I wonder what that would be . . .)

How did they get their hands on DC's camera, anyway? "Sir, step away from the camera, please. Just set the camera down, sir, and back away slowly." :rolleyes:

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#124 Pontormo

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 03:36 PM

Just a reminder: There isn't going to be a court appearance.

The judge will not be dismissing nothing or anything.

The chef did not get her hands on the camera. (If she did, she would not have taken the action that most of us are deploring here, the request for a letter from her lawyer.)

No one punched anybody.

The wife's dress did not go to the drycleaner's due to a huge blood stain.

DC Foodie did not agree not to post photos because there were two goons standing at his doorway when he and his family returned to their home that night.

Noah is fine and has not dyed his hair and is not living under an assumed name.
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#125 My Confusing Horoscope

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 04:13 PM

This copyright discussion is getting to me.

The law assumes that I am so DISINCLINED to be creative, I need a STRONG economic incentive like copyright. Hence this absurd scenario applies:

I will not so much as write down my ARTISTIC, creative recipe for 3 minute eggs unless I have ironclad guarantees that not only will I be able to receive financial rewards from it, but also my next 3 generations of descendants, who apparently have no inclination to be creative, either, or even fend for themselves!

Where's the soapbox smilie when you need it? :wacko:
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#126 aaronwcpa

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 04:19 PM

We dined at Buck's last year when my son was working in DC for a few months. While the food was good it was not cheap. I think the place attempts to be whimsical with its setting.
I think that she just lost her mind temporarily. There is no other explanation. Any publicity is good publicity.
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#127 Rebel Rose

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 04:42 PM

Hey, Holly--are you still on the lam for snapping photos of a BBQ joint?

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#128 divalasvegas

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 04:48 PM

After reading everyone's comments, I think I've come up a hassle free approach to taking photos in restaurants. I intend to proceed as follows:

1) Go with at least 8-10 other dining companions since there's definitely strength in numbers (make sure that several of them are built like NFL linebackers).

2) Bring my lawyer.

3) Bring/borrow adorable baby boy/baby girl (like DC Foodie, I think Noah kept the chef from goin' "medieval" on his family.) Of course, if I can borrow someone's twin babies, all the better.

4) Check for a written policy re: photo-taking.

5) Ask to speak with the manager to get persmission to take said photos.

6) After explaining who I am, provide the appropriate documentation--birth certificate, driver's license, note from my dead mother, DNA sample so he/she can verify that I am who I say I am. This will probably only be a short phone call, email and fax to the Department of Homeland Security. Hopefully their background check won't extend to my wild college days in Massachusetts. Uh, after all, some substances have medicinal value and really should be de-criminalized. :huh: Wait anxiously for the results. :unsure:

7) Once seated and the food begins to arrive, make clearly audible "oohs and aahs" over how glorious the food looks, even if it looks like steaming piles of sh**. This is to assuage the artistic, tempermental head chef who will be standing across the room eyeing our table with suspicion.

8) Upon completion of the meal, stand up in unison, and put fingers down our throats and throw up.

9) Take more photos of that, then leave, promising the chef on our way out that we will only post photos of the highest quality; no blurred, out-of-focus depictions of his/her "art."

Sounds like the end to a perfect evening to me. :rolleyes:

Edited by divalasvegas, 05 January 2006 - 04:48 PM.

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#129 bigred93

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 10:40 AM

I'm not a lawyer, I don't want to be a lawyer, and I don't play a lawyer on TV. So I'm going to stay out of whether or not plating design or recipes are copyrights or trademarks or somehow protected IP. That said... I find this whole thread interesting, and just a touch disturbing.

I'm trying to think of how to say this with the balance that I intend, and I may not be able to do that. So... after I hit "post" I will promptly duck.

I've not eaten at Buck's, although it's on my list for one of my next trips back to DC. I have to say that while I personally would have been offended with how this was handled, had I been the one on the receiving end of Ms. Greenwood's tirade, it won't stop me from going there in the future.

I guess, at the end of the day... I'm happier to have people like Mark Furstenburg who won't serve tomatoes out of season, or Chris Bianco who won't do his pizza for takeout or allow substitutions on his pies, or Doug Sohn who only does duck fat fries on Fri and Sat and is only open 6 hours a day just because. I'm sure each one of these folks could be described as a little 'psycho' by customers, and I'm sure there are folks out there who have stories to tell about one or the other being unreasonable (from the point of view of the patron).

But aren't we better off for having these folks out there? I, for one, would rather have more "soup nazis" and fewer bland but obsequious "customer is always always right" places. I would rather patronize an establishment where someone would say "screw you, you can't have tomatoes because they aren't good enough" rather than just sheepishly throw on some mushy, greenish-yellow disks from the fridge. Obviously, it's better if they're nice about it, but do we want to vilify those whose "inner artiste" is stronger than their ability to play nice with others? Is that really any worse than places that sling crap food with a smile? There are *lots* of those, and in a lot of cases I find those to be more offensive than a restaurant that cares about its food but comes off as imperious.

#130 Rebecca263

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 11:37 AM

...I guess, at the end of the day... I'm happier to have people like Mark Furstenburg who won't serve tomatoes out of season, or Chris Bianco who won't do his pizza for takeout or allow substitutions on his pies, or Doug Sohn who only does duck fat fries on Fri and Sat and is only open 6 hours a day just because... I, for one, would rather have more "soup nazis" and fewer bland but obsequious "customer is always always right" places.  I would rather patronize an establishment where someone would say "screw you, you can't have tomatoes because they aren't good enough" rather than just sheepishly throw on some mushy, greenish-yellow disks from the fridge.  Obviously, it's better if they're nice about it, but do we want to vilify those whose "inner artiste" is stronger than their ability to play nice with others?  Is that really any worse than places that sling crap food with a smile?  There are *lots* of those, and in a lot of cases I find those to be more offensive than a restaurant that cares about its food but comes off as imperious.

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OK, dear, DUCK!
While I agree with your appreciation of people who truly care about the product as opposed to those to simply go through the motions, I am appalled to find that there is someone who prefers rudeness to the alternative, which is good manners. It's ridiculous to say that someone who makes good food should be allowed to be rude, just because they make better food than is served in some other places, and I think it's sad that you feel that you need to suffer the ignominy of rude behavior in order to eat well. That's just absurd to me. Especially at the level of dining we're discussing here, and the locale. I mean, DC is not exactly a wasteland of good food! I try not to ever be served mediocre food, I only spend my money where I am at least hopeful to 90% of having a decent meal. That said, I will NEVER eat anywhere that has a component of "Screw you" attitude. And, dear, you shouldn't have to, either. We live in a great big world with so many choices, it's incomprehensible to me that you would want those negative experiences, or even a chance of them. Someone with a chip on their shoulder can NEVER give you a completely wonderful meal experience. It just won't happen. You need to stay under their radar, you need to hope that if they are in contact with you the moment won't have a tense result, that's unacceptable to me. Life is wonderful and horrible, and I refuse to go out of my way to chance horrible. If you're thinking that the 'artist' has a right to be rude and get away with it, I don't see things the same way. No one is so much better than someone else just because they have a talent, or have worked hard to do something (or for ANY reason, for that matter) that they have a right to be rude. That's just small minded, negative, unpleasant behavior, I won't tolerate it, and I'm dismayed if you feel that it is the price you need to pay, in order to feel that you are getting good food. Or good anything.
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#131 divalasvegas

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 11:43 AM

...I guess, at the end of the day... I'm happier to have people like Mark Furstenburg who won't serve tomatoes out of season, or Chris Bianco who won't do his pizza for takeout or allow substitutions on his pies, or Doug Sohn who only does duck fat fries on Fri and Sat and is only open 6 hours a day just because... I, for one, would rather have more "soup nazis" and fewer bland but obsequious "customer is always always right" places.  I would rather patronize an establishment where someone would say "screw you, you can't have tomatoes because they aren't good enough" rather than just sheepishly throw on some mushy, greenish-yellow disks from the fridge.  Obviously, it's better if they're nice about it, but do we want to vilify those whose "inner artiste" is stronger than their ability to play nice with others?  Is that really any worse than places that sling crap food with a smile?  There are *lots* of those, and in a lot of cases I find those to be more offensive than a restaurant that cares about its food but comes off as imperious.

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OK, dear, DUCK!
While I agree with your appreciation of people who truly care about the product as opposed to those to simply go through the motions, I am appalled to find that there is someone who prefers rudeness to the alternative, which is good manners. It's ridiculous to say that someone who makes good food should be allowed to be rude, just because they make better food than is served in some other places, and I think it's sad that you feel that you need to suffer the ignominy of rude behavior in order to eat well. That's just absurd to me. Especially at the level of dining we're discussing here, and the locale. I mean, DC is not exactly a wasteland of good food! I try not to ever be served mediocre food, I only spend my money where I am at least hopeful to 90% of having a decent meal. That said, I will NEVER eat anywhere that has a component of "Screw you" attitude. And, dear, you shouldn't have to, either. We live in a great big world with so many choices, it's incomprehensible to me that you would want those negative experiences, or even a chance of them. Someone with a chip on their shoulder can NEVER give you a completely wonderful meal experience. It just won't happen. You need to stay under their radar, you need to hope that if they are in contact with you the moment won't have a tense result, that's unacceptable to me. Life is wonderful and horrible, and I refuse to go out of my way to chance horrible. If you're thinking that the 'artist' has a right to be rude and get away with it, I don't see things the same way. No one is so much better than someone else just because they have a talent, or have worked hard to do something (or for ANY reason, for that matter) that they have a right to be rude. That's just small minded, negative, unpleasant behavior, I won't tolerate it, and I'm dismayed if you feel that it is the price you need to pay, in order to feel that you are getting good food. Or good anything.

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Extremely well said Rebecca263.
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#132 bigred93

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 12:18 PM

... I am appalled to find that there is someone who prefers rudeness to the alternative, which is good manners.  ...

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Well, first off, that's exactly NOT what I said. Nowhere did I say (nor do I feel) that I *prefer* rudeness. So I don't know where you got that from, and it's not an accurate representation of my point of view. I guess that makes me easier to disagree with, though.

Obviously I'd love to live in a world where all food everywhere is perfect and all service is super duper nice and attentive and flexible and all that. If you can find such a world, please let me know.

Instead, what I see are some establishments that get the service right, but not the food; some that get the food right and not the service; some do neither; and in some blessed occasions, both are great.

To the extent that this forum serves as a place to mobilize opinions and represents a bully pulpit, it seems to me that we all want to encourage establishments to the "both great" position.

But I'm not seeing anyone trying to advocate for a boycott or lawsuit against Sbarro, despite that what they try and pass off as pizza is criminal. But here Ms Greenwood goes off the deep end (admittedly not for the first time) and the sense seems to be "to the barricades! get out the pitchforks!"

Is that really the right set of priorities? Accommodative service with crappy food is somehow more ok than thoughtful food and crappy service?

Aren't we better off having a few loonies out there who care about what they serve than a world where only the super-nice survive? Is their contribution to cuisine so small that it's neutralized when they go off the deep end every now and again? Seems like you'd say "yes".

#133 Holly Moore

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 12:18 PM

In considering the top chef's I have met in person, and allowing for those bad days that happen to all in the restaurant business, I can not think of a single chef who is curt, much less rude with customers. The one exception, whom I have only seen on tv and don't know if he is such a jerk away from the lights and cameras, is Gordon Ramsay.

I am wondering if a respect for customers is one of the required traits for a truly successful chef? And if the converse is true - a chef who considers customers to be barely necessary evils will never achieve greatness?
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#134 Holly Moore

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 12:22 PM

Hey, Holly--are you still on the lam for snapping photos of a BBQ joint?

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Nope. Further on in that thread you will see that Michael Kelin of the Inquirer brokered a truce and that the co-owner of Tommy Gunn's joined in and made things all better. I haven't been back to their first store, but on occasion grab a meal at their newer South Street locaiton. I've taken plenty of pics at the South Street store too with no questions from the staff or phone calls to the police.
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#135 mrbigjas

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 12:44 PM

or Doug Sohn who only does duck fat fries on Fri and Sat



whoa whoa whoa, what? tell me more.

#136 Rebecca263

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 12:52 PM

... I am appalled to find that there is someone who prefers rudeness to the alternative, which is good manners.  ...

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Well, first off, that's exactly NOT what I said. Nowhere did I say (nor do I feel) that I *prefer* rudeness. So I don't know where you got that from, and it's not an accurate representation of my point of view. I guess that makes me easier to disagree with, though...

Aren't we better off having a few loonies out there who care about what they serve than a world where only the super-nice survive? Is their contribution to cuisine so small that it's neutralized when they go off the deep end every now and again? Seems like you'd say "yes".

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Sure, you said EXACTLY that, that a 'screw you' attitude is preferable in order to have good food. QUOTE "I would rather patronize an establishment where someone would say "screw you, you can't have tomatoes because they aren't good enough" rather than just sheepishly throw on some mushy, greenish-yellow disks from the fridge." END QUOTE. How sad for you, that you think that those are your only options. They aren't, by far. I would rather simply spend the short moments it requires to find the alternative, better food and better attitude. And it exists so far, everywhere I've ever been, and I've been many places.
And, no we are not better off accepting "loonies" who care about what they serve, but not a whit for their clientele, in fact disprespect their clientele! And, this thread isn't about "loonies"( does the lady worship the moon?), but about rudeness and a sense of entitlement to such behavior. Are you really wont to say that those are your only alternatives? They certainly have never been mine, whether I've been rich or poor, in the midst of war I've had more options. To say that my not accepting rudeness is a championing of mediocrity is silly, silly, silly. Absurd and definitely very Kafka of you. However, you're right, I say, YES. A talented but rude chef, I'm not interested. It's my life, I've experienced the worst in the world much more often than you could be aware, and I don't tolerate the small minded pettiness of rude or snobbish behavior from anyone. What comes to my mind when I see that kind of behavior is that those people don't know the world, truly. I have seen so much of REALITY, which has NOTHING to do with the quality of a tomato, that watching someone behave in such a way is the most foolish thing I could see, simply wasteful of life, and I'm not interested. And, BTW, why didn't that other guy just fry those green disks? Fried green tomatoes, yum. :raz:
edited by me for spelling, yuck!

Edited by Rebecca263, 06 January 2006 - 12:54 PM.

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#137 bigred93

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 01:45 PM

... I am appalled to find that there is someone who prefers rudeness to the alternative, which is good manners.  ...

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Well, first off, that's exactly NOT what I said. Nowhere did I say (nor do I feel) that I *prefer* rudeness. So I don't know where you got that from, and it's not an accurate representation of my point of view. I guess that makes me easier to disagree with, though...

Aren't we better off having a few loonies out there who care about what they serve than a world where only the super-nice survive? Is their contribution to cuisine so small that it's neutralized when they go off the deep end every now and again? Seems like you'd say "yes".

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Sure, you said EXACTLY that, that a 'screw you' attitude is preferable in order to have good food. QUOTE "I would rather patronize an establishment where someone would say "screw you, you can't have tomatoes because they aren't good enough" rather than just sheepishly throw on some mushy, greenish-yellow disks from the fridge." END QUOTE. How sad for you, that you think that those are your only options. They aren't, by far. I would rather simply spend the short moments it requires to find the alternative, better food and better attitude. And it exists so far, everywhere I've ever been, and I've been many places.
And, no we are not better off accepting "loonies" who care about what they serve, but not a whit for their clientele, in fact disprespect their clientele! And, this thread isn't about "loonies"( does the lady worship the moon?), but about rudeness and a sense of entitlement to such behavior. Are you really wont to say that those are your only alternatives? They certainly have never been mine, whether I've been rich or poor, in the midst of war I've had more options. To say that my not accepting rudeness is a championing of mediocrity is silly, silly, silly. Absurd and definitely very Kafka of you. However, you're right, I say, YES. A talented but rude chef, I'm not interested. It's my life, I've experienced the worst in the world much more often than you could be aware, and I don't tolerate the small minded pettiness of rude or snobbish behavior from anyone. What comes to my mind when I see that kind of behavior is that those people don't know the world, truly. I have seen so much of REALITY, which has NOTHING to do with the quality of a tomato, that watching someone behave in such a way is the most foolish thing I could see, simply wasteful of life, and I'm not interested. And, BTW, why didn't that other guy just fry those green disks? Fried green tomatoes, yum. :raz:
edited by me for spelling, yuck!

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Well, I suppose loonies could be worshipping ducks, too, but that's another issue altogether.

I really think that you've taken a very polarized view of what I've said and meant, but from the intensity of your response here I suppose there's not much middle ground for us here, and for that I'm sorry.

Like you, I will continue to look for places where both the service and the commitment to excellent food are high. I suppose you find many more of these places than I do. I find that many places lack one or the other and require some form of compromise - maybe that's Kafkaesque to you, but to me it's more a sense of realism.

Clearly the behavior attributed to Ms Greenwood is quite poor, but I'm not dissuaded from going to Buck's to see what she can add to cuisine... from what I've read at least, it sounds like her food is both original and excellent. She seems to have a combination of great passion, a thin skin, and very little interpersonal finesse. I just don't think that's a hangin' offense, personally, and I'd be sad if a lack of interpersonal skills (and a thin skin) kept people with her passion and creativity out of the kitchen. I think we'd all be worse off for it.

#138 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 01:47 PM

or Doug Sohn who only does duck fat fries on Fri and Sat



whoa whoa whoa, what? tell me more.

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His place is called Hot Doug's and it's here in Chicago :biggrin: :

Hot Doug's
3324 North California
Chicago, IL 60618
Phone: 773 279-9550

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#139 bigred93

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 01:58 PM

or Doug Sohn who only does duck fat fries on Fri and Sat



whoa whoa whoa, what? tell me more.

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His place is called Hot Doug's and it's here in Chicago :biggrin: :

Hot Doug's
3324 North California
Chicago, IL 60618
Phone: 773 279-9550

=R=

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Yeah... sorry... that's the place. Very off the beaten path but worth the trip. I went twice on a trip to Chicago several months ago... on a day that included a breakfast meeting and a lunch meeting, neither of which were anywhere near his place. Doug is a very nice guy. I would respectfully suggest you not ask for ketchup. I'm very sad to be missing the special of the week:

Cognac-Infused Smoked Pheasant Sausage with Truffle Sauce Moutarde and Goat Cheese
$6.50

... and I love the fact that this is on the same page as another special:

Veggie Corn Dog
$2.00

#140 mrbigjas

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 02:18 PM

I would respectfully suggest you not ask for ketchup.  I'm very sad to be missing the special of the week:

Cognac-Infused Smoked Pheasant Sausage with Truffle Sauce Moutarde and Goat Cheese
$6.50

... and I love the fact that this is on the same page as another special:

Veggie Corn Dog
$2.00

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lord have mercy. i've long suspected that i might need to relocate to chicago for culinary purposes, and this might be what tips the scales.


ok sorry for the digression everyone. back to our regularly scheduled crazy chef vs. the first amendment debate.

#141 docsconz

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 03:35 PM

I think that there is a big difference between Chefs who care about their food and feel an integrity to their cuisine and actions such as those attributed to Chef Greenwood. If a chef is a stickler about how or what they will cook and present fine. I like a chef that is passionate about his cuisine. If I don't like the food I won't continue to patronize the restaurant. That is my choice. However, I agree that there is no excuse for rude or insulting behavior and there are too many really good restaurants to support one in which that is the norm. On the same token, I prefer not to support restaurants with less than consistently good food. I do not believe that these choices are mutually exclusive.
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#142 Hest88

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Posted 06 January 2006 - 04:04 PM

Clearly the behavior attributed to Ms Greenwood is quite poor, but I'm not dissuaded from going to Buck's to see what she can add to cuisine... from what I've read at least, it sounds like her food is both original and excellent.

The way I see it, there are very few human beings on the planet who are so indispensible that they should be given free reign in regards to their behavior. "Sure, he's an *sshole but he's a leading cancer researcher/a historically-significant artist/a critical part of the peace process/etc." are valid reasons to give people a pass, but as much as I love food and admire chefs I think there are very few chefs who possess an irreplaceable talent. Sure she's creative, but so are any number of chefs who toil away even farther from the spotlight. When she's at the level of, I dunno, a Ferran Adria, then she can play artiste to her heart's content.

#143 Swisskaese

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 02:34 PM

The name is Swisskaese and I am not Polish, therefore I do not have a Bubbe.


This is way off topic but technically a Polish grandmother is a babci. Maybe a Yiddish grandmother is a bubbe. My mom would look at you real funny if you called her a bubbe. To put this at least semi-on-topic with food, Babci is a fairly decent brand of frozen pierogis, but I like Millie's better.

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That is what Jewish Polish grandmothers are called.

#144 annecros

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 06:07 PM

... I am appalled to find that there is someone who prefers rudeness to the alternative, which is good manners.  ...

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Well, first off, that's exactly NOT what I said. Nowhere did I say (nor do I feel) that I *prefer* rudeness. So I don't know where you got that from, and it's not an accurate representation of my point of view. I guess that makes me easier to disagree with, though.

Obviously I'd love to live in a world where all food everywhere is perfect and all service is super duper nice and attentive and flexible and all that. If you can find such a world, please let me know.

Instead, what I see are some establishments that get the service right, but not the food; some that get the food right and not the service; some do neither; and in some blessed occasions, both are great.

To the extent that this forum serves as a place to mobilize opinions and represents a bully pulpit, it seems to me that we all want to encourage establishments to the "both great" position.

But I'm not seeing anyone trying to advocate for a boycott or lawsuit against Sbarro, despite that what they try and pass off as pizza is criminal. But here Ms Greenwood goes off the deep end (admittedly not for the first time) and the sense seems to be "to the barricades! get out the pitchforks!"

Is that really the right set of priorities? Accommodative service with crappy food is somehow more ok than thoughtful food and crappy service?

Aren't we better off having a few loonies out there who care about what they serve than a world where only the super-nice survive? Is their contribution to cuisine so small that it's neutralized when they go off the deep end every now and again? Seems like you'd say "yes".

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I think that the rub is that you somehow are expressiing that the two are mutually exclusive. It's true that you ended up with an "either/or," mutually exclusive, hypothetical.

If I have to choose between a good attitude and bad food, or a bad attitude and good food, well I will just stay at home and cook.

Yes, I have experienced both under one roof. The places that have good food and good service? Those are places I go back to and spend my money. The others, if the experience is bad enough, I don't. Good food does not overcome abusive treatment, and outstanding service cannot overcome bad food.

I haven't seen any torches or pitchforks, yet, and I reread the thread to make sure.

If someone chooses to not go to a restaurant because the attitude is bad, they have a right to do so and say so. If someone chooses not to go to a restraunt because the food is bad, they have a right to do so and say so.

Free country, and all that.

#145 squids

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 08:08 PM

To me this is has nothing to do with "good food" or "bad service." In response to the title of this thread, what exactly do you mean by "actionable?" Legal, schmegal I say. Having the Chef come out on the floor to publicly mishandle this situation was just uncalled for. And the fact that she has done this same thing year after year, amazes me. Most people grow and change over the years; Ms. Greenwood has not. My money is too valuable to spend at a restaurant that serves attitude as a second course. The cease and desist letter was the icing on the cake. Most people would agree; and I beg to differ that it is not the same as TK, as that situation was handled much differently.

The fact that she has repeated this action year after year is just plain sad. I have personally experienced the rudeness of this chef when I went with a colleague to her restaurant when it was on K Street many many years ago. She actually came out of the back to argue with my colleague about how her food was supposed to be eaten and could not be adulterated. There are ways to state one's views, and there are ways not to...needless to say we walked out and had a very nice meal at the Prime Rib instead.

Anyone planning a trip to DC, please note that there are are way too many other good chefs in this area that you should experience before subjecting yourself to dining at Ms. Greenwood's restaurant. Want fancy dining? Go to: Citronelle, Maestro, Laboratorio, Marcel's, Palena...neighborhood dining? Komi, Corduroy, Firefly, Notti Bianche, Ray's the Steaks, Montemarte, Dino's, bar at Palena, Colorado Kitchen...far too many to list them all, but all more worthy of your visit.

#146 FistFullaRoux

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 11:46 PM

Restaurants, if not government owned, are private businesses. The public may be invited to come in, but the owner of the property still gets to make the rules. Just because one business does not have an issue with photography, does not mean that all businesses have to allow it.

If you walk around without pants on at your home, you do not have the right to walk around in someone else's home like that. You can do it if you have permission. If they say you can't, then you either get dressed or leave. Simple.

For example, I am a member of a public service organization. We used to run a haunted house. A member of the local press tried to get video of said haunted house for a story about Wicca that had nothing to do with us, and was plain old sensationalistic journalism. When we explained that to the reporter and said that there was no reason to include us in the story and she had to leave, we ended up having to physically block the cameraman from entering the building. We were on our private property. We have rules posted everywhere, and have the right to adapt them as needed.

Do I think the chef over reacted? Maybe a bit. But the chef was legally correct. The meal does not get paid for until the end. It's not yours until the money has changed hands, even if you did consume it. Restaurants are essentially giving you credit for the meal, and if you don't fulfil your end of the bargain, then you are in default, and action can be taken against you. If you take pictures on private property of private property without permission, then I think this is an actionable incident. If you take pictures of private property from public property (like the sidewalk), then you do not need permission, but the owner may be able to protect their trademark (name/logo or other distinguishing features. For this instance, the tablecloth and china are private property.

I think the owner or management of a business has the right to make their rules, understanding that those rules could potentially reduce their business. It's not much different that a restaurant requiring a jacket or not allowing smoking. Just because you can do something at another place does not mean you can do it in all places.

Edited to clarify a point.

Edited by FistFullaRoux, 08 January 2006 - 12:17 AM.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.

#147 Mayur

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 12:25 AM

To clarify:

A private commercial establishment (such as a restaurant) is effectively giving you a license to enter their property (as owner or leaseholder; it doesn't matter) and undertake various actions therein. That license can be subject to any and all conditions they see fit to attach to it, including ones they make up on the spot (such as, for example, taking photos without permission). However, all they can do if you violate their terms is eject you from the premises. They may claim damages for trespass to property, but I don't see what those damages could be in this case. (Any "publicity cost" from the photos would not be sufficiently foreseeable and/or proximate to yield damages.)

So, a business can "make the rules," but their only recourse if you violate those rules is to tell you to leave. Period.
Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"

#148 FistFullaRoux

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 12:33 AM

And regarding the "quality of the pictures" argument that has been brought up several times, "Celebrity BW" cannot sue a photographer who used a slightly out of focus long range lens and took a picture of him scratching his butt in public. Even if it is published.

He could sue if he was scratching in his back yard, or in another place where privacy could be expected (like a public restroom).
Screw it. It's a Butterball.

#149 FistFullaRoux

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 12:50 AM

To clarify:

A private commercial establishment (such as a restaurant) is effectively giving you a license to enter their property (as owner or leaseholder; it doesn't matter) and undertake various actions therein. That license can be subject to any and all conditions they see fit to attach to it, including ones they make up on the spot (such as, for example, taking photos without permission). However, all they can do if you violate their terms is eject you from the premises. They may claim damages for trespass to property, but I don't see what those damages could be in this case. (Any "publicity cost" from the photos would not be sufficiently foreseeable and/or proximate to yield damages.)

So, a business can "make the rules," but their only recourse if you violate those rules is to tell you to leave. Period.

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I don't think it would be considered a license. I see it more like credit. It's like filling your car up before paying for it. If they turn the pump on, it is assumed that you are to complete the transaction before you leave. The gas station is saying, "You're good for it, I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt." When you buy a ticket for a concert, that could be considered a license, since it is assumed that you agree to all the rules before paying for it. Once it's paid for, then you have the license to enter the venue at the specified time, and follow the rules of the venue. Licenses are not automatic. They require an agreement, even if it is a statement of "By using this ticket, you agree to be bound by these rules" printed somewhere.

Fir the recourse, say I own a restaurant, and someone breaks the rules. Maybe they tried to use a credit card to pay for the meal which I don't accept. Or they were smoking in a non-smoking section. The only thing I can do is ask them to leave? Both of those are criminal acts in some areas, but the credit card issue is across the country. There are legal remedies for business owners in these situations. It could be a restraining order so that person never steps foot in the place again, or a lawsuit to stop the publication or dissemination of fraudulently obtained photographs.

If this guy had recreated the scene at home down to the same table settings, then he could publish those pictures. It becomes a recording of his own work, the work was done by him, and he gave himself permission to use the property for that use. Then an argument could be made of infringing on intellectual property rights as well. If he makes it at home for the enjoyment of his friends and family, then there is no harm done to the restaurant. If he claims it as his own, that could potentially be seen as damaging to the restaurant.

The owner/lessee/tenant/manager has the right and the responsibily to see to the comfort and safety of staff and customers. If that person's vision of comfort and safety includes the banning of photography, then photography is banned. Period. Someone who takes a picture without permission is in violation of the restaurant's rules. The restaurant has to have some kind of legal recourse.

Again, I'm not agreeing with the chef. The whole thing got blown out of proportion. But the blogger in question has no real legs to stand on. Had the police gotten involved at the time of the incident, the photographs could be considered evidence, which could not be released without a court order. If I make a secret recording at a concert, my equipment would be confiscated if discovered, and if it were returned to me with an erased tape, then I have no recourse against that venue. I still have what I walked in with. I just don't have that recording. If security were to smash the recorder to bits, then I have recourse.

They can't keep something of yours, but they can make sure that their property does not leave with you.

Edited by FistFullaRoux, 08 January 2006 - 01:26 AM.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.

#150 jackal10

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 02:50 AM

I'm-not-a-lawyer (although I lecture in these topics) but I believe the legal position is even more complicated. The restaurant by opening its doors is making an offer to treat, in just he same way a shop does by putting goods in the window, or a supermarket putting things on the shelves. You can remove the item from a supermarket shelf, but you only contract to buy it when you pass though the checkout. You only make the contract with the restaurant when you order [i]and the restaurant accepts the order[i]. In this contract there are a number of implied terms such as you will pay at the end of the meal, and the restaurant will not poison you. They can add terms to this contract, such as no photography, but if they are unusual or unexpected they must inform you before you make the contract, such as by a notice or printing it on the menu. There may be a similar, but lesser, implied contract by them allowing you on the premises, which you accept by entering.