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Scott

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Everything posted by Scott

  1. To be fair putty man you also argued that people have less opinions about food than before. which is certainly a curious take given the huge increase in blogs, and food related twitter activity
  2. No, I don't think its ok to try and brush this aside. its very relevant (inconvenient) to the point in hand * sorry if I seem a bit fired up, but I think the blogger/pr nexus is a massive issue right now. There's huge hypocrisy around this at the moment, and that is at the heart of the whole #chefsunite nonsense
  3. By & large agree. Problem is bloggers are often attracted by the promise of freebies & superior access. What has gotten lost is that its only the quality of the commentary that matters, not just that you made the effort. I am not defending Isherwood but why would he risk his credibility lying about paying for the meal. Here is his quote "He mentioned I was given freebies, but I'm wise enough to know these were amuse bouches - they even appeared on the pre-printed menu they gave to me at the end of the meal " This never ending accusation that bloggers get free meal after free meal is pure fiction especially from my point of view. In all of my years of dining I have only ever received five in decades, and we eat out an awful lot. I for one would be very interested if people would name and shame those bloggers who receive these financial incentives. It would help clear up these never ending accusations. After much annoying innuendo The Critical Couple now put a disclaimer on their site. Hang on David - I'm not saying all do but someone did bring up the point of the Cube on twitter - hardly anyone paid for that! Quite so - and how many people disclaimed whether it was a freebie? I did on my blog and yet you didn't mention in your faux indignation post above about how its so unfair to bloggers So do you follow jay rayners policy of not accepting free dishes, announcing your visits, or anything designed to ensure you get a better than usual experience? It is not acceptable to hold both positions, one or the other please.
  4. By & large agree. Problem is bloggers are often attracted by the promise of freebies & superior access. What has gotten lost is that its only the quality of the commentary that matters, not just that you made the effort. I am not defending Isherwood but why would he risk his credibility lying about paying for the meal. Here is his quote "He mentioned I was given freebies, but I'm wise enough to know these were amuse bouches - they even appeared on the pre-printed menu they gave to me at the end of the meal " This never ending accusation that bloggers get free meal after free meal is pure fiction especially from my point of view. In all of my years of dining I have only ever received five in decades, and we eat out an awful lot. I for one would be very interested if people would name and shame those bloggers who receive these financial incentives. It would help clear up these never ending accusations. After much annoying innuendo The Critical Couple now put a disclaimer on their site. Hang on David - I'm not saying all do but someone did bring up the point of the Cube on twitter - hardly anyone paid for that! Quite so - and how many people disclaimed whether it was a freebie?
  5. Plus the chance to do a bit of Food Bragging to their friends. Some diners get quite sycophantic about the celebrity chef dining scene - it is like collecting Michelin stars are the new cigarette cards. Exactly right - does anyone think isherwood wasn't giving it all that to his date trying to impress?
  6. He doesn't have *ANY* credibility to risk FFS!! He's a guy whose blog had less than 10 entries - its brand new. And on the freebies, like the flip flop on whether he went into the kitchen the amuse bouche line is something he settled on a day or 2 after the argument. I was involved in the original, real time exchanges and despite the subsequent deletions i am very well aware of the original claims & statements. Oh and he's not wise enough about anything, he's the rankest of amateurs. Right on the lowest, least experienced tier - which is fine but don't be taken in by a rapid journalist lead reinvention Plus comp'd dishes usually appear on the bill for no charge as part of stock control and the order to kitchen process Its never ending because like big brother contestants, the desire for freebies is common. Its one of the things that upsets chefs, how often & fervent the entitlement complex is. as for your own situation: - do you speak with PR? - do you contact a restaurant beforehand to announce your upcoming visit? - do you send back comped unordered dishes? Perhaps you should draft & outline a personal code of conduct for your blog so readers & chefs know exactly where you stand on these subjects? Always pay, no extra dishes, no PR etc much like Jay Rayner has been calling for in the last few days. He's made the point that he does just this, nothing extra, no freebies, books himself etc Nearly every major wine critic does this also, so their integrity can never be questioned How about I take the field, and exclude by exception those who disclaim individually Quite right too.
  7. By & large agree. Problem is bloggers are often attracted by the promise of freebies & superior access. What has gotten lost is that its only the quality of the commentary that matters, not just that you made the effort.
  8. Its all to do with the disintermediation of hosted opinions on forums to people owning their opinions on blogs Informed People now by and large do 1 of 2 things: 1. Blog & tweet their own content 2. Not bother many people didnt like the way forums owned all content & its a static environment - more dynamic platforms have replaced forums
  9. Because I am australian, and I know its a complete fictional invention. And you cannot sensibly point to its rejection of starbucks when it embraces the far worse gloria jeans & hudson
  10. Steady on, he has already flip flopped a few times on his version of the facts Notice he doesn't mention the post meal tweet on how good it was, how much he'd been drinking, or how he had been denying ever having been in the kitchen (source: his tweets as it unfolded)
  11. Do you actually have any evidence for that? He has denied every being in the kitchen. He admitted he said his meal was OK when asked, as 99% of customers do. No one has mentioned "what a wonderful meal". And even if he was on a freebie (something I haven't seen mentioned anywhere else) then he is still entitled to say he didn't like one part of his meal without being subjected to a torrent of abuse. Bosi's reaction was OTT, offensive and wrong; Kerridge & particularly his wife were wrong to get involved; and Bains' might have been worst of all Tristan Welch's comments weren't needed either, suggesting maybe James shouldn't write a review if he was too drunk to remember what happened it kitchen However the blogger is a clown too. He's changed his story, and told a few porkies to make sure momentum keeps going in his favour. For example he's started reinventing the content of deleted tweets, suggesting they said they were going to get a gun and come find him. This did not happen, i watched unfold live at the time. There was no suggestion of any real threat or coming to find him, its just an embellishment There are a few things we know, and isherwood doesn't come off smelling of roses either. - he is a new food blogger of very modest knowledge & writing ability - he met Bosi at the cube and made introductions & entreaties about interviewing him - Bosi invited him to hibiscus, and they exchanged a number of messages to set things up (cannot comment on Whether freebie or not) * worth noting Bosi was aware that "dining with james" had only a handful of posts, was written by someone just starting out with little real knowledge, but plenty of enthusiasm. I think he was generous in his time, and was trying to help the guy out, give him a leg up. - the meal happened - extra courses were sent - he was invited into the kitchen after and went (both sides acknowledge this). - Bosi claims he asked how it all was (of course, its not credible after all the pre-amble msgs etc to believe he didn't enquire) and that he was told it was all great - Isherwood tweets afterwards to Bosi about what a great time he and his (first) date had * footnote James first denied going into kitchen, then suggested bosi didn't ask how it was, then accused claude of deliberately lying about asking him, and has now finally settled on the story that he was in kitchen, was asked, and only said it was fine because he was put on spot and didnt want to cause a scene in front of his date. Nb tweet after meal gushing about great it was - published review and posted on trip advisor (very low quality review. Clumsy & badly written with a bitchy final slap in face suggesting it wasn't really a 2* meal like wareing or the ledbury). - Bosi sees it on trip advisor, flips and thinks this young guy he was trying to help has just kicked him in balls; especially seeing how he sucked up at the cube, in email & in the kitchen afterwards - other chefs frustrated with idiot bloggers themselves pile in and ultimately start bullying this one guy James Isherwood clearly didn't think he was doing anything wrong, and almost certainly didn't mean to. His problem is that he's an idiot himself, and thought he had an obligation to tell it like it is, and that Bosi should respect that as a peer. He was ultimately too inexperienced to realise that you can't buddy up to a volatile chef, take all the benefits, and then bite the hand that has literally fed you. He is quite simply a tosser, but not the only one in this situation And what's more he has gotten to liking his 15mins...
  12. Where did this great lie that OZ & NZ had some big coffee culture come from?
  13. Of course a coffee snob wouldn't dream of adding milk to their espresso
  14. no problem. My issue is that I don't think you have actually said anything. In fact it appears you have gone out of your way to avoid doing so. Conspicuously. Gosh, I am not even sure you are serious? aesthetic qualities are always a function of their time, and it would be true to say the highest value is ascribed to those qualities that endure, fine art being an easy example. However, just as shakespeare and puccini were considered mindless dross, pop of their time, it is not necessarily fixed in stone either. Nor is it true that something cannot have ever been good if it has been superceded, if times have moved on or if the audience has changed taste or become more informed/sophisticated over an observed period. The difference between the historical & the contemporary is often evolution. If you would like to deny evolution I am sure there are no end of wonderful places to express that
  15. Sorry - not sure I understand your question. Is it what? Do you mean is it an interesting question? Well, yes, generally speaking it is to me - I wouldnt have made the point otherwise. In the context of this discussion, the "useful distinction" is relevent to Michelin awarding its one-stars to categories, as Gary points out. If a pub is awarded a star and then later morphs into being a restaurant, you might well expect it to lose its star as it's no longer in the same category - even though nothing else changes. The fact that this doesnt seem to happen suggests that, in practice, Michelin's talk of its "categories" is just bollocks. what I mean is that is not an interesting question at all. pointless. there may be stylistic concessions to the type of food, but there should be none to the quality and execution. and Gary's point does not claim there is (vis a vis quality and execution).
  16. Thanks for the response, I'm going to take issue with a few things but before I do that I'd like to acknowledge that I am not specifically pulling out your posts for any other reason than I find them interesting. Pam's prosaic claims that Michelin is about who you know isn't very interesting as an example. Fair enough, I'll restate what I've already claimed upthread, but with a few details. Outside, and unlike, France, Michelin has given up on being an arbiter of taste and now merely follows the pack (although shuffling it a tad in order to remain enigmatic). For me the seminal example is the Fat Duck, although MPW set the scene. MPW was the first Brit who was perceived to be a chef in the stereotypical mould favoured by Michelin. His cooking was never on a par with Koffman, Mosimann or the Rouxs, but who cares? Like Frank Bruno, Britishness trumped talent. I could come to this point more easily except I know from a direct, personal standpoint, that Koffman could not disagree with you more on MPW. Mosimann doesn't belong in this conversation. ok, that's your conclusion, your assertion, but its a fairly loosely supported one. the association of Heston and Adria seems to be one of Molecular approach, rather than any specific influence or technical commonality. Michelin's job is to be relevant in its markets where it produces guides, so there is an element of Britishness at play I suspect. I do not see any evidence within or outside your argument however, that would support Heston as some of divining rod of a new british food renaissance. any more than MPW or GR in recent times. I can't begin to understand the comment about critics, that's a plain nonsense. I can't even quite work out what the contention actually is, confused within its own tautologies. I think its true that Michelin is keen to make sure it remains relevant, and that there are some commericial considerations but this is hardly a new thing and there is no new paradigm that I can see any basis or evidence for. if Nico and Marco weren't handing back their stars, I don't think Gordon gets his third, but that's the cynic in me - I can't prove this. I just cannot however, see any basis for suggesting there has been a step change with HB. hold on, I think it might be possible to argue with more time and inclination that the FD benefited from the new molecular movement, and its ascendency within that - just as all movements have their leaders and beneficiaries. But that is no different to Nouvelle Cuisine, and we have more classical 3* and very heavily influenced nouvelle 3*'s today. I'm particularly not minded towards the classic, as it seems tired and out of touch today, but that's just my view. I am not sure I can take that view and then insist people who do favour such approaches are blinded by an anachronistic allegiance to historical hegemony. if we ascribe MG as a valid culinary movement, as I feel we must, then FD is just a restaurant at its vanguard neither its finest, nor an imposter. Personally, I think the FD has evolved enormously, but not on the plate. service, theatre, precision and timing are all of a level far, far greater than the back slapping good old days, of being able to have prix fixes lunches. the experience is a complete one, but its lack of modal variation leaves it a bit cold for me. change the bloody record for heaven's sake Heston. I also think its just plain wrong to suggest a meal here is not considerably more refined today than 10 years ago, it is also imo, not as much fun. It is for me, by any definition worthy of 3*'s and is far from the fringe of that designation. that is certainly platitudinous I think if anything, over the last 5 years or so, the media has followed michelin not vice versa. this is why ordinary, non foodie folk even know what a michelin star is these days. that and social media. I cannot accept an argument that purports to align the media/PR and Michelin on one side, and popular opinion on the other. should this divergence exist anywhere other than the imagination, then Michelin would have died off long ago. you cannot be an arbiter of taste and style without having your own sensibilities accepted and acknowledged as providing worth. I can believe the claim, but that is not the point. what matters is the extent to which this can be shown to have had influence. it can all be true (and perhaps it is) but unless that can then be extended to show the impact that this has had on someone's ratings then its just gossip and trivia. for example, I cannot imagine Michel Roux getting his third back any time soon, and with the amount of publicity he has had recently, then under your regime he should already have it. I really do think there is an interesting, and potential valid view point in here, but its all too full of circular arguments and tin foil hats.
  17. is it? personally, I am not sure how the question leads to any useful distinction?
  18. I have indeed visited the above, earlier in the year whilst on business. To be perfectly honest I found it not only very underwhelming but disappointing, in as much as it having two stars attached to it. Why?? I found the whole experience very average to be honest. I could not understand why such an establishment would be awarded like it has. Almost random. The two star rating was to me completely unjustified and more importantly totally unnecessary. I did actually contact the guide to convey my thoughts because I did think in this case it was just ridiculous on the guides part. Im sure it would be a great pub if it didn't have all the guff of two stars. By the way, one of our party had to send back his beef dish that night, as it was overcooked. I had not ever encountered this in a two star establishment prior. I think this is part of the problem. conflating your opinion of the establishment, with how it is rated by michelin. it is, what it is, not a michelin pub. as in it is as good as it is, in a broad absolute. Within that construct, Michelin have passed an opinion on how they regard it. (sorry if that's a bit circular). there is no cozy relationship between Kerridge and Michelin per se. as for the judgement on the food at the Hand and Flowers, my own experience could not be more different. the quality of cooking, precision, timing of the dishes was first class on a recent visit. surprisingly delicate, with very good ingredient quality. I am also interested in what you mean by beef dish being sent back because its been overcooked? if its steak not cooked to your liking then sure, if its Tartare I can see the problem but otherwise, its more than likely a daube, braise or similar. that isn't coming medium rare. The only reason I mention this is the description as a beef dish, and not a steak - also kerridge is known for his slow cooking of cheeks and less common cuts. and if your steak has not been prepared to your specification, sending it back is only fair. not sure, I would qualify that as evidence of a restaurants broader technical failings though. again, appreciate that might seem pedantic.
  19. Well, first of all, I want to make vey clear that I'm referring to Michelin's operations the UK, which run reactively rather than proactively. Essentially, Michelin allow the press/net to shortlist for them; thus saving a fortune in research and they then apply an extremely idiosyncratic criteria. This encompasses the sure things: Dinner, Ducasse, Sketch which get their stars as soon as is possible. And 'surprises'. These surprises consist in a shed load of pubs being given 1* and the odd Sportsman and Hedone, which are usually run by fully paid up members of the middle-classes who have come late to the hospitality industry, and usually sound very eccentric and thus British. Unfortunately, guides and critics, Michelin included, are the principal symptom of the malaise that they purport to cure. Ok, sure. But which of these is novelty over solid technique. I can't quite see (yet) the heart of your argument, it seems to be a few vague allusions around the edges, but what is the guts of it all. I think michelin is about assessment, judgement & categorisation - not sourcing. I don't personally see the value in using one sourcing methodology vs another. I don't care how you came across or came to know about a restaurant, i care about the quality of the assessment. Which is where i find myself a bit lost on the novelty act lacking in technique thing, am not sure who you would cite? I can and do disagree with michelin's assessment, can't say i've ever cared about how somewhere came to their attention. All social media means is that PR's job gets harder to add value in the traditional ways. They are who used to tell michelin about what's hot.
  20. Putting the rightly aside, the subtext here, as with most of Rayner's food writing, is that the only "real portrait of what's going on in Britain" is whatever he says it is. yeah, that is the unmistakeable precept. I don't follow the too little inspecting comment? for example, at Hedone, Mikael know's he has been visted at least 6 times by inspectors, and twice by the editor. and this is just the times he knows about, it is possible it has been more.
  21. it looks like its now been taken down from via michelin.
  22. Really? I think most people are utterly bored. Industry and more importantly, customers. I don't. in fact I don't think there is any comparison. Michelin is the gold standard that translates across language and country. you can argue whether it should be (and probably make a decent case), but not whether it is.
  23. Grouse at Medlar is very good, and great value. off the bone, with damsen sauce.
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