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weinoo

Groundbreaking Chefs Whose Food Has Seen Better Days

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I recently had a fine meal at Bar Americaine. Flay ain't dead yet. But he may be spread thinner than he should be. I'd bet that he has relatively little to do w his Burger places

He may not have much to do with his Burger places, but he has lent/sold his name and cachet to them; he therefore should at least care about the food being sold.

Now, Bar Americaine is interesting to me. I can't remember the last meal I had there; for that matter, I can't remember the first one either, but I'll have to give it a try.

Pepin

Can you name for me the restaurants (which was the point in the original post) in which Mr. Pepin has been the chef, owner or principal partner?


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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JP was indeed a principle partner with his wife for a restaurant in CT where they live. His wife a few years ago wanted to do this against JP's advice. The food was said to be very good. The Very Local Rag reviewer didnt like it, and his wife shut it down immediately, using some choice words for the idiot involved.

Its in his book "Apprentice' but yes, he doesn't qualify for this thread really.

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"flay may not have much to do with his Burger places, but he has lent/sold his name and cachet to them; he therefore should at least care about the food being sold.

This is my view on the WG Puck situation as well. Sure, his flagship spots may be good, but his name is also on a couple of places I wish he hadnt lent it to. Just because I feel his brand has taken a hit doenst mean I think its awful, I just dont think some of it lives up to his reputation as the only 2 time winner of the James Beard Best Chef award.
Edited by Twyst (log)

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"flay may not have much to do with his Burger places, but he has lent/sold his name and cachet to them; he therefore should at least care about the food being sold.

This is my view on the WG Puck situation as well. Sure, his flagship spots may be good, but his name is also on a couple of places I wish he hadnt lent it to. Just because I feel his brand has taken a hit doenst mean I think its awful, I just dont think some of it lives up to his reputation as the only 2 time winner of the James Beard Best Chef award.

I wouldn't consider Chef Puck's airport cafe's as flagship operations, but they serve consistently good food. I've been at the one in Denver a number of times and probably visit the Seattle airport cafe a couple of times a month. The pizzas, roast chicken, garlic fries and salads are consistently good and not much more money than the stuff sold by the national chains in airport food courts. In all honesty, I think his canned soups are pretty darn good too.

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The only Puck place I've dined repeatedly is the Spago on Maui. Service has been bad to adequate and wine list had run out of several of my choices. Food has been just ok.

Now some of this may be the Hawaii effect but still, if we say Flay should keep his burger joints up to standard how much more should Wolfie protect Spago?

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I live in the middle of the proverbial food desert. No celeb chefs anywhere near here and I'm sure none on the way any time soon, so for us its one of those gaudy, touristy events when we get to eat at one of their hot spots. I do have to say that we've had very few let downs and most of those were more a matter of unrealistic expectations that sub-standard food. It is interesting to see celeb chef's personas kind of wear out. I guess actor's images don't get old and tired because they get to do a new role with every new movie. Chefs don't usually have that luxury.

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Todd English... but was he ever all that great?

Tom Colicchio? I have never been to any of his restaurants, but I am wondering if he is more than a popular face on Top Chef. Is he cashing in on his fame, or is he really that talented?


"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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Todd English... but was he ever all that great?

Tom Colicchio? I have never been to any of his restaurants, but I am wondering if he is more than a popular face on Top Chef. Is he cashing in on his fame, or is he really that talented?

Funny, as I was channel surfing tonight, I saw Todd English was on HSN shilling his "line of Mediterranean-inspired cookware, appliances and gourmet foods. Episode 33."

Now, I never ate at any of the early or groundbreaking English restaurants (if indeed there ever were any), but the first time I ate at one of his restaurants, it was in Vegas...and it sucked.

So, I don't know the answer to your first question.

As far as Tom C. goes, I think his restaurants are still putting out some pretty damn good food.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Todd English... but was he ever all that great?

Tom Colicchio? I have never been to any of his restaurants, but I am wondering if he is more than a popular face on Top Chef. Is he cashing in on his fame, or is he really that talented?

Funny, as I was channel surfing tonight, I saw Todd English was on HSN shilling his "line of Mediterranean-inspired cookware, appliances and gourmet foods. Episode 33."

Now, I never ate at any of the early or groundbreaking English restaurants (if indeed there ever were any), but the first time I ate at one of his restaurants, it was in Vegas...and it sucked.

So, I don't know the answer to your first question.

As far as Tom C. goes, I think his restaurants are still putting out some pretty damn good food.

On English I fully agree with you. I ate at his insipid restaurant "Olives" at Bellagio a few years back while I was at Uncork'd. And due to the event, English was in town and in the kitchen. The prosciutto on what they called a "pizza" was rancid. It was shards of glossy pork on dry flatbread. Yeah, that's what it was. The other dish I don't remember but it was just as bad. The only good thing was the view of the Bellagio fountains and the booze in the cocktail. And I don't think English distills his own Vodka. Oh wait, maybe he does and I just haven't seen him hock it on HSN...

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Tom Colicchio? I have never been to any of his restaurants, but I am wondering if he is more than a popular face on Top Chef. Is he cashing in on his fame, or is he really that talented?

I cant speak for whats happening with his places now as I haven't eaten in one in a few years, but he is not a "created for TV" chef. He was/is very talented.


Edited by Twyst (log)

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Others beat me to English, but my experiences have led me to wonder if there was a time he ever was good.

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I've eaten in a couple of TC's restaurants in the past 6 mos. Nothing special. Not bad, just average for a NYC high ticket place.

I don't understand how one can have more than a very few restaurants and keep the quality and innovation up. Which is one of the reasons that I like one-of places like Vetri or Gilmore's in the Philly area.

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I've eaten in a couple of TC's restaurants in the past 6 mos. Nothing special. Not bad, just average for a NYC high ticket place.

I don't understand how one can have more than a very few restaurants and keep the quality and innovation up. Which is one of the reasons that I like one-of places like Vetri or Gilmore's in the Philly area.

I don't know that innovation is that important. Quality, yes. But I go back to my example of Batali and a place like Lupa. Still good, on occasion, great. But certainly not groundbreaking.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I don't understand how one can have more than a very few restaurants and keep the quality and innovation up. Which is one of the reasons that I like one-of places like Vetri or Gilmore's in the Philly area.

It's definitely very hard, but its possible. Keller is still beasting it.

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Others beat me to English, but my experiences have led me to wonder if there was a time he ever was good.

Back in the day, in Charlestown, yes, he was. A modest place, wonderful food. He got arrogant, left his wife, all downhill.

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Tom Colicchio? I have never been to any of his restaurants, but I am wondering if he is more than a popular face on Top Chef. Is he cashing in on his fame, or is he really that talented?

I cant speak for whats happening with his places now as I haven't eaten in one in a few years, but he is not a "created for TV" chef. He was/is very talented.

At the recent IACP Conference in NYC, there was a panel discussion with Mario Batali, Gabrielle Hamilton, Peter Kaminsky, Sam Sifton and Doug Duda. They were discussing the power of reviews and Sam Sifton said his favorite reader comment was someting like, "I haven't been to that restaurant, but I'm sure you're wrong."

Which makes me wonder, unless we've eaten the chef's food for years, at numerous locations, are we in any position to answer Weinoo's question?

Recently, I've eaten a few lunches at Tom Colicchio's restaurant on 10th Ave. Gorgeous space, bit flaky staff, but the food was spot on delicious. I'm a sucker for good skate and this was bangin' good. Also good value for a 'nice' lunch. I can't speak to what Chef Colicchio did before, and I didn't even know he was on TV (I live under a rock for a large part of the year.) I just know the food was good to great.

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Heston Blumenthal? When was the last time the menu changed at The Fat Duck?

Also falling all the way to number 13 on the Pellegrino list this year. They really have to get back in the game.

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Heston Blumenthal? When was the last time the menu changed at The Fat Duck?

Also falling all the way to number 13 on the Pellegrino list this year. They really have to get back in the game.

I don't understand. His restaurant "Dinner by ..." has gotten rave reviews. Why does a menu have to change if it's great? Is there a personal grudge against Mr. Blumenthal?


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I agree. if a menu is great, and continues to be executed in that fashion, no real need to change for change's sake.

Unless you are stuck eating there every night!

:blink:

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Heston does not have to change there are still enough mugs out there to keep the Fat Duck full every day.He provides an entertaining experience with some wonderful dishes and others complete crap.When you go to the Fat Duck you will not find many Brits eating ,most who want to have tried it and dismissed it,he is now harvesting his worldwide audience and good luck to him.


Sid the Pig

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Also falling all the way to number 13 on the Pellegrino list this year. They really have to get back in the game.

I'm really hoping that's sarcasm. Both his restaurants are listed in the top 15 restaraunts in the world. Id consider them sqaurely "in the game".

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