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Washington Post Inaccuracy


cabrales
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an event that looked good on paper, had a certain "wow" factor feel to it (I remember looking at the chefs cooking and saying to my husband that we had to go) and then not delivering at all.

Here's a topic for a good thread. Do we all have a special dinner that's scared us from attending special dinners again?

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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I said it was a glaring, but not serious error.

Bux -- I agree that it is not a serious error with respect to its likelihood to lead potential diners astray. However, it was a serious error in the sense that it illustrated, glaringly, the lack of knowledge in respect of the subject matter, of the Washington Post food writer(s) involved. Why had they not tried to educate themselves on who's who at the top level in France, a country whose food, as discussed in another threads, is viewed favorably by certain parts of the dining population in the US? :hmmm:

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Why had they not tried to educate themselves on who's who at the top level in France, a country whose food, as discussed in another threads, is viewed favorably by certain parts of the dining population in the US?
Probably because they didn't need to. There's no way of verifying this, but it wouldn't surprise me if you were the only reader who had detected the error. (Certainly, I would wager, the only one who cared.)

Cabrales, both your knowledge and your standards are very high indeed. I think it's a shame for you to waste your nervous energy worrying about the inaccuracies of those who inhabit what is virtually another universe. (I intend no irony whatsover. Please take this literally, at face value.)

John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

Top Google/MSN hit for Paris Bistros

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Cabrales,

On page 63 of Dorie Greenspan's book, Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé, there is a BIG FAT HUGE mistake in the opening text. I picked it up right away and it annoys the hell out of me. But besides people like me, does anyone really care about such details? I wonder?

Secondly, I find your requirements for a food writer very, very interesting. Tell me, who exactly is supposed to pay for all those meals? Should only the super rich who can afford to eat and travel to the ends of the world be allowed to write about food?

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On page 63 of Dorie Greenspan's book, Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé, there is a BIG FAT HUGE mistake in the opening text. I picked it up right away and it annoys the hell out of me. But besides people like me, does anyone really care about such details? I wonder?

Lesley -- Mistakes are arguably worse in a book, where there is more time allotted for the completion of the work. Like you, I note mistakes in books too --

[Would you settle for a description of the Pere Meurice salad???]

PaulaJ -- The Pere Meurice salad is described in Serge Dansereau's "Food & Friends. A chef's journey through France & Italy." Like other discussions in the book, the assessment of Boyer is favorable:

"We visited the kitchen with Gerard [boyer]'s chef de cuisine, Kerry [note obviously wrong name] Voisin, and observed the well-honed skiills of the brigade. . . ."

What did you think of Thierry (Boyer's right-hand person in the kitchen) -- it's fairly clear that he will take over when Boyer retires. . . .

As for the cost of meals, a food writer interested in saving money could, say, live in a youth hostel and take in lunches at three-stars (e.g., under euro 75 for both Lucas-Carton and Grand Vefour). Also, certain three-stars are less expensive than others (e.g., L'Arnsbourg's and Jardin des Sens' tasting menus are relatively reasonable for the applicable level of restaurant). You might comment that one has to pay for plane tickets, etc., and that would be accurate. But how many food writers have gone to Paris and eaten other food? Two-starred Jamin has lunches, I believe, under 45 euros (check the thread with that name in the French forum prior to reliance). :wink:

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Here's an amazing menu -- unclear whether it was for the 30th anniversary celebration (in French; not translated):

http://www.saveurs.sympatico.ca/relais/menu.htm

Here is a very rough translation (due to time constraints) of a small portion of the the Relais Gourmand menu: . . .

Installment #2 of the translation of the Relais Gourmand anniversary menu is below:

III. VEGETABLES

-- L'accumulation de pommes de terre rattes "Arman" aux huîtres de Belon (Aggregation of "ratte" potatoes, Arman style -- named after a sculptor whose works appear in Rostang's restaurant, with Belon oysters), Michel Rostang, Paris

-- Étoilée de tomates confites à la fleur de thym (Tomato confit with thyme flowers), Alain Deluc, Restaurant Barbizon, Belgium

-- Petits poivrons farcis à la morue (Small peppers stuffed with cod), Firmin Arrambide, Les Pyrénées, St Jean Pied de Port

-- Sandwich aux truffes (Truffle sandwich), Rostang

-- Mollusques et coquillages en salade multicolore à plat aux trois coulis de poivrons au camembert (Various clam and relatives in a multi-colored salad with three coulis of peppers and camembert), Gérard Passédat, Le Petit Nice, Nice

-- Salade d'asperges au foie de canard poêlé (Salad of asparagus with pan-fried duck foie gras), Antoine Westermann, Buerehiesel, Strasbourg

-- La salade de tous les légumes du moment, huile d'olive et bouquet d'herbes (Salad with in-season vegetables, olive oil and a bouquet of herbs, Jacques et Laurent Pourcel, Jardin des Sens, Montpellier

-- Salade tiède de Pommes "Rattes" aux Truffes de Richeranches (Warm salad of "ratte" potatoes with truffles from Richeranches in Southern France), Jean-Paul Lacombe, Léon de Lyon, Lyons

IV. HORS D'OEUVRE

-- Escalope de foie gras de canard sautée au vin et aux raisins muscats (Duck foie gras sauteed with wine and muscat grapes), Stéphane Raimbault, L'Oasis, La Napoule

-- Foie gras de canard chaud en verdure de blettes (Duck foie gras, hot preparation, with ? of swiss chard), Raimbault

-- Foie gras poché au consommé (Foie gras poached in consomme), Gilles Etéocle, Hostellerie La Poularde, Montrond Les Bains

-- Marbré de foie d'oie et de canard aux épices douces (Duck and goose foie gras with gentle spices), Christian Denis, Clos Saint-Denis, Belgium

-- Ravioles de Foie gras au jus de porto et truffes (Raviolis of foie gras with a jus of port and truffles), Pierre Orsi, Restaurant Pierre Orsi, Lyon

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(I intend no irony whatsover. Please take this literally, at face value.)

John, is it fair to conclude that whenever you don't include this parenthetical addendum to a post, you intend irony? :biggrin::raz:

Incidentally, I was thinking earlier today that Cabby qualifies for a job as a restaurant reviewer in any publication I've read. Her "work" is far more informative, detailed and perceptive than most working "food" writers.

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Cabrales, in the course of your career, have you ever made a stupid mistake? I make stupid mistakes all the time. When I worked at a law firm, which I might add was in my opinion and in the opinion of many impartial observers the best law firm in the world, people were always making mistakes. There were multiple tiers of associates and partners and paralegals and everything else working on most every project. Things were checked and rechecked and gone over with a fine-tooth comb. And still there were mistakes, some of which you'd be surprised to see a first-year law student make. Not that these mistakes were ever critical to a case -- they were just annoying little things. But they happened. Is this scenario completely foreign to you? Even when I read the briefs submitted to the Supreme Court, which I do on occasion, I find mistakes -- actual clear misstatements of precedent and such -- and I'm an out-of-practice lawyer with no particular specialty in that area of practice. The big difference, though, was that as a very junior associate in a Manhattan law firm in the mid-1990s I made in excess of $100,000 a year and the partners I was working for made millions, whereas a reporter at a newspaper would be lucky to get a quarter of that as a starting salary and the people pretty high up in the editorial hierarchy make what the first year associates make at many law firms. They also have fewer resources than attorneys at law firms, and they need to produce more in any given day than most lawyers do. They take pride in their work, but they make mistakes. It happens. Get over it. :raz:

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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FG, this issue reminds me of the story of the farmer who got married after a long bachelorhood. As the wagon took them from the wedding party, their horse stumbled. The farmer said loudly, "That's one." A little further down the road, the horse tripped again. The farmer said, "That's two." His wife sat perplexed. When the horse stumbled a third time, the farmer said "That's three," drew his gun and shot the horse. The wife screamed in horror and began to berate him. When she paused for breath, the farmer said "That's one."

Maybe Cabby is saying "That's one." :biggrin:

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Lizziee posted on Jul 19 2002, 12:09 AM

------------------------------------------------------------------------

jaybee,

According to your analogy, I would be dead too many counts to count.

Lizziee, That just shows that Mr. Lizziee is not at all like the famer. :biggrin:

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John, is it fair to conclude that whenever you don't include this parenthetical addendum to a post, you intend irony?
Only when I pay an extravagant compliment. :smile:

John -- Thank you for the compliment :blush: :blush:

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