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Lauren Chapin - Kansas City Star Restaurant Critic


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I personally think the 1,2,3,4,5 star and diamond rating should be used by The big

three. Let the local critics break it down so the customers knows which direction they want to dine in. I'm glad I recived 4 stars for food and 2 1/2 for service and Atmosphere. I wanted a restaurant that was down to earth in which I was comfortable with. I would hate to deal with the snotty customer looking for the excellent expensive experience, for me it's all about every day food, and good wine worth sharing. So I guess if we go by the standard of stars mention by J West I'll gladly except calling soredux a one or no star restaurant, Same with the sour octopus, The only place I worked at that wasn't a four star rated restaurant was stolen grille and I would give it a one star also. When I was the chef for the Mobile 4 star rated restaurant at the Ritz in KC I would have given it a two star and Two stars for the American Restaurant.

I'm really not a big fan of any type of rating system, when the star did the review I refused to let them take a picture I asked not to have a review same with the Pitch. When food & wine called I sent them on their way. When the Zagat called I told them to go away also. I made Ingrams sign a contract before she dinned she couldn't review me. I had Kansas City Mag pull out everything about me in their Mag. some airline called a few months back, same response. Spaces mag I sent them on their way also. I'm just a cook cooking food, It is what it is. I think ratings are a joke to begain with. Everyone has two things and one of them is an opion well I'll leave the other item out because I'm in a good mood today.

monkfish_103, can you justify these two statements? Also, if I'm not mistaken, there was an article profiling you (and maybe 4 other chefs) recently in the KC Magazine. If you asked them to pull you, they didn't do it.

I belive we do not have the amount of international tourism in Kansas City to go to that type of a rating system.

Well, yes, and no. I don't believe it takes tourism in order to generate/sustain a strict rating system. I think it just takes a publication's/critic's initiation - and of course, legitimacy, skill and know-how. I agree with JWest, that competition results in higher quality output as well as consumer expectation - but pretty much only in the U.S. In Europe it seems to almost be the opposite - where the remote "destination" restaurants, like El Bulli, L'Arnsbourg, El Raco Can Fabe The Fat Duck, Michel Bras, and so on are the true gems. The only examples I can think of in the U.S. that fit that model might be The French Laundry and the Herb Farm - maybe Cyrus... but then again, Napa too is starting to get saturated.

European capitals are often crowded with a herd of mediocre restaurants with bloated prices - Paris, comes to mind - as does London. Here, in the U.S., you'll find the best eating in our large cities - NYC, SF, Chicago, etc...

That being said, I think the reason why KC has grown so much, gastronomically, in the last decade is because of dedicated chefs like Gold & Smith, ChefCAG & Co., M. Raphael, and others who have put foie gras, sweetbreads, and tartare on the gustatory radar of curious, adventurous - and yes, even knowledgeable locals. Instead of force-feeding, they have seduced and tempted. I really applaud them for their initiative.

As well, I think a lot of KC's slow food movement (not meant in the Alice Waters sense) is due to the city's lack of racial/ethnic diversity. It has only been in the last twenty years (and that's sort of stretching it) that more shades of skin have been seen in the city - exerting a need and the availability of more diverse foods. While small enclaves of Latino cultures pocketed the city, and a few Chinese restaurants dotting the city, the vast majority of restaurants in KC were either "American" (mostly chains), or Black-owned. If you wanted Italian: Olive Garden, "Mexican:" Taco Bell, British: Long John Silvers... but that's best saved for another thread.

My own assessment is that the village people are hungry and curious, and lots of national and local press has encouraged them. But, unfortunately, I think there are some sources that confuse and retard them. One by one...

For example, I was out to dinner with a couple of good friends who are usually pizza and beer type of folks. They let me order. Would you believe it was their first time having scallops? Polenta? Foie gras? I wasn't. Like many, they had "heard" of these things, but didn't know if they were animal from vegetable - and certainly never ventured to order it. My friends scraped up every bit of foie gras on that plate - every last bit of that polenta was gone. Had that chef not put it on the menu, they (nor I) would have had that experience. One, by one... I look forward to the day when Kansas Citians and the chefs won't bat an eyelash to scoopin' sea urchins and dishing out tripe stews.

To get back on topic. I think a city's restaurant critic(s) should not serve as a voice to coddle the masses into wallowing in their comfort - but to inject into the city an informative bias as to what they believe is quality. Like ronnie mentioned above, a critic, whether you agree with him/her or not, must develop an identifiable voice. They need not establish a rapport - merely come from a vantage where you are able to mark your territory in relation to them. Good or bad, a successful critic, IMO, should be such that his/her readers are able to formulate a confident direction from their reviews.

Personally, Chapin looses me. She's all over the place with her reviews - they have no unity or voice. Not only are her multiple category ratings (food/service/decor) distracting, but her dispensation of stars seem almost random. As for content, she seems at once knowledgeable, but without taste or discernment. Rattling of facts don't help me decide whether or not I want to eat at a particular restaurant or not. I usually leave her reviews just as undecided or clueless about the establishment as before. And, after a while, this type of confusion breeds distrust...

I understand that being a critic isn't an easy job. It can't be. But, they should elicit some emotion from the readers other than confusion - which is how Chapin leaves me. For instance, Frank Bruni at the NY Times has been a very controversial critic - but at least readers know where stand in relation to his reviews. He may not always get the stars right, (I personally think he's got them mostly right - by instinct (and this is why I actually kind of like him) - but not in exposition), but he definitely has an opinion... and he can be an entertaining read. I think it's interesting that this thread and the one on Bruni in the NY forum have been the most active in my inbox notification this week.

Wow, I've written too much - if you've made it through, feel free to verbally abuse me over p.m. :cool:

u.e.

[edited for grammar]

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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I'm seizing on such a small point here, but:

I think the Kansas City Originals, KC Restaurant Guide, and all the other Kansas City magazines are great but I think they could be better with better websites as well.

Man, yes. Time after time I try to dig up information on places here, and find lousy- if they even exist- web sites. The new French bakery here in OP? Dreadful site (granted, they're selling out every day, even with the site, but it's not user friendly, it's off-putting). Having a great site is not a matter of shilling oneself to the reviewers or critics- it's putting your restaurant out there in the new way people are looking for places, and I wish more restaurants and groups of restaurants around here would get that.

It seems to speak to a certain...oh I don't know. Provincialism? Reticence to move with the times? Inability on the parts of some (not all!) to recognize there's a want here for a better experience, all the way around- from when you first look into going to a place, to dining there, to wandering out to your car and heading home talking about it? False modesty, perhaps- oh, we're just Kansas City. F*** that noise, we've got great restaurants, but the entire engine around it- criticism, advertising, pr- is not like that in other cities, and it's holding great restaurants back from consumers- from the consumers who want them and from the consumers who could be transformed by discovering them.

What do you mean I shouldn't feed the baby sushi?

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I have to say that I never even look at the stars/ratings, so it's been interesting to me to read others' thoughts about them. The disappointment that I voiced was more about quantity and quality of information. I've enjoyed the glimpse into how the working chefs feel about all of this, though. And I agree with UE on the general inconsistency - whether or not you ever agree with a critic (Bruni being a good example, since so many people pointedly do NOT agree with him), at least if you can benchmark against a review it is of value. And I, too, do not feel that's possible with Lauren's column.

I'm surprised also to think that anyone takes Zagat seriously. I guess, from an economic perspective, it can have an affect on how much out of town traffic you get coming through your door, but in terms of actual quality it's like letting fans vote on who plays in the all star game. Oh, wait, they do that, too. :wink:

Rather than this being a "bashing" of Lauren (or any reviewer) though, what I was trying to express is this: I love the whole culture of food and restaurants. Every Wednesday and Thursday morning I wake up and run down to get the newspaper like a kid on Christmas morning. And nine times out of ten, I feel like I got a new pair of slippers instead of a shiny new bike. At least I can read the Times (both NY and LA), the Trib and the "Chronic" and dream, thanks to technology.

When I was at the Hollywood Farmer's Market a few weeks ago, it was interesting to witness a couple of the cognoscenti from that area discussing the Times critics. It was kind of like listening to Red Sox fans prior to 2004, so I guess we're not the only ones who keep hoping and trying to believe.

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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I'm surprised also to think that anyone takes Zagat seriously.  I guess, from an economic perspective, it can have an affect on how much out of town traffic you get coming through your door, but in terms of actual quality it's like letting fans vote on who plays in the all star game.  Oh, wait, they do that, too. :wink:

I use it as a directory. It's certainly more comprehensive than any of the ones we have around here...

I love the whole culture of food and restaurants.  Every Wednesday and Thursday morning I wake up and run down to get the newspaper like a kid on Christmas morning.  And nine times out of ten, I feel like I got a new pair of slippers instead of a shiny new bike.  At least I can read the Times (both NY and LA), the Trib and the "Chronic" and dream, thanks to technology.
Know that there's another "foodie" in K.C. who unwraps presents along with you on Wednesday and Thursday mornings.
When I was at the Hollywood Farmer's Market a few weeks ago, it was interesting to witness a couple of the cognoscenti from that area discussing the Times critics.  It was kind of like listening to Red Sox fans prior to 2004, so I guess we're not the only ones who keep hoping and trying to believe.

In Europe, the Michelin is held to the same esteem as "football," the Pope, and "my mother." I miss that. Most of the food reviews around here are good for the bird cage.

On the Michelin note, FWIW, I find it immensely more accurate in NYC than in Europe - especially France - ironic... I can't wait for the Michelin San Francisco publication in October!

u.e.

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Im not a big fan of the Zagat, with ratings of Tatsu's(KS) and Daniel(NY) being extremely close to each other makes no sense.

I'm really not a big fan of any type of rating system, when the star did the review I refused to let them take a picture I asked not to have a review same with the Pitch. When food & wine called I sent them on their way. When the Zagat called I told them to go away also. I made Ingrams sign a contract before she dinned she couldn't review me. I had Kansas City Mag pull out everything about me in their Mag. some airline called a few months back, same response. Spaces mag I sent them on their way also. I'm just a cook cooking food, It is what it is. I think ratings are a joke to begain with. Everyone has two things and one of them is an opion well I'll leave the other item out because I'm in a good mood today.

That's funny, Food & Wine never called me until it was done. Hmmm... come to think of it neither did Zagat. Same with KC mag and all the airline magazines. Why are these people calling you? Seems strange the want you to know their comming.

“Nobody can be so amusingly arrogant as a young man who has just discovered an old idea and thinks it is his own." - Sydney J. Harris

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I'm surprised also to think that anyone takes Zagat seriously.  I guess, from an economic perspective, it can have an affect on how much out of town traffic you get coming through your door, but in terms of actual quality it's like letting fans vote on who plays in the all star game.  Oh, wait, they do that, too. :wink:

I use it as a directory. It's certainly more comprehensive than any of the ones we have around here...

Me too. I keep a copy in the car and it's quite useful. And I think that more times than not the overall ratings provided in Zagat are fairly accurate. But, you have to beware any source of information in which the contributors are not required to prove they've actually eaten at the establishments they are rating.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

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I use it as a directory.  It's certainly more comprehensive than any of the ones we have around here... Me too.  I keep a copy in the car and it's quite useful.  And I think that more times than not the overall ratings provided in Zagat are fairly accurate.  But, you have to beware any source of information in which the contributors are not required to prove they've actually eaten at the establishments they are rating.

=R=

And you have to be able to ignore all of those damned quotation marks! :laugh:

But your caveat is exactly why I've never really lent any credence to it. I get the survey, I do complete it and I believe they sent me a free copy for participating (although I couldn't tell you where it is - probably recycled). But the fact that I could just say anything about any restaurant without having eaten there [i don't, but. . .] is kind of scary.

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Im not a big fan of the Zagat, with ratings of Tatsu's(KS) and Daniel(NY) being extremely close to each other makes no sense.

I'm really not a big fan of any type of rating system, when the star did the review I refused to let them take a picture I asked not to have a review same with the Pitch. When food & wine called I sent them on their way. When the Zagat called I told them to go away also. I made Ingrams sign a contract before she dinned she couldn't review me. I had Kansas City Mag pull out everything about me in their Mag. some airline called a few months back, same response. Spaces mag I sent them on their way also. I'm just a cook cooking food, It is what it is. I think ratings are a joke to begain with. Everyone has two things and one of them is an opion well I'll leave the other item out because I'm in a good mood today.

That's funny, Food & Wine never called me until it was done. Hmmm... come to think of it neither did Zagat. Same with KC mag and all the airline magazines. Why are these people calling you? Seems strange the want you to know their comming.

Food and wine called because they were interested in my wine list, I told them F*** off and call you Colby, they were doing a story on wines in the heartland. Zagat called because they wanted to add me as a write in and they wanted the correct information. I'm not going to toy with their joke of a rating scale. Did I say they were coming? You need to get your head out of your foie gras, But hey if stroud's can top zagat and do a beard dinner I guess anyone can. the beard is such a joke.

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Damn you people get up early!

Or we just never sleep

See, regarding restaurant press here, I don't even feel like I get a pair of slippers instead of a bike on Christmas morning. Perhaps I'm spoiled by having lived in Chicago for so long, with a vibrant restaurant press scene.

And I agree with UE on the general inconsistency - whether or not you ever agree with a critic (Bruni being a good example, since so many people pointedly do NOT agree with him), at least if you can benchmark against a review it is of value. And I, too, do not feel that's possible with Lauren's column.

And, not to bash Lauren or any reviewer specifically, as moosnsqrl went on to say she was avoiding, I too have that problem here. I can't benchmark against anyone. And so it's why, when I do meet someone whom I share a dining ethos with, I rely on them- whether it's calling them up and asking them about where they've been recently, or having a fast exchange of comments on their blog. While monkfish103 may feel, regarding amateurs not posting about bad experiences:

I wish some blogger's shared the same view.

I am slavishly grateful when an erudite, smart person throws themselves out there for rotten tomatoes, particularly since it's hard to find good, consistent restaurant criticism out here. Shitflinging for the sake of shitflinging? No. But a well thought out, clear, insightful blog entry about a restaurant? Incredibly helpful to me. Do I ever think a blogger is a pro critic? No. Do I take their opinion to be gospel? No. Do I elect to avoid a restaurant based on one person's petty bitching post on their livejournal account? No. Among those who take the time to write detailed, balanced pieces, posts on their blogs (and a few on here) have helped me have better experiences at restaurants, without a doubt.

Hell, on my own blog I pointed out problems at two of my favorite places (Bluestem and Avenues). And, given my chats with the chefs at both places, I don't think they hold that against me. Uh, GEB, CAG, lemme know if I'm now on the persona non grata lists.

What do you mean I shouldn't feed the baby sushi?

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Hell, on my own blog I pointed out problems at two of my favorite places (Bluestem and Avenues).  And, given my chats with the chefs at both places, I don't think they hold that against me.  Uh, GEB, CAG, lemme know if I'm now on the persona non grata lists.

:laugh: ChefCAG and I have joked about my initial comments about bluestem on my blog... and ditto with GEB. If I've joined you, wench, on the personae non gratae list, then they're doing a good job of hiding it. :wink:

u.e.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

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ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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the beard is such a joke.

Far from it, The James Beard Foundation is an extremely useful tool and organization with education and food culture. The foundation is responsible for giving thousands of thousands of dollars to young students who may not be able to afford post secondary education and would like to make the best of it. I hardly find it a joke to see many dedicated young people who want to educate their mind in whatever they feel is necessary for there future careers.

Also, 99% of the best chefs in the country are involved with the James Beard Foundation. The standards of these chefs exceed much higher than any other organized group of culinarians such as the closed minded ACF. It's no longer just a foundation or "organization" but a community as well. It's not like Strouds won Best of the Midwest or anything anyways.

The James Beard Foundation has increased the awareness of quality standards in the food undustry and has given an opportunity of all kinds of chefs to shine when their has come. There's nothing wrong with covering all different kinds of cuisine, restuarants, food, chefs, and ideas. That's why the U.S. is very unique, we are diversed in many ways that has shaped this country's cuisine into being extremely diverse. Sure, it's had some problems behind the scenes but it still carries the same tradition of recognizing chefs and educating people. Even Ferran Adria who doesn't have to do anything for anyone or anything is involved with the James Beard Foundation. Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, Jean-George, Grant Achatz, Gary Danko, and I definetly know Charlie Trotter wouldn't put his name on it if he thought it was a joke.

By calling this country's best culinary community a joke is extremely humorous and revolting. It's just foolish to think like that.

Edited by JWest (log)

"cuisine is the greatest form of art to touch a human's instinct" - chairman kaga

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Man, yes.  Time after time I try to dig up information on places here, and find lousy- if they even exist- web sites.  The new French bakery here in OP?  Dreadful site (granted, they're selling out every day, even with the site, but it's not user friendly, it's off-putting).  Having a great site is not a matter of shilling oneself to the reviewers or critics- it's putting your restaurant out there in the new way people are looking for places, and I wish more restaurants and groups of restaurants around here would get that. 

Off topic, but I've been out of the Kansas City food loop for over nine years. Is this bakery any good, what's it called and where is it located?

Bryan C. Andregg

"Give us an old, black man singing the blues and some beer. I'll provide the BBQ."

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Off topic, but I've been out of the Kansas City food loop for over nine years. Is this bakery any good, what's it called and where is it located?

bandregg.

If I'm not mistaken, a discussion about the bakery that chicagowench was referring to can be found here.

Hope this helps.

u.e.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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the beard is such a joke.

Far from it, The James Beard Foundation is an extremely useful tool and organization with education and food culture. The foundation is responsible for giving thousands of thousands of dollars to young students who may not be able to afford post secondary education and would like to make the best of it. I hardly find it a joke to see many dedicated young people who want to educate their mind in whatever they feel is necessary for there future careers.

Also, 99% of the best chefs in the country are involved with the James Beard Foundation. The standards of these chefs exceed much higher than any other organized group of culinarians such as the closed minded ACF. It's no longer just a foundation or "organization" but a community as well. It's not like Strouds won Best of the Midwest or anything anyways.

The James Beard Foundation has increased the awareness of quality standards in the food undustry and has given an opportunity of all kinds of chefs to shine when their has come. There's nothing wrong with covering all different kinds of cuisine, restuarants, food, chefs, and ideas. That's why the U.S. is very unique, we are diversed in many ways that has shaped this country's cuisine into being extremely diverse. Sure, it's had some problems behind the scenes but it still carries the same tradition of recognizing chefs and educating people. Even Ferran Adria who doesn't have to do anything for anyone or anything is involved with the James Beard Foundation. Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, Jean-George, Grant Achatz, Gary Danko, and I definetly know Charlie Trotter wouldn't put his name on it if he thought it was a joke.

By calling this country's best culinary community a joke is extremely humorous and revolting. It's just foolish to think like that.

You never found it kind of funny that hmmm....I'll give you an example...The American Restaurant before they opened their doors hired this dude name James Beard to consult for them......and Poof low and behold on their 25th anniversy the chefs there recieved an award from the foundation, only after the Halls spent about a million or so to promote the foundation?....The foundtion was great about 15 years ago, now it's just a machine with no tools, other than the ones it so calls invite (if you want to call it an invite). It is what it is!

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the beard is such a joke.

Far from it, The James Beard Foundation is an extremely useful tool and organization with education and food culture. The foundation is responsible for giving thousands of thousands of dollars to young students who may not be able to afford post secondary education and would like to make the best of it. I hardly find it a joke to see many dedicated young people who want to educate their mind in whatever they feel is necessary for there future careers.

Also, 99% of the best chefs in the country are involved with the James Beard Foundation. The standards of these chefs exceed much higher than any other organized group of culinarians such as the closed minded ACF. It's no longer just a foundation or "organization" but a community as well. It's not like Strouds won Best of the Midwest or anything anyways.

The James Beard Foundation has increased the awareness of quality standards in the food undustry and has given an opportunity of all kinds of chefs to shine when their has come. There's nothing wrong with covering all different kinds of cuisine, restuarants, food, chefs, and ideas. That's why the U.S. is very unique, we are diversed in many ways that has shaped this country's cuisine into being extremely diverse. Sure, it's had some problems behind the scenes but it still carries the same tradition of recognizing chefs and educating people. Even Ferran Adria who doesn't have to do anything for anyone or anything is involved with the James Beard Foundation. Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, Jean-George, Grant Achatz, Gary Danko, and I definetly know Charlie Trotter wouldn't put his name on it if he thought it was a joke.

By calling this country's best culinary community a joke is extremely humorous and revolting. It's just foolish to think like that.

You never found it kind of funny that hmmm....I'll give you an example...The American Restaurant before they opened their doors hired this dude name James Beard to consult for them......and Poof low and behold on their 25th anniversy the chefs there recieved an award from the foundation, only after the Halls spent about a million or so to promote the foundation?....The foundtion was great about 15 years ago, now it's just a machine with no tools, other than the ones it so calls invite (if you want to call it an invite). It is what it is!

Celina Tio's hosting of The American Restaurant's Friends of Benefits Dinner 10th Anniversary in 2005 didn't help her win anything. Maybe its because Smith and Gold had a menu that was worthy of the award!? The year they won the best of MidWest (ITS NOT EVEN THE BEST CHEF or OUTSTANDING RESTAURANT AWARD!!!) was the year when the MidWest was consider the weakest out of all areas in the Nation. Their menu and production came out on top, the staff at the time had future Kansas City Stars... hmm it's interesting to see that well almost the whole kitchen staff all run the best kitchens in the City now and some in the East Coast! They had the perfect combination of chef power, kitchen talent, products, service, ambience, you name it they had it. The only reason someone would discredit an award as small as something like the Best of MidWest from Gold&Smith is because they are stuck in the times of the Rex Hale Era. Also, the Awards Ceremony is one day out of the whole year. They don't just sit on thier "foie gras" for the rest of the year.

Also, ANYONE can vote for the nominations!

Edited by JWest (log)

"cuisine is the greatest form of art to touch a human's instinct" - chairman kaga

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the beard is such a joke.

Far from it, The James Beard Foundation is an extremely useful tool and organization with education and food culture. The foundation is responsible for giving thousands of thousands of dollars to young students who may not be able to afford post secondary education and would like to make the best of it. I hardly find it a joke to see many dedicated young people who want to educate their mind in whatever they feel is necessary for there future careers.

Also, 99% of the best chefs in the country are involved with the James Beard Foundation. The standards of these chefs exceed much higher than any other organized group of culinarians such as the closed minded ACF. It's no longer just a foundation or "organization" but a community as well. It's not like Strouds won Best of the Midwest or anything anyways.

The James Beard Foundation has increased the awareness of quality standards in the food undustry and has given an opportunity of all kinds of chefs to shine when their has come. There's nothing wrong with covering all different kinds of cuisine, restuarants, food, chefs, and ideas. That's why the U.S. is very unique, we are diversed in many ways that has shaped this country's cuisine into being extremely diverse. Sure, it's had some problems behind the scenes but it still carries the same tradition of recognizing chefs and educating people. Even Ferran Adria who doesn't have to do anything for anyone or anything is involved with the James Beard Foundation. Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, Jean-George, Grant Achatz, Gary Danko, and I definetly know Charlie Trotter wouldn't put his name on it if he thought it was a joke.

By calling this country's best culinary community a joke is extremely humorous and revolting. It's just foolish to think like that.

You never found it kind of funny that hmmm....I'll give you an example...The American Restaurant before they opened their doors hired this dude name James Beard to consult for them......and Poof low and behold on their 25th anniversy the chefs there recieved an award from the foundation, only after the Halls spent about a million or so to promote the foundation?....The foundtion was great about 15 years ago, now it's just a machine with no tools, other than the ones it so calls invite (if you want to call it an invite). It is what it is!

M&D put KC on the Map for fine dining and in the national spot light. Bradley Ogden didn't win a beard award while at the American. Chef Tio hasn't .

If anyone thinks that the only reason that M&D won the Beard award was cause they were at the American they are dead wrong. They got it from a lot of hard work. They were so far ahead of everyone else in this city at that tume it wasn't funny. And IMO it is amazing that they were able to win a Beard award here in KC. We are in the middle of nowhere and they were the tip of the sword cutting the culinary scene open here.

It is easier to change a menu than a growing season.

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M&D put KC on the Map for fine dining and in the national spot light.  Bradley Ogden didn't win a beard award while at the American.  Chef Tio hasn't .

I don't think M&G put us on the map, I think places like La Mediterranee, La Bonee Auberge, Cafe Allegro, The Venu & Jasper's helpped put M&G on the map. M&G weren't that cutting edge, I remember when we hired this guy at the stolen grille he just came from the American under M&G he told me after only spending a month there he had learned all he could from M&G. I was with them about a year and a half, was it cutting edge? NO, it was basic cuisine. I remember alot of the verbal degrading from M&G to the cooks that worked under them and their views on Home town Kansas City Chefs in general. Bradley was hired there as a sous chef fresh out of the CIA six months later he became the chef and moved on within two years. Rex was maybe the only truely cutting edge the american has ever had. He was Manic with out his meds he was out of control. John before M&G was paving the way the American was going Debbie was just hired to consult, then Micheal came after that. Nobody is doing anything cutting edge in this town and never has, never will cuisine just chases it tail like everything else. The more it changes the more it stays the same.

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M&D put KC on the Map for fine dining and in the national spot light.  Bradley Ogden didn't win a beard award while at the American.  Chef Tio hasn't .

I don't think M&G put us on the map, I think places like La Mediterranee, La Bonee Auberge, Cafe Allegro, The Venu & Jasper's helpped put M&G on the map. M&G weren't that cutting edge, I remember when we hired this guy at the stolen grille he just came from the American under M&G he told me after only spending a month there he had learned all he could from M&G. I was with them about a year and a half, was it cutting edge? NO, it was basic cuisine. I remember alot of the verbal degrading from M&G to the cooks that worked under them and their views on Home town Kansas City Chefs in general. Bradley was hired there as a sous chef fresh out of the CIA six months later he became the chef and moved on within two years. Rex was maybe the only truely cutting edge the american has ever had. He was Manic with out his meds he was out of control. John before M&G was paving the way the American was going Debbie was just hired to consult, then Micheal came after that. Nobody is doing anything cutting edge in this town and never has, never will cuisine just chases it tail like everything else. The more it changes the more it stays the same.

Of all of those Restaurants you named how many are open now?????? :huh: I have worked and trailed at several restaurants under top Chefs. When they think of Kansas City it is M&D. I bet most of them have never heard of Jasper's!! :wink: If anyone thinks that they can learn everything that any Chef has to offer in one month they are wrong. I worked with them for 3 years in two separtate restaurant. As a cook and as a Sous Chef. They still would be the first people that I would ask for advice in the industry.

The only time I have ever saw either of them get on a cook it was justified. Inclueding me. They demand a very high level in their kitchen and if some people can not live up to their standards then they will let them know it.

There is a great say that goes,"IF YOU CAN'T TAKE THE HEAT GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN" There are no excuses in excellence, and I will not make any for them because they are two Great Chefs and every Chef in this city should recognize that quite obviously. If not then they are blindfolded.

It is easier to change a menu than a growing season.

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I left Kansas City in 1997. I was just starting to search out new dining experiences at that time and the best meals that I was eating were at smaller ethnic places that didn't reflect midwestern cuisine at all. If pressed then to name the best places to eat in the city they would have fallen to steak houses and formal Italian restaurants. Now, researching places to eat while back visiting my family before I go off to culinary school I find menus online for places like Bluestem, SoRedux, Robert Krause's, and Pachamama, and these are the kind of places I want to take my parents, who don't care much about food, to and say, "This. This is what I want to do!" On the scale of Barcelona, London, or New York they might not seem cutting edge. For Kansas City they are a change and one for the better. "Malaspina Oysters, Champagne Emulsion, Parsley" (Bluestem) isn't chasing the tail of strip steaks and family-style mashed potatoes.

In reading this thread, monkfish, I can't help but feel you're rebelling against not just the local restaurant scene, but the industry as a whole, and it gives me pause.

Bryan C. Andregg

"Give us an old, black man singing the blues and some beer. I'll provide the BBQ."

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M&D put KC on the Map for fine dining and in the national spot light.  Bradley Ogden didn't win a beard award while at the American.  Chef Tio hasn't .

I don't think M&G put us on the map, I think places like La Mediterranee, La Bonee Auberge, Cafe Allegro, The Venu & Jasper's helpped put M&G on the map. M&G weren't that cutting edge, I remember when we hired this guy at the stolen grille he just came from the American under M&G he told me after only spending a month there he had learned all he could from M&G. I was with them about a year and a half, was it cutting edge? NO, it was basic cuisine. I remember alot of the verbal degrading from M&G to the cooks that worked under them and their views on Home town Kansas City Chefs in general. Bradley was hired there as a sous chef fresh out of the CIA six months later he became the chef and moved on within two years. Rex was maybe the only truely cutting edge the american has ever had. He was Manic with out his meds he was out of control. John before M&G was paving the way the American was going Debbie was just hired to consult, then Micheal came after that. Nobody is doing anything cutting edge in this town and never has, never will cuisine just chases it tail like everything else. The more it changes the more it stays the same.

Of all of those Restaurants you named how many are open now?????? :huh: I have worked and trailed at several restaurants under top Chefs. When they think of Kansas City it is M&D. I bet most of them have never heard of Jasper's!! :wink: If anyone thinks that they can learn everything that any Chef has to offer in one month they are wrong. I worked with them for 3 years in two separtate restaurant. As a cook and as a Sous Chef. They still would be the first people that I would ask for advice in the industry.

The only time I have ever saw either of them get on a cook it was justified. Inclueding me. They demand a very high level in their kitchen and if some people can not live up to their standards then they will let them know it.

There is a great say that goes,"IF YOU CAN'T TAKE THE HEAT GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN" There are no excuses in excellence, and I will not make any for them because they are two Great Chefs and every Chef in this city should recognize that quite obviously. If not then they are blindfolded.

We both worked for them at two seperate times, I'm going to couch my words out of the little respect I have for them. So how bout those dodgers?

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We both worked for them at two seperate times, I'm going to couch my words out of the little respect I have for them. So how bout those dodgers?

... moving along...

Did anyone read Chapin's review of Cafe Maison? Anyone care to step up and say that the food was on par with, say bluestem or 40 Sardines? (She gave C.M. 3 1/2 stars for food)

u.e.

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

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Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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