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Why Does Everyone Hate John Mariani?

Why Does Everyone Hate John Mariani?
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  • Why Does Everyone Hate John Mariani?

    Post #1 - May 13th, 2009, 2:30 pm
    Post #1 - May 13th, 2009, 2:30 pm Post #1 - May 13th, 2009, 2:30 pm
    Interesting topic today posted by Helen Rosner at the below link...

    http://blogs.menupages.com/chicago/2009 ... quire.html

    I have seen this list of his and it is absurd to say the least. Though never personally reviewed by him (he canceled his reservation), be sure as readers to take the reviews with a grain of salt.

    I may pay the price and never get on their good side after this, but I hold the ethics of reviewers and their publications to high standards - as they do of me... I can live with it.
    Last edited by phillipfoss on May 14th, 2009, 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Phillip Foss
    Chef/Owner, EL ideas
    312-226-8144
    info@elideas.com
    website/blog - http://www.elideas.com
    twitter - http://www.twitter.com/phillipfoss
  • Post #2 - May 13th, 2009, 3:34 pm
    Post #2 - May 13th, 2009, 3:34 pm Post #2 - May 13th, 2009, 3:34 pm
    Last year, there was an Esquire-sponsored event at Mercat la Planxa. Mariani was there to say a few words, and in his opening statement he said something to the effect that it is, indeed, a glorious age we live in, when great food can be found anywhere, even in places like Chicago.

    This event was sponsored by Knob Creek, and I admit to having a beverage before Mariani started talkiing, but when he made that gracious concession to the possibility of discovering decent chow somewhere other than in NYC, I emitted an involuntary though highly audible snort (a blend of bullfrog and raging bull) that turned the heads of some fifty people around me.

    And yet, despite stares from many including Mariani himself, I remained unabashed and felt fully justified in my autonomic response to such flummery.

    (Has any one posted his list of requirements for the restaurants that serve him? I'd love to see that, purely for the purposes of fueling hilarity).
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #3 - May 13th, 2009, 4:25 pm
    Post #3 - May 13th, 2009, 4:25 pm Post #3 - May 13th, 2009, 4:25 pm
    I discarded it but will work on getting one.
    Phillip Foss
    Chef/Owner, EL ideas
    312-226-8144
    info@elideas.com
    website/blog - http://www.elideas.com
    twitter - http://www.twitter.com/phillipfoss
  • Post #4 - May 13th, 2009, 5:54 pm
    Post #4 - May 13th, 2009, 5:54 pm Post #4 - May 13th, 2009, 5:54 pm
    Because he re-uses reviews in multiple publications without crediting the original publication.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
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  • Post #5 - May 14th, 2009, 6:54 am
    Post #5 - May 14th, 2009, 6:54 am Post #5 - May 14th, 2009, 6:54 am
    I find this statement from the article a little strange:

    “"He's given me his card before," our chef contact told us. "And so of course I gave him one of the best meals my kitchen has ever made. It made me question my integrity as a chef."”

    Shouldn’t that be the goal of any chef of a higher end restaurant? To me that’s like saying “I serve slop to the masses, but if a food critic walks in I’ll do a much better job”.

    In today’s world where communication to the masses can be achieved in so many different ways, I think I’d be just as afraid of bad reviews from the general public as I would from a “critic”. I understand that many people put a great deal of credence to the word of a critic, but I prefer to use what they say as a guideline, not gospel. I have a tendency to question the objectiveness of human beings because, after all…..we’re human beings. :)

    Just my .02
    The most dangerous food to eat is wedding cake.
    Proverb
  • Post #6 - May 14th, 2009, 7:55 am
    Post #6 - May 14th, 2009, 7:55 am Post #6 - May 14th, 2009, 7:55 am
    Mike,
    A couple of thoughts:
    1. Prostitution is well known to be one of the oldest professions. The prospect of selling oneself out for the sake of a good review - though easy to sit on the sideline and comment about - is compelling. If I know that a critic from a major publication is coming in, I am apt to pay more attention because of the reach that guest's experience will have. It doesn't mean everybody else is forsaken, because this can backfire badly. Despite many, many dishes leaving the doors of my kitchen and a minuscule number of which would be for any critic, I take each one personally and require many anonymous guest orders to be re-plated or re-cooked because it doesn't meet my standards. i also know that many of my colleagues hold the same standards. Besides... most critics do come in anonymously. Just the same, it is human nature to give more attention to somebody who has direct influence on my future success on their plate. For instance, would you clean your house a little better if someone is coming to consider buying it from you than you would for a friend coming over to hang out?
    2. I believe I can generalize when I say that we as chefs can't stand when anybody berates what we do - whether a blogger, a paying guest, or a professional critic. Though I very much follow the beat of my own drum, it stings when my work is not received well. Just the same, I can very easily get over a negative comment on one of the many dining out forums for a positive review from a major publication like Esquire. There is simply no comparison because of the visibility and amount of readers their reviews reach.
    Phillip Foss
    Chef/Owner, EL ideas
    312-226-8144
    info@elideas.com
    website/blog - http://www.elideas.com
    twitter - http://www.twitter.com/phillipfoss
  • Post #7 - May 14th, 2009, 8:05 am
    Post #7 - May 14th, 2009, 8:05 am Post #7 - May 14th, 2009, 8:05 am
    I never heard of the guy but that link makes him sound like a real a-hole.
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #8 - May 15th, 2009, 10:37 am
    Post #8 - May 15th, 2009, 10:37 am Post #8 - May 15th, 2009, 10:37 am
    The editor of Esquire has spoken...
    http://blogs.menupages.com/chicago/2009 ... fense.html
    Phillip Foss
    Chef/Owner, EL ideas
    312-226-8144
    info@elideas.com
    website/blog - http://www.elideas.com
    twitter - http://www.twitter.com/phillipfoss
  • Post #9 - May 19th, 2009, 2:55 pm
    Post #9 - May 19th, 2009, 2:55 pm Post #9 - May 19th, 2009, 2:55 pm
    HI,

    Just over 24-hours after it was intially posted, I'm somewhat surprised nobody has yet linked to John Mariani's response.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #10 - May 19th, 2009, 3:54 pm
    Post #10 - May 19th, 2009, 3:54 pm Post #10 - May 19th, 2009, 3:54 pm
    Thanks Cathy... I've been swamped with the NRA.
    Phillip Foss
    Chef/Owner, EL ideas
    312-226-8144
    info@elideas.com
    website/blog - http://www.elideas.com
    twitter - http://www.twitter.com/phillipfoss
  • Post #11 - May 19th, 2009, 4:16 pm
    Post #11 - May 19th, 2009, 4:16 pm Post #11 - May 19th, 2009, 4:16 pm
    Some irony that a parallel discussion about a bloggers code of ethics overlaps this discussion.

    Dispiriting to learn that Mariani had contacted the Sun Times but did not get an apology or correction.

    What's the newsroom directive, "if your mother tells you her birthday, get two sources."
  • Post #12 - May 19th, 2009, 5:34 pm
    Post #12 - May 19th, 2009, 5:34 pm Post #12 - May 19th, 2009, 5:34 pm
    "Nobody Doesn't Like Amanda Lee"
  • Post #13 - May 19th, 2009, 10:34 pm
    Post #13 - May 19th, 2009, 10:34 pm Post #13 - May 19th, 2009, 10:34 pm
    With all due respect to Chef Foss, I find it hard to understand why Chicago restaurateurs and chefs should even bother with what this John Mariani says or writes. Esquire is an irrelevant publication which I doubt anyone reads anymore for anything, much less for food writing. And to say that John Mariani is a food critic is like saying the "stars" in "Dancing with the Stars" are professional ballroom dancers. The pieces I've read that he has written are totally uninteresting and condescending. People I know in Chicago who are major restaurant spenders and who frequent at least three of the four restaurants this Mariani visited last week don't have Esquire as their publication of choice for anything related to restaurants or food. Man, we just need to tone down the New York-centric-ness.

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