LTH Home

local chefs speak out against bloggers/yelp/lth in trib arti

local chefs speak out against bloggers/yelp/lth in trib arti
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
     Page 1 of 7
  • local chefs speak out against bloggers/yelp/lth in trib arti

    Post #1 - September 25th, 2008, 9:03 am
    Post #1 - September 25th, 2008, 9:03 am Post #1 - September 25th, 2008, 9:03 am
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/ ... 2782.story

    ...because someone had to post this...



    Chicago Tribune wrote:Your biggest pet peeve about diners?

    Bill [Urban Belly]: Blogging.

    Graham: Yelp [a Web site where users contribute reviews].

    Bill: When we opened up [Urban Belly], there were people there with their cameras right away taking shots and they are putting them on the Internet on their blogs. Now there is a race to see who is going to be first—a Yelper or LTHforum [a foodie Web site] or someone else.

    Graham: There was a discussion on one site about the lighting in the restaurant and if I did it to stop the bloggers from taking pictures. I don't get it. They come in and order three courses, and it's a 10,000-word essay that includes stuff about the placement of their silverware. Why this obsession with food online? You don't see people blogging about their new shoes in the same way.


    kind of rough coming from two chefs who have brand new restaurants that probably get a pretty significant amount of business from these sites... and i say cameras need to be banned in restaurants. it's not hard. do it.
  • Post #2 - September 25th, 2008, 9:06 am
    Post #2 - September 25th, 2008, 9:06 am Post #2 - September 25th, 2008, 9:06 am
    Bill, Bill, Bill. Speaking as one of those people with cameras that put you on the map, you're not doing yourself any favors.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #3 - September 25th, 2008, 9:13 am
    Post #3 - September 25th, 2008, 9:13 am Post #3 - September 25th, 2008, 9:13 am
    While I realize quotes sometimes get taken out of context, I find this one by GEB to be particularly bizarre:

    Graham: ... I don't get it. They come in and order three courses, and it's a 10,000-word essay that includes stuff about the placement of their silverware. Why this obsession with food online? You don't see people blogging about their new shoes in the same way

    Graham,

    It's for the same dumb reason you decided to be a chef rather than a shoe salesman. Some people really like food. Oh, and you also don't see shoe salesmen taking opportunities to get on a TV show for publicity's sake. The hypocrisy in this statement is mind boggling.

    Kenny
    Last edited by Kennyz on September 25th, 2008, 9:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #4 - September 25th, 2008, 9:16 am
    Post #4 - September 25th, 2008, 9:16 am Post #4 - September 25th, 2008, 9:16 am
    I was a little surprised by some of their comments...sounded "sour grapes" to me.;)
  • Post #5 - September 25th, 2008, 9:19 am
    Post #5 - September 25th, 2008, 9:19 am Post #5 - September 25th, 2008, 9:19 am
    Well, so much for trying Urban Belly. I dont who this Graham guy is and I wasnt going to go to his place anyway but man you sound like a snob and now I know for sure I aint coming. Im going to make you eat your words...and take a picture of you when do.

    This just in...Graham Elliot thinks he is above you.
  • Post #6 - September 25th, 2008, 9:20 am
    Post #6 - September 25th, 2008, 9:20 am Post #6 - September 25th, 2008, 9:20 am
    Kennyz wrote:While I realize quotes sometimes get taken out of context, I find this one by GEB to be particularly offensive:

    Graham: ... I don't get it. They come in and order three courses, and it's a 10,000-word essay that includes stuff about the placement of their silverware. Why this obsession with food online? You don't see people blogging about their new shoes in the same way

    Graham,

    It's for the same dumb reason you decided to be a chef rather than a shoe salesman. Some people really like food. Oh, and you also don't see shoe salesman taking opportunities to get on a TV show for publicity's sake. The hypocrisy in GEB's statement is mind boggling.

    Kenny


    But, Graham, people do blog about shoes . . ., just like they blog about everything else.

    I thought Bill's statements were just plain stupid and ill-advised given that his restaurant clearly benefited from at least this discussion board. It's like cutting off the hand that feeds you . . .

    On a related note, did we get some sympathy from Paul Kahan?

    Paul Kahan wrote:Paul: Well, they do it for sports. I mean think about talk radio. This online stuff is like culinary talk radio.
  • Post #7 - September 25th, 2008, 9:37 am
    Post #7 - September 25th, 2008, 9:37 am Post #7 - September 25th, 2008, 9:37 am
    Geez, no wonder they don't like us.

    I think the anxiety in this thread is much ado about nothing.

    I can understand, 100%, why someone would make an off-the-cuff comment about "bloggers" being annoying.

    Hell, I think bloggers are annoying. Which isn't to say that I don't like, read, or follow any blogs (or discussion boards), but I recognize the strange narcissistic and exhibitionist impulse that drives a large % of Internet content, and I mean that in a mostly unpejorative way, nor do I exempt myself insofar as its a criticism.

    I mean, don't we have a whole thread on here with a bunch of people bitching about how worthless Yelp! is? Talk about hypocritical.

    I don't really see how people could reasonably take this so personally, and I can't for the life of me figure out why those couple sentences would prevent someone from trying Graham Elliot or Urban Belly.

    As for the business new places get from bloggers...I guess it's a double-edged sword, but restaurants opened and thrived before the advent of the Internet. The "biting the hand that feeds" metaphor seems extreme.

    Sure, you wouldn't turn away a crush of initial popularity, but it's a bit different model. I can see the merit in preferring a soft launch, giving you time to work out the kinks, and slowly building a following. There's a reason restaurant reviewers wait a bit for a place to find its footing before publishing a review.

    Which is not to say online discussion is bad (obviously!) or that it's going anywhere, but a little kvetching among a group of chefs...big deal.
  • Post #8 - September 25th, 2008, 9:39 am
    Post #8 - September 25th, 2008, 9:39 am Post #8 - September 25th, 2008, 9:39 am
    GEB wrote:They come in and order three courses, and it's a 10,000-word essay that includes stuff about the placement of their silverware.


    Sorry, Graham. I didn't realize there was a five-course minimum to criticize the food. I'll make sure to be a bit more spendy next time before posting.

    That said, agree with Aaron about not taking it too personally. But think this thread is welcome (in Site Chat or other less alarming place).
  • Post #9 - September 25th, 2008, 9:40 am
    Post #9 - September 25th, 2008, 9:40 am Post #9 - September 25th, 2008, 9:40 am
    Ouch!

    I suppose if suddenly mental telepathy was available for the asking, and we could see in the minutest detail what everybody thought about us, we'd have the same kind of paranoid reaction. What the chefs are missing is that this sort of thing went on prior to the Internet: back in the day, we called it "word of mouth." The major difference is that now, chefs have access to what people think about the restaurant - but I doubt that the customer side of things has really changed that much, other than the speed at which we're able to communicate now. Ignorance was, apparently, bliss.

    And for crying out loud, GEB's posted here!
  • Post #10 - September 25th, 2008, 9:42 am
    Post #10 - September 25th, 2008, 9:42 am Post #10 - September 25th, 2008, 9:42 am
    Aaron Deacon wrote:There's a reason restaurant reviewers wait a bit for a place to find its footing before publishing a review.


    not trying to copy another thread from another forum, but this is an interesting read on that very topic... and how online amateurs are changing the game of pro critics... http://www.timeout.com/chicago/articles ... -condition
  • Post #11 - September 25th, 2008, 9:42 am
    Post #11 - September 25th, 2008, 9:42 am Post #11 - September 25th, 2008, 9:42 am
    the worst comment was from Paul Kahan, inferring food blogging is the equivelent of talk radio. pretty pompous..

    Arn't Avec, and Urban Belly up for GNR's this time around? Hopefully this article has some impact based on the comments of their chefs.

    As a side note, I have just discovered that there are three Chicago chefs whose restaurant doorstep I will never darken.
    Last edited by jimswside on September 25th, 2008, 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #12 - September 25th, 2008, 9:46 am
    Post #12 - September 25th, 2008, 9:46 am Post #12 - September 25th, 2008, 9:46 am
    Santander wrote:
    GEB wrote:They come in and order three courses, and it's a 10,000-word essay that includes stuff about the placement of their silverware.


    ...That said, agree with Aaron about not taking it too personally. But think this thread is welcome (in Site Chat or other less alarming place).


    Agree, and agree.

    I won't stop going to GE, because the food rocks. And I think he's actually a nice guy. The comments just completely befuddle me. How can you in one statement lament the lengthy discussion people have about food, and then in another talk about how you wish food were treated more like art?
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #13 - September 25th, 2008, 9:50 am
    Post #13 - September 25th, 2008, 9:50 am Post #13 - September 25th, 2008, 9:50 am
    Aaron Deacon wrote:I can understand, 100%, why someone would make an off-the-cuff comment about "bloggers" being annoying.

    Hell, I think bloggers are annoying. Which isn't to say that I don't like, read, or follow any blogs (or discussion boards), but I recognize the strange narcissistic and exhibitionist impulse that drives a large % of Internet content, and I mean that in a mostly unpejorative way, nor do I exempt myself insofar as its a criticism.


    Sure, I'll agree with these assessments 100%. But I find it just as narcissistic for a business-owner, who counts on people choosing to spend their hard-earned dollars at your business, to declare in the media for no other reason than I can think of but for the satisfaction of speaking his mind publicly, that bloggers are annoying -- when these same people have supported and commented overwhelmingly positively on your restaurant. [FYI - I'm speaking about Bill Kim. Where does his resentment of "bloggers" (which I assume he also means discussion boards) stem from?]
  • Post #14 - September 25th, 2008, 9:52 am
    Post #14 - September 25th, 2008, 9:52 am Post #14 - September 25th, 2008, 9:52 am
    Im not goin the route some of you are. Im sorry but these comments are super snobbish to me and the stupidity of them is almost funny. Why you going to let them off like that? c'mon, who do these two think they are? they never heard of buzz or know how stuff works in todays age. Screw them.

    http://urbanbellygrahamelliot.blogspot.com/
  • Post #15 - September 25th, 2008, 9:53 am
    Post #15 - September 25th, 2008, 9:53 am Post #15 - September 25th, 2008, 9:53 am
    "the worst comment was from Paul Kahan, iferring food blogging is the equivelent of talk radio. pretty pompous.."

    I actually think Kahan's comparison is a good one. And I think he meant sports talk radio in particular, or at least seemed to be suggesting sports fans as a possible equivalent. Some people are super enthusiastic, maybe even obsessive, about posting on the Cubs and Bears, down to what may seem like silly minutia to others, even to Cubs and Bears *players*. Others feel similarly about food or restaurants (or shoes or movies or politics or whatever).

    As for calls to not eat at these chefs' restaurants, that seems completely wrong-headed to me. And I would hope GNRs are not affected by this. That would be a real shame and would be a definite knock against lthforum in my book.
  • Post #16 - September 25th, 2008, 9:53 am
    Post #16 - September 25th, 2008, 9:53 am Post #16 - September 25th, 2008, 9:53 am
    Chefs,

    The fact that people are so excited about coming to your restaurant that they want to photograph the food and share their experiences should flatter, excite, and inspire you. Engage these people and find out what they're interested in. They care. They're the influencers.

    If you want to put yourself out there to the public but plan on eschewing public criticism, you're in the wrong business.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #17 - September 25th, 2008, 9:56 am
    Post #17 - September 25th, 2008, 9:56 am Post #17 - September 25th, 2008, 9:56 am
    JamPhil wrote:As for calls to not eat at these chefs' restaurants, that seems completely wrong-headed to me. And I would hope GNRs are not affected by this. That would be a real shame and would be a definite knock against lthforum in my book.


    Yes, I would not advocate an LTHForum boycott of any restaurant, although I wouldn't be surprised if some people made personal choices not to eat at certain restaurants at least for awhile.
  • Post #18 - September 25th, 2008, 9:57 am
    Post #18 - September 25th, 2008, 9:57 am Post #18 - September 25th, 2008, 9:57 am
    many bloggers are annoying yes, especially the one that are overly critical for the sake of being critical. that stuff is annoying. and for yelp, you got some people on there that don't like the restaurant for one stupid reason, say the food was "fine" then give it two or one star; that is just plain annoying, sorry, but to some extenti agree with those comments posted in the tribune
  • Post #19 - September 25th, 2008, 9:58 am
    Post #19 - September 25th, 2008, 9:58 am Post #19 - September 25th, 2008, 9:58 am
    JamPhil wrote:"the worst comment was from Paul Kahan, iferring food blogging is the equivelent of talk radio. pretty pompous.."

    I actually think Kahan's comparison is a good one. And I think he meant sports talk radio in particular, or at least seemed to be suggesting sports fans as a possible equivalent. Some people are super enthusiastic, maybe even obsessive, about posting on the Cubs and Bears, down to what may seem like silly minutia to others, even to Cubs and Bears *players*. Others feel similarly about food or restaurants (or shoes or movies or politics or whatever).


    Well first off sports talk radio is very similar to LTH but with sports instead of food and its good for sports just like bloggin is for food.

    JamPhil wrote:As for calls to not eat at these chefs' restaurants, that seems completely wrong-headed to me. And I would hope GNRs are not affected by this. That would be a real shame and would be a definite knock against lthforum in my book.


    Thats weird b/c they took a shot at LTHforum, knocking it and the business thrown their way by these food sites.
  • Post #20 - September 25th, 2008, 10:00 am
    Post #20 - September 25th, 2008, 10:00 am Post #20 - September 25th, 2008, 10:00 am
    Da Beef wrote:http://urbanbellygrahamelliot.blogspot.com/


    Yeah, I can't imagine what they might have against bloggers, or why they might compare it to talk radio. :D

    aschie30 wrote:But I find it just as narcissistic for a business-owner, who counts on people choosing to spend their hard-earned dollars at your business, to declare in the media for no other reason than I can think of but for the satisfaction of speaking his mind publicly, that bloggers are annoying -- when these same people have supported and commented overwhelmingly positively on your restaurant.


    Yeah, I guess, but these are off-the-cuff comments in a two hour roundtable with a bunch of other chef buds. People bitch about stuff, it's not like we need to perform biblical exegesis on these texts. I understand you can want people to exercise 100% caution and care when making any statement to the press, but sheesh....that demands a level of discipline I doubt any of us possess.
  • Post #21 - September 25th, 2008, 10:01 am
    Post #21 - September 25th, 2008, 10:01 am Post #21 - September 25th, 2008, 10:01 am
    jimswside wrote:the worst comment was from Paul Kahan, inferring food blogging is the equivelent of talk radio. pretty pompous..



    YMMV but I think Paul's comment was spot on. I course, don't have a problem with the analogy to talk radio that you do....

    To me, it comes across as a live and let live comment.

    I blame Monica Eng! She's the trouble-maker for posing the question! :D
  • Post #22 - September 25th, 2008, 10:01 am
    Post #22 - September 25th, 2008, 10:01 am Post #22 - September 25th, 2008, 10:01 am
    Da Beef wrote:
    JamPhil wrote:"the worst comment was from Paul Kahan, iferring food blogging is the equivelent of talk radio. pretty pompous.."

    I actually think Kahan's comparison is a good one. And I think he meant sports talk radio in particular, or at least seemed to be suggesting sports fans as a possible equivalent. Some people are super enthusiastic, maybe even obsessive, about posting on the Cubs and Bears, down to what may seem like silly minutia to others, even to Cubs and Bears *players*. Others feel similarly about food or restaurants (or shoes or movies or politics or whatever).


    Well first off sports talk radio is very similar to LTH but with sports instead of food and its good for sports just like bloggin is for food.

    JamPhil wrote:As for calls to not eat at these chefs' restaurants, that seems completely wrong-headed to me. And I would hope GNRs are not affected by this. That would be a real shame and would be a definite knock against lthforum in my book.


    Thats weird b/c they took a shot at LTHforum, knocking it and the business thrown their way by these food sites.


    I enjoy talk radio, but I do not believe that Kahan's comment was a compliment. Many view talk radio as junk radio where facts are distorted, and it is just pointless arguing. Which I do not.
    Last edited by jimswside on September 25th, 2008, 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #23 - September 25th, 2008, 10:03 am
    Post #23 - September 25th, 2008, 10:03 am Post #23 - September 25th, 2008, 10:03 am
    I sense that some of these chefs like the idea of LTH as a source of info about places that are "beneath" them, thus their own participation in that regard. They might see value in information that otherwise is nearly, or even completely, unavailable regarding a Beijing noodle place tucked into a suburban strip mall, a Peruana sandwicheria, or a whole hog BBQ place in Central Tennessee, but they consider amateur opinions about their places superfluous, uninformed, petty.

    For my part, I don't get that much value out of reviews celebrating or panning 3 and 4 star restaurants here -- that is, compared to the value I get from posts about birria or navigating Maxwell Street. But I certainly do appreciate much of the writing, the photos, and the opinions. But back to the chefs: they, like you and me offer an opinion. That's fine. An opinion against opinion, which I suppose is ironic. Flailing against speech, even uninformed speech, never amounts to much in this country.

    In the end, who cares what chefs have to say about journalism, or criticism, or food anthropology, or documentary, or whatever happens here. They cook food for a living for chrissakes. :wink:
    Last edited by JeffB on September 25th, 2008, 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #24 - September 25th, 2008, 10:10 am
    Post #24 - September 25th, 2008, 10:10 am Post #24 - September 25th, 2008, 10:10 am
    Aaron Deacon wrote:
    Da Beef wrote:http://urbanbellygrahamelliot.blogspot.com/


    Yeah, I can't imagine what they might have against bloggers, or why they might compare it to talk radio. :D


    hey if they wanna stereotype, then ill fit the description for them. honestly I dont really care what they say, obviously they arent the brightest folk. But either way, the statements annoyed me and I hate it when these artsy chefs think they are all above people b/c they can make a plate look pretty.

    Ill bring out my Texas hibachi and when Graham doesnt have a clue how to work it or know what real 'que is then ill get at him. Ill smoke that fool...literally.
  • Post #25 - September 25th, 2008, 10:14 am
    Post #25 - September 25th, 2008, 10:14 am Post #25 - September 25th, 2008, 10:14 am
    Kahan's comments were certainly fair and its wrong to label him as "pompous." The better and more reasonable inference is that he was sticking up for the food bloggers by drawing an appropriate analogy after hearing some criticism from the other two chefs.
  • Post #26 - September 25th, 2008, 10:16 am
    Post #26 - September 25th, 2008, 10:16 am Post #26 - September 25th, 2008, 10:16 am
    I think it's irrelevant what these chefs say about online reviewing ... it has changed the landscape somewhat, and it's here to stay.They can embrace it, ig nore it, or villify it - whatever pleases them. But it's not going away. As Michele noted, it's just the same ol' word of mouth that's been around forever ... just at a higher decibel level.
  • Post #27 - September 25th, 2008, 10:19 am
    Post #27 - September 25th, 2008, 10:19 am Post #27 - September 25th, 2008, 10:19 am
    :D I'm just grateful that at this point Sparky can't blog about how I do at my job (that is, being a Mom) I wouldn't even be able to make comments about how unreasonable or unfair he is - God knows, he's probably right.
  • Post #28 - September 25th, 2008, 10:39 am
    Post #28 - September 25th, 2008, 10:39 am Post #28 - September 25th, 2008, 10:39 am
    nr706 wrote:I think it's irrelevant what these chefs say about online reviewing ... it has changed the landscape somewhat, and it's here to stay.They can embrace it, ig nore it, or villify it - whatever pleases them. But it's not going away. As Michele noted, it's just the same ol' word of mouth that's been around forever ... just at a higher decibel level.


    i i think the web gives people a chance to be anonymous in their posts; and many times, its used to vent pent up angst that in itself might make some online reviews overly critical, when really there might be some valid criticism but its amplified because of the bloggers/posters emotional disposition, like you said, though i do think they have a valid point in their opinion—it can get out of hand online because everything is behind a computer screen
  • Post #29 - September 25th, 2008, 10:42 am
    Post #29 - September 25th, 2008, 10:42 am Post #29 - September 25th, 2008, 10:42 am
    I read a few weeks ago on one blog, going to leave name out, about Urban Belly and the blogger tore the place up. I'm assuming this is what is leading to the remarks above.
  • Post #30 - September 25th, 2008, 10:46 am
    Post #30 - September 25th, 2008, 10:46 am Post #30 - September 25th, 2008, 10:46 am
    It's whiny petulant hypocrisy. These guys (some to a nauseating degree) have been more than willing to ride our culture's current fascination with chefs and restaurants to make celebrities of themselves. The minute, however, that culture turns a probing, critical eye towards them, they start complaining about the unfairness of it all. You can't have it both ways, gusys. So sack up and deal with it or go back to being an anonymous line cook.

    Honestly, they should enjoy the cultural spotlight while they have it. This, somewhat dysfunctional, cultural obsession with chefs has all the makings of a classic fad that one day will be parodied on Vh1's "I Love the Aughts."

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more