Ozersky: Now, Platt, what do you make of this business of Charlie Trotter threatening to come to New York?
Platt: Trotter’s a great chef. But if he’s going to succeed in New York, or San Francisco, of Dubuque, for that matter, he’s going to have to be around. He’s going to have to spend all his time cooking in New York. This is a fickle market, and there are many evil critics waiting in the weeds.
Ozersky: And you most evil of all. But even when these out-of-town chefs are here, often the food is strictly from hunger. Look at Tim Love’s restaurant. Or for that matter, look at the mixed reception Fabio Trabocchi got at the new Fiamma.
Platt: Texas Tim Love was just overmatched. The Trabocchi is clearly talented, but it’s not really his restaurant, and you get the feeling he’s doing everything on the fly. As for the jet-setting divas like Ramsay and Robuchon, they jet in, they jet out. Their operations are less like restaurants and more like high end, haute cuisine franchises. This is a tough town, Cutty. You’ve got to shell out the big money for rent, then you have big lumbering dimwits like you and me trolling through.
Ozersky: I know, that can’t be fun. Even our homegrown chefs dread our appearance. But I think it’s harder for the out-of-town ones, because their creations overawe their hometown brethren and then fall flat here.
Platt: Let me say this for the grand out-of-towners. There’s too much a sense that the chefs have to come here, that it’s their duty to play in New York. In the end, for most of them, it’s a trap.
Ozersky: So what should they do? Not come?
Platt: If I were them, and I had a successful restaurant elsewhere, I would not come. Times have changed. I’m pained to admit it, but in this egalitarian, greenmarket-oriented restaurant economy, you don’t have to have New York on your résumé to be a star.
Ozersky: The hell you don’t! I don’t care how many “best of the Great Lakes” awards you get. If you haven’t brought it here, you’re playing AA ball.
Platt: You’re too myopic, my ursine friend! Great Lakes?!?! They’d get butchered here anyways. But there are plenty of successful chefs in places like San Francisco, Portland, and Los Angeles who don’t come to NYC. I don’t see Mr. Puck setting up shop in Times Square!
Ozersky: Give him time! But maybe you’re right, Platty. I am perhaps somewhat chauvinistic in my attitudes.
Platt: But you’re not wrong! The poor saps keep coming! Look at that poor Japanese gentleman and Wakiya. He’s trying to cook Japanese-Chinese food for a bunch of confused hip-hop fashion victims. The results have been grimly predicable.
Ozersky: Okay, now I feel better.
Most Viewed Stories
A Japanese Ramen Shop Now Has a Michelin Star
Superbugs Found in a Scary Percentage of Meat
Get Ready for Star Wars Ice Cream From Brooklyn’s Ample Hills
Renowned Brooklyn Pizzeria Adds 3 Percent Obamacare Surcharge to All Checks
What New York Magazine Editors Will Be Gifting This Holiday Season
Latest News from Grub StreetCoca-Cola’s Sham Health-Research Group Is Officially Dead
The nonprofit is "discontinuing operations due to resource limitations."Flushing’s Biang! Is Relocating to the East Village
To the former Alder space, specifically.America Has Officially Hit Peak IPA
Dogfish Head says it's created the "hoppiest beer ever documented."Grant Achatz’s Next Will Debut a French LaundryThemed Menu
It will "faithfully recreate" a meal that Achatz ate with his father on his first day working at Thomas Keller's restaurant.Get Ready for Star Wars Ice Cream From Brooklyn’s Ample Hills
There are two official flavors: the Light Side and the Dark Side.Renowned Brooklyn Pizzeria Adds 3 Percent Obamacare Surcharge to All Checks
At Franny's menu prices will also rise to pay cooks higher wages.Applebee’s and IHOP Will Eliminate Soda From Their Kids’ Menus
They're the first casual-dining restaurant chains to get on the anti-soda bandwagon.A Japanese Ramen Shop Now Has a Michelin Star
Tokyo's Tsuta joins the coveted ranks of sushi haunts and kaiseki temples.José Andrés to Join Thomas Keller at Hudson Yards
Coming in 2018.The National Restaurant Association Plans to Sue the DOH Over Salt Labeling
The group says the new rule goes too far beyond traditional government oversight.
(Spoiler alert.)Microbreweries Say Calorie Counts Will Be Ruinously Expensive
They argue "there's no way" they can afford to test every beer.Meal-Kit Deliveries Are Actually Terrible for the Environment
They're literally full of so much garbage.Even More Retailers Are Refusing to Sell Genetically Modified Salmon
Costco and Red Lobster are the latest ones to pass.This Coffee Shop Just Introduced a Water Tasting Menu
There are notes of calcium and zinc.Utah’s ‘Dirty Soda’ Wars Are Amazing
There is a battle brewing over 44-ounce cups of Dr Pepper spiked with coconut syrup and half-and-half.New York’s Chains to Begin Salt-Shaming Customers This Week
The rule, requiring a scary emblem next to salty food, takes effect on Tuesday.45-Year-Old Vic’s Pizza Closes Tonight
"I'm going to forget it, go to work, find whatever I can find, and that'll be the end of it."Allow Back Forty West to Introduce You to the Fish Rib
Chef Mike Laarhoven cures, smokes, and serves them not with barbecue sauce but a za’atar-spiked crème fraîche.We’re Heading Out to Truss a Turkey
Enjoy the long weekend, and remember to wear pants with an elastic waistband.