As promised, the Times has published a piece on toques who tweet. Ryan Skeen’s and Joe Dobias’s recent exploits are well known to Grub Street readers (though we discovered that Joe Doe recently lost himself a supplier when he tweeted a complaint about Pierless Fish), but there’s news, too: It seems Jason Neroni (never a friend of bloggers) is still keeping it real out in San Diego: “Yelp is for cowards,” he tweeted, “who don’t have the courage to say anything while in your restaurant.” Gotta miss that guy.
What’s with this idea espoused by Dobias, Neroni, and others who've received negative online reviews, that diners are supposed to tell the chef what they think, or else they’re cowards? Would these chefs go to an art opening and criticize a painter’s work to his face? Or would they just tweet something, like Joe Doe did with his cabbie the other day? Anyway, here’s one thing in the piece we can’t argue with: “It seems likely that more and more chefs will be jockeying for attention on the Internet. The lure of free publicity is enormous.”