The Other Critics

Frank Bruni Calls Out Restaurant Snobs

Photo: Courtesy of Publisher’s Weekly

There’s some debate about whether El Bulli will close for good or morph into the world’s most exclusive dining hall if Ferran Adria opens a cooking academy. But the Times’ Frank Bruni takes the restaurant to task for abetting everything annoying about avid eaters:

While this justly storied restaurant signaled the rise of Spain and the advance of what was sometimes referred to as sci-fi cuisine, it also reflected, better than any restaurant in the last decade, a sort of madness that came to infect the food world, a strain of merciless competition that split food lovers into two camps: those with the economic means and single-minded focus (or professional affiliation) to gain access to experiences as exclusive and rarefied as El Bulli, and those who had to listen to the rapturous accounts, nod appreciatively and cop to envy, which they were absolutely supposed to feel.

The former critic goes on to tell those diners who rush to dinner at the new hot spot within weeks of opening and then won’t shut up about it to relax: “Instead of instantly grilling acquaintances about whether they’ve sampled Ma Peche, the new David Chang restaurant, or Colicchio & Sons, can we ask, maybe, about something else in their lives, and then steer the conversation in a less exclusionary direction? Oscars, anyone? Winter Olympics?”

How’s that local sports franchise doing, readers?

Never Been to El Bulli? You’re Not Alone [Diner’s Journal/NYT]

Frank Bruni Calls Out Restaurant Snobs