The Other Critics

Chefs Continue to Call Out ‘Unreal,’ ‘Idiot,’ ‘Clueless’ Critics

Photo: Getty Images

Scott Conant, Eddie Huang, and José Andrés aren’t suffering food critics gladly. Countering earlier speculation that he wasn’t pleased with Sam Sifton’s review of Faustina, Scott Conant wrote yesterday, “To be clear. I actually like the NY Times review. Who care [sic] about the stars … phones are ringing like crazy. That’s what it’s all about!!!” But one critic he isn’t happy with is Ryan Sutton, who gave Faustina a lackluster star. Check out this series of tweets:

• Ryansutton is an unreal critic. What have I dine to that guy? Hater????? Obviously. Lol

• I love critics with a personal agenda. What’s up sutton? So tough to be you that u have to hate on me? Hater … hater … hater

• Bizarre that Ryan Sutton raved about polenta in Scarpetta review and called same dish crime against corn in Faustina rev …

Meanwhile, José Andrés tells L.A. Weekly that Frank Bruni was “a great writer, but to me [his hiring] was a sad day, because he didn’t have a clue about cooking, or the history of cooking, or food.” He continues:

Could be a good thing or could be a bad thing, because if he was representing people, maybe it was good that he was clueless. That’s good. In the end it’s what you think. He became good over the years, but he’s like Jonathan [Gold] here. It’s the same thing. If he doesn’t want to understand this new thing that’s happening, he’s lost. It’s the loss of his readers too, unfortunately.

And finally, Eddie Huang of Baohaus, after telling Fork in the Road that his pork is cheaper and “probably better” than Momofuku’s, has something to say about Alan Adam Richman.

I feel like it comes back to food insecurity. Another stereotype we had before was white people can’t eat hot food, they can’t take it. Now they want to counter it by saying, “I can eat more hot food than you.” People at the restaurant will say, “I can take it, so make it hot.” We have no hot sauce, and they’re really disappointed. They want to counter this insecurity by eating as much hot food as possible. Like Adam Richman. That guy’s an idiot. I like him, I do, but there’s no real respect for the craft of food. It’s like, big, fat, and spicy, like frat food. I do think there’s this frat boy mentality of “I can eat more hot food than you.”

It bears noting that Conant is also a critic himself, since he’s a judge on Chopped. And a certain Facebook group isn’t happy with his criticism — specifically his rant against raw onions during the episode in which Joe Dobias appeared. The name of the group, which currently has 50 fans: “Shut up, Scott Conant, we dont [sic] care if you have an aversion to raw onions!”

Eddie Huang Part 2: Asian Food Stereotyping, Momofuku, and the Cock Sauce Frat Boy Mentality [Fork in the Road/VV]
Q & A With José Andrés, Part 2: Frank Bruni, The White House Garden & How to Eat at Bazaar for Under $50 [L.A. Weekly]
Conantnyc [Twitter]
Shut up, Scott Conant, we dont care if you have an aversion to raw onions! [Facebook]

Chefs Continue to Call Out ‘Unreal,’ ‘Idiot,’