Ketchup Fiends

Is Roger Berkowitz Heinz’s Newest Spokesman?

Yoo-hoo, Rooooooger!
Yoo-hoo, Rooooooger! Photo: Courtney Heinz

Say what you will about Legal Sea Foods CEO Roger Berkowitz, dude has a sense of humor, especially when it comes to Heinz ketchup. The Herald has tapped him, as well as Lydia Shire, to contribute industry-insider opinions to their Fork Lift blog. We were kind of expecting something shilly and silly, but … well … Berkowitz has impressed us, even if his passion for the stuff is a bit alarming.

Instead of singing the praises of his clam chowder recipe or reminding us that the third floor of Legal Harborside now has sushi, Berkowitz goes the confessional route: The man is addicted to ketchup. Good, old-fashioned Heinz brand ketchup.

“It’s the world’s finest condiment! It doesn’t matter if I’m eating the finest cuts of meat or free-range birds, if there isn’t Heinz ketchup nearby, I just won’t eat,” he writes. “I know food. Good food. So remember, only Heinz! Nothing else comes close.” OK, on the other hand, maybe he’s auditioning for a ketchup commercial or trying to get some kind of bulk discount. Just the same, we couldn’t help but smile when we read that his mother, “not exactly a culinary prodigy,” used to put ketchup on spaghetti. (And now we might think twice before ordering pasta at Legal…)

Chances are, though, you’re just as likely to see him in Chinatown as you are prowling one of his many restaurants, inspecting the fish. Why? If he doesn’t graze on Chinese food twice per week, he goes into “withdrawal.” Hey, at least he’s candid. We get grumbly if we go too long between egg rolls ourselves.

Shire, for her part, says that “If you haven’t had your Nantucket Cape Scallops for the season, you MUST HAVE THEM RIGHT NOW.”

This is what we like to see from our hometown restaurateurs: Enthusiasm and candor! Now, if the Herald can get Todd English to share his diaries, we’d be really intrigued.

My Food Vice [Fork Lift]

Related: Legal Sea Foods CEO: Can Everyone Stop Getting So Upset About Our Unsustainable-Fish Dinner?

Is Roger Berkowitz Heinz’s Newest Spokesman?