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Diner kicked out for confronting shouty chef...


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I suspect that restaurant owners and chefs are seeing the downside of this media transformation in several ways. Each negative blog or photo of a meal is a stake in their hearts, and holds the potential of fewer future customers. Is this negative post an outlier, or is it an indicator of many other unhappy customers?

Indeed.

 

Restaurants used to be more in control of their public image, simply by spending a bunch of money. That's what restaurant marketing and PR firms are all about. Unlike other industries (think Apple vs Microsoft, think fast food, think Energizer Bunnies ...), competitive restaurants have no good reason to spend their very limited marketing dollars on an attempt to publicly sully the reputation of a competitor. They just spend their marketing $s to get more public awareness for themselves.

 

Now blogs are out there, possibly sullying their reputations. They can't buy their way out of this mess too easily. "Oh my God, what will appear if someone googles my restaurants name!" :o They are at the mercy of other bloggers, in much greater numbers, saying good things in order to drown out the negative noise. Or maybe even trying to rig the game in their favor by paying people to write good things about them. Or paying people to optimize the order of search results when a google search is done for the restaurant. (Enter the multi-billion-$ SEO industry.)

 

These types of issues have developed massive controversies recently. Google about Yelp and search for articles about how Yelp's ranking systems does or does not favor/hurt local vendors who do/don't advertise with them. (I am not aware of Yelp being at fault. It seems to be an issue of sour grapes on the part of unhappy vendors. Story in progress ...)

 

 

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This story had got some traction elsewhere: http://www.salon.com/food/restaurant_cultu...ant_controversy

 

Thanks for the link.

 

It's interesting that the 46 comments mirrored the comments here, with maybe a few more tilting toward blaming Lieber for staying around. If I had a serious run in with the chef, and got chased out of his kitchen, I don't think I'd want him touching my food.

 

If Forgione's screaming at the employee "ruined the dining environment" I'd agree he took down the gates to the "sacred space" of his kitchen.

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1. That's nothing like what he said, as anyone can see by reading the quote. 2. There is no relevant distinction between "I expect," "you expect" and "one expects" in the context I am describing.

 

I see from the previous post that you still don't understand. Whether oakapple is speaking for himself or generally, it's no response to say that his expectations, in fact, go unfulfilled. That Times journalists have occasionally invented stories does not mean that there is no expectation - on the part of individual readers, or the public in general - that they should not. 3. You can argue that the expectation is inappropriate, but saying that, as it happens, it isn't met, kind of misses the point (4. as my examples were designed to show).

 

5. Any closer to getting it yet?

1. We view this differently.

 

2. I didn't say that you were definitely making that point, but I wanted to address it in case you were. It was also relevant to other things that I wanted to say. I am addressing multiple issues in that post. I am speaking to your specific points and others. You think that what you are writing is crystal clear. It is not. Far from it. It requires more elaboration as there are multiple ways to interpret it. That is why I make the effort to elaborate.

 

3. As I did.

 

4. Your examples (and expectations = "hopes") only hold water if they are reasonable examples/expectations/hopes that are commonly agreed to. As I am trying to show, Oakster's expectation that "blogging" standards and "reporting" standards are the same isn't reasonable. I further point out that the hundreds of people in the blog's comments section don't seem to share Oakster's expectations or hopes for "appropriateness". Therefore, Oakster doesn't pass the reasonable test.

 

5. Nope.

 

You may be attempting to make some other point, but only you would know that.

 

This is now a waste. A meeting of the minds about this stuff never seems to happen via textual ping pong.

 

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reflecting on this exchange reminds me that I worked with chefs who would not have hesitated to physically assault a customer who entered the kitchen to tell him to stop yelling at staff.

 

i worked with one guy who might've killed such an interloper.

 

So we have met?

 

Look, I'm 36. Started my career in finance as a tech analyst of all things. Migrated over to my "passion" and to feed my inner desire to be poor I guess. I cook with my Gray Kunz spoon in one hand and my i phone in the other. I have no "rules" prohibiting pictures in my dining room--unless it starts to annoy other patrons. I do my best to cooperate with the "new" media as much, if not more, than the old guard. All that being said, the idea that this financial/business blogger should be telling tales out of school re: a restaurant visit is silly. If the Dining Journal blogger went to the local Chase branch and the ATM ate his debit card and the branch manager told him he'll be with him in 4 hours, I don't want to read about that either. It brings nothing to the table.

 

It won't be long until there is no print edition of the Times or the Journal. Are they going to have multiple sets of standards at that point? Blogs equal mindless drivel and "real" articles deserve "real" critical interpretation?

 

As for the analogy of kids writing on facebook and myspace et al...it fails for me. I read the NYT with a set of expectations that I don't have when my buddy tells the world on facebook, that he got shot down at happy hour last night. Or that my grammar school classmate's daughter just learned to ride her bicycle. "New media"--do we even still call it that?--shouldn't equate to shoddy media.

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The Oakster situation is different. . . . He seems to think (or expects) that the standards for "blogging" and "reporting" are the same for employees at the NYT.

Why, of course I don't think that. Here is the problem infecting so many of the Chambolle posts. He points out obvious things and then suggests that the rest of us don't know them. I perfectly well realize that there are different standards for what the Times would put in a blog post, and what the Times would put into the newspaper.

 

I think I even know what those standards are, because—wait for it—I actually do read the Times blog posts (as well as those of other newspapers), and I can see for myself what they are doing. For some reason, Chambolle thinks that I either do not read, or do not understand what I have read, but I do, and I do.

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Even if we concede that there are multiple sets of standards in the Times regarding blog posts and reporting, there should still be an expectation of relevance. To me that is the essence of the issue in question here. Is this guy's experience with Forgione really relevant to the rest of us in any way? Forgione has a reputation in the industry of being a dick, but to my knowledge he doesn't routinely kick people out of his restaurant. When you think crazy chef, you don't think Marco, Gordon and Marc Forgione...lol. This is an isolated incident and this blogger is using his bully pulpit to potentially damage someone's business.

 

As a chef, that is one of my biggest beefs with the blogging world. I don't want to get into a whole convo about that, but most bloggers--especially the Jersey ones--don't know what the f@ck they are talking about. Yet, they clearly drive traffic in the state. However, they don't feel the need to get things right, because they hide behind the notion of "this is just a blog post, not a real review." Rings a little hollow if they skewer you and get the facts wrong...When they are taking pictures and describing ingredients and cooking methods, they should make an attempt to get the details correct. In my view, that goes beyond coming on here and saying, "I had a shit meal at XYZ last night."

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It won't be long until there is no print edition of the Times or the Journal. Are they going to have multiple sets of standards at that point? Blogs equal mindless drivel and "real" articles deserve "real" critical interpretation?

 

As for the analogy of kids writing on facebook and myspace et al...it fails for me. I read the NYT with a set of expectations that I don't have when my buddy tells the world on facebook, that he got shot down at happy hour last night. Or that my grammar school classmate's daughter just learned to ride her bicycle. "New media"--do we even still call it that?--shouldn't equate to shoddy media.

 

Right. And I'm sure Oakapple and Wilfrid won't be in the least offended when I say that, notwithstanding my extremely high regard for both of them, I read their blogs with different expectations than I have for the so-called "blogs" on The New York Times (or should I say, "The New York Fucking Times"?) website.

 

(And, no, that doesn't mean that I think the Times "blogs" have the same standards as Times news reports.)

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The Oakster situation is different. . . . He seems to think (or expects) that the standards for "blogging" and "reporting" are the same for employees at the NYT.

1. Why, of course I don't think that. Here is the problem infecting so many of the Chambolle posts. He points out obvious things and then suggests that the rest of us don't know them.

 

2. I perfectly well realize that there are different standards for what the Times would put in a blog post, and what the Times would put into the newspaper.

 

I think I even know what those standards are, because—wait for it—I actually do read the Times blog posts (as well as those of other newspapers), and I can see for myself what they are doing. For some reason, Chambolle thinks that I either do not read, or do not understand what I have read, but I do, and I do.

1. Fine. I'll accept that.

 

2. Good. Could you then please elaborate on these differences in some reasonable detail. Not just one single pithy sentence for the newspaper and one for blogs? Elaborate chambollicly yet seriously.

 

 

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2. Good. Could you then please elaborate on these differences in some reasonable detail. Not just one single pithy sentence for the newspaper and one for blogs? Elaborate chambollicly yet seriously.

 

Please feed me.

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2. I perfectly well realize that there are different standards for what the Times would put in a blog post, and what the Times would put into the newspaper. . . .

 

2. Good. Could you then please elaborate on these differences in some reasonable detail. Not just one single pithy sentence for the newspaper and one for blogs? Elaborate chambollicly yet seriously.

To paraphrase illustrious member numero uno, this isn't a deposition. However, I will state briefly my general understanding.

 

The Times blog posts differ from the newspaper in several respects. The NYT blogs many things for which they would never have room in the paper. Blog posts are often written in a more breezy, casual style, than newspaper articles by the same author, and on the same subject.

 

Within a blog, there is more of an emphasis on getting things out quickly, as they happen. For instance, the blog post announcing that Odette Fada was leaving SD26 had to be updated twice—the first time to elaborate upon the reasons for her leaving (with quotes from Fada and SD26 owner Tony May), the second to correct the misspelling of the name of her replacement. Had the identical post been a newspaper article, it is likely that both would have been checked before going to print.

 

Nevertheless, the Times does have standards, and they are higher than just any amateur or independent blogger. For instance, before writing his blog post about getting kicked out of Marc Forgione, Ron Lieber called the chef to get his side of the story. A blog like Eater or Grub Street would probably not have done that.

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4. Your examples (and expectations = "hopes") only hold water if they are reasonable examples/expectations/hopes that are commonly agreed to. As I am trying to show, Oakster's expectation that "blogging" standards and "reporting" standards are the same isn't reasonable. I further point out that the hundreds of people in the blog's comments section don't seem to share Oakster's expectations or hopes for "appropriateness". Therefore, Oakster doesn't pass the reasonable test.

 

That's precisely what you didn't do. You observed that the expectation was oakapple's, asserted that it was age-based, and further observed that it was perhaps not met on occasion. You failed to address its reasonableness.

 

Here's oakapple's expectation again:

 

[That] a reporter for the Times to have a keener sense of what's appropriate than a high-school or college student tossing their latest thoughts onto a social networking site.

 

It is transformed beyond recognition when you reformulate it as:

 

[That] "blogging" standards and "reporting" standards are the same.

 

Oakapple's actual contention seems to me not only reasonable, but likely to be accepted by just about anyone who has heard of the Times.

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