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Josh Ozersky - Mr. Cutlets


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You know those problems we all have with Josh Ozersky?   Well, Robert Sietsema has them, too.   (NB: Josh -- or whoever writes his headlines -- is now calling himself a "Food Critic". But I th

Obviously you don't but other people do. There are 29 comments on Eater, all of them negative about Ozersky.   Were you OK with Shaw writing glowing reviews of free meals and not disclosing the fa

this is fucking perfect. not the least bit surprising, but nice to see cynicism rewarded

Josh's REAL problem is that he is grappling with trying to figure out a way to pay his rent, while being "that" guy that just hangs out in your kitchen. Prior to the explosion of food blogs, Josh would either be homeless or a trust fund baby. There was no way to support yourself and be a leach at the same time.

 

This is no depth to his writing. No real rigor to his process. Through Mark Pastore, the LaFrieda COO, he has gained entrance into all these kitchens. He is a likeable enough character that nobody throws him out. In exchange, he "writes" puff pieces about his friends. To his credit, we have to find any evidence that he is wielding his pen like an axe against the enemies of his friends--he isn't really important enough to have enemies of his own in the business. lol Couple this with his fast friendship with Mike Colameco--also a Pastore sidekick. Colameco routinely plugged Ozersky's "work" on his daily Food Talk radio show (prior to 710 am's lineup shuffle). In my view, both of them routinely crossed the line when it came to how they classified themselves. Neither one wanted to be a "Critic" because that stops the free dinners and hanging out at the bar after service. However, they both routinely recommended restaurants--usually the same dozen or so--and would also comment on other critics' reviews. They prefer to hang out in this gray area that is undefinable by their very design. Colameco just recently released a guide to NY dining. hard to take that tome seriously, when he is shooting the shit with a dozen chefs all over the city 6 nights a week. It's the same with Ozersky...

A small difference but Oz has a certain rough charm; Colameco is just a self-important dick.

 

ETA: Having read subsequent posts, the 'just' may be wrong. But he's still a self-important dick.

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According to chefdb, Mike Colameco worked as a line cook at the Four Seasons in 1981. I have never listened to his radio or TV shows, so I had no idea what kind of places he recommended.

 

Think something like this...

 

Caller...."Hey Mike, the family is coming in from Des Moines to see The Lion King this weekend...we were looking for a nice place to eat."

 

Colameco "You got a pencil? I'm going to recommend a place called Insieme...that's I..N...S...I...E..M...E Insieme."

 

 

Caller 2.. "Hey Mike, I'm taking my girlfriend out in the village tomorrow night...what do you think?"

 

Colameco "I love this place. These two guys are ALWAYS there, which is important to me. It's called Elettaria....the chef is this cool cat named Ahktar Nawab...he worked with Colichio man...at Craft."

 

 

Caller 3...see caller 1

 

Caller 4...see caller 2

 

Caller 5...throw in a requisite Michael White or Psilakis reference and you have Colameco's show in the condensed version...lol

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A small difference but Oz has a certain rough charm; Colameco is just a self-important dick.

But Colameco has actually done the job.

 

I agree with this. If I had to save only one of them from a swarm of locusts, it would be Colameco.

 

That being said, Colameco has this poser hipster vibe that gives me violent thoughts that border on needing to seek professional help. The last tv show of his I saw, he as in Brooklyn. He had a Biggie T-shirt on and used the term "Billy's burg" at least twice. From a 40 something white guy born and raised in the burbs of Philly?

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A small difference but Oz has a certain rough charm; Colameco is just a self-important dick.

But Colameco has actually done the job.

 

I agree with this. If I had to save only one of them from a swarm of locusts, it would be Colameco.

 

That being said, Colameco has this poser hipster vibe that gives me violent thoughts that border on needing to seek professional help. The last tv show of his I saw, he as in Brooklyn. He had a Biggie T-shirt on and used the term "Billy's burg" at least twice. From a 40 something white guy born and raised in the burbs of Philly?

at least he cut off the ponytail

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According to chefdb, Mike Colameco worked as a line cook at the Four Seasons in 1981. I have never listened to his radio or TV shows, so I had no idea what kind of places he recommended.

 

The TV shows are MNN quality.

 

The similarity to Ozersky is striking indeed:

 

http://books.google.com/books?id=UpXYNBBAC...p;q&f=false

 

This La Frieda guy must either pay a lot or he's very scary.

 

eta: got to stop using this logged in as Sivan

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The Times isn't letting the story die:

 

Event planners familiar with the space estimated that a wedding there would cost anywhere from $200 to $800 a person, depending on food and drink choices that did not even include well-known chefs.

 

But even if the wedding involved no quid pro quo, as Mr. Ozersky said, it started a debate among chefs, publicists and writers about the widespread and longstanding practice in some circles of trading “comps” — free meals — in return for coverage. Restaurant owners say requests — and even demands — for free meals from writers of food blogs, magazine Web sites and online restaurant guides are proliferating.

 

Mr. Sietsema, in an interview, said this is a “nebulous area of quasi-journalism” that is produced under no particular rules.

 

The New York Times generally prohibits writers from taking meals from anyone likely to be covered by the newspaper. Other media organizations have similar policies.

 

Jennifer Baum, a publicist who represents Mr. White, Mr. Chodorow and other prominent New York restaurateurs, said the number of requests she gets for free meals has soared in the last few years.

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This La Frieda guy must either pay a lot or he's very scary.

In fairness to La Freida, he seems to have invented the phenomenon of the "celebrity butcher." He's the Rolex of ground cow, but I'm not sure who is Timex. I can't think of any other well known names in the niche he occupies.

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