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The Pete Wells Thread


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How much cooking does Ricker do? Maybe he goes through the motions when Bourdain shows up but as soon as the cameras are turned off he gets out of his chef's whites. I think a name helps a bit but I think an accessible story and a publicist helps a lot more.

 

Lets give the chef at Little Pepper credit. Even without a name he managed, at long last, to get 2 stars.

 

You know what's a shame? Pete Wells never found out who the chef is.

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According to Eater   Let the grumbling begin.

Even now when everybody has seen pictures of all the major reviewers, there's hope for anonymous restaurant reviewing.

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How much cooking does Ricker do? Maybe he goes through the motions when Bourdain shows up but as soon as the cameras are turned off he gets out of his chef's whites. I think a name helps a bit but I think an accessible story and a publicist helps a lot more.

 

Lets give the chef at Little Pepper credit. Even without a name he managed, at long last, to get 2 stars.

 

You know what's a shame? Pete Wells never found out who the chef is.

 

You've been going there since, what, 2006? Do you know the chef's name? (No reason you should, but lets cut Pete some slack.)

 

Rightly or wrongly, the kind of media coverage you'd like to see somewhere like Little Pepper get would require these places to meet the media halfway in terms of giving them a story. How much cooking does David Chang do? Doesn't matter. He's the story.

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There are vast differences between the way the chef is perceived (and indeed the creative role of the chef) in mainland eastern kitchens vs western ones. Remember, as wilf and sneak have pointed out, there was a time even in the west when the chef was anonymous compared to the maitre d'.

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I agree withe Gerry specifically about Wells: he should have found out the chef's name. But I think that for the food media to embrace "ethnic" chefs they way they do people like Andy Ricker, the restaurants/chefs will have to engage in the kind of marketing/publicity mainstream restaurants do.

 

(Note Denisse Lina Chavez.)

 

ETA: Also what Adrian said. Although, have you ever seen Eat Drink Man Woman? In that movie, Ang Lee presents chefs in China as being individually famous.

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There are vast differences between the way the chef is perceived (and indeed the creative role of the chef) in mainland eastern kitchens vs western ones. Remember, as wilf and sneak have pointed out, there was a time even in the west when the chef was anonymous compared to the maitre d'.

 

Yes, I think I said earlier there's a cultural difference, and certainly there would be much less difference if you went back twenty or thirty years in "Western" kitchens.

 

But it's unreasonable to expect places like Little Pepper to get the same kind of coverage Eater, Grub Street et al offer to personality-driven restaurants absent personalities.

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Who knows if there is "a chef" at Little Pepper? It's speculation that the kitchen conceals some gifted personality whose vision is being overlooked by the likes of Wells. There may be a constantly changing kitchen team. Maybe the owners come up with the concepts, and they should be in the spotlight (a la Sirio).

 

But it's more complicated than to suggest Andy Ricker is being idolized because he's white, while this specific, identifiable chef over here is being ignored because he or she isn't.

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I absolutely agree with Wilfrid, FWIW. Even something like Superiority Burger is part of the conversation in a way that Little Pepper cannot be.

If we want food criticism to be something like legitimate cultural criticism, then necessarily there's a category that includes "serious" restaurants that must exclude e.g. Little Pepper, Sri, &c; but correspondingly not Uncle Boon's.

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I absolutely agree with Wilfrid, FWIW. Even something like Superiority Burger is part of the conversation in a way that Little Pepper cannot be.

 

If we want food criticism to be something like legitimate cultural criticism, then necessarily there's a category that includes "serious" restaurants that must exclude e.g. Little Pepper, Sri, &c; but correspondingly not Uncle Boon's.

If we want food criticism as cultural criticism, little pepper like restaurants are a necessary inclusion. More so than a lot of hot openings.

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