Chefs rate food critics

  • Lifestyle
  • Tuesday, 24 Sep 2013

Chefs rate the top and worst food writers in the US. - AFP

Best and worst food critics in the US according to food blog The Daily Meal.

IN a rare but golden opportunity, editors of a popular food blog have turned the tables on some of the most powerful food critics in the US and allowed chefs around the country to rate their favourite – and most despised – writers.

For the second year in a row, the title of most popular and respected US food writer in The Daily Meal’s chef survey went to Jonathan Gold of the Los Angeles Times, who was likewise voted as having the best culinary knowledge and prose and is described by chef respondents as “Perhaps the best of them all” and “one of a kind”.

Before becoming a food critic, Gold wrote about “death metal and gangsta rap” for Rolling Stone and Spin magazines, and he was also the first food writer to win a 2007 Pulitzer Prize in the art of criticism.

He’s also the most likeable of food critics and was voted the one writer chefs would most likely want to share a meal with.

The lone category where he failed to take the top spot was for a critic’s “perceived integrity”, which Daily Meal editor Arthur Bovino defines as a critic who writes objectively “and can be trusted not to be getting his or her wedding catered for free”.

They refrain from accepting free meals or bottles of wine and they don’t try to wield their power.

In that category, Gold drops to fourth place and is replaced by the San Francisco Chronicle’s Michael Bauer.

For the survey chefs were polled anonymously but Daily Meal editors reassure readers that respondents are all “elite industry figures and most are household names”.

While chefs hold Gold in high favour for his writing chops and culinary prowess, the writers who are generally disliked among the captains of the industry include Brad A. Johnson of the Orange County Register – described as the dullest writer – and the New York Post’s Steve Cuozzo: the two garnered the lowest overall scores across most categories.

Here are the top 10 food writers according to a Daily Meal poll of chefs in the US:

1. Jonathan Gold, Los Angeles Times

2. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post

3. Brett Anderson, the Times-Picayune

4. Michael Bauer, San Francisco Chronicle

5. Corby Kummer, The Atlantic

6. Pete Wells, The New York Times

7. Andrew Knowlton, Bon Appetit

8. Daniel Vaughn, Texas Monthly

9. Jeffrey Steingarten, Vogue

10. Irene Virbila, Los Angeles Times – AFP Relaxnews

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