Globe and Mail: Nuttall-Smith vs. Kates
Anyone have thoughts on Chris Nuttall-Smith? The Globe and Mail seems to have the real deal, for a change, as a summer replacement for Joanne Kates. So far, two reviews: a UK-style evisceration of Le Papillon - http://tinyurl.com/6mwgyf - and a very informative (and well-informed) piece on Japanese food - http://tinyurl.com/5gbuwu
Is it time that Mme Kates was handed a gold watch and a membership in the Old Globers club? Do we want her back, or should she go the way of Zena Cherry? Isn't 25+ years enough?
Oh, I agree - can't stand Kates - and why does the Globe, which pretends to be "Canada's National Newspaper" rarely review anything outside Toronto?
But please, lose the ageism. You'll get older too. Amy Verner and Leah McLaren are just as tiresome as Globe writers over twice their age. There are wonderful writers who remain keen until the day they die, and others who are born fogeys.
The Globe's been running occasional Vancouver reviews by Alexandra Gill, so that's a start. I guess it's based on circulation figures... but they could certainly do more.
As for ageism, it's not about her age, it's her attitude and the fact that she's had the job far too long. Kates approaches every restaurant from her cranky 60-ish perspective - basically, "if I don't get it, it can't be good." And after 25 years in the same critic's job, she really has nothing left to say and dosn't appear to have learned anything new in at least the last 15. Kates was really fun to read in the 80s. She was sassy, she called out the stuffy Old Toronto restaurants on their gastronomic crimes, and she wrote well. Now, she is to writing what those old places were to food. It happens. Time to move on, retire to Mukoka, and write some books or something.
I do like this new writer's style. Hope they keep him around regardless. His tone reminds me of some of the UK food critics, except toned down by 30-40%. I guess I enjoy a bit of fun in the reviewing.