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VANITY FAIR on the Tyranny of Celebrity Chefs

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  1. Thank goodness my tastes are simpler and these sorts of places aren't on my radar.

    1. Interesting, but I take issue w/ the writer feeling "like a hostage." The nature of the place is, they do a tasting menu, and nobody is forced to reserve against their will. I think the staff's attitude is sad, but they chose to remain and to parttake.

      1. I don't think its the essence of a tasting menu that is the problem. Its the chef in charge. I recall an otherwise unmemorable meal at Charlie Trotter's. A couple of us asked for a cheese course. We were denied by the waiter with lame excuses twice until we saw another table having one. WTF. We got the cheese.
        The point seemed to be that he was in charge of our meal, not us. I'm not sorry the place has closed.

        1. When I desire to take part in a tasting menu, I head to a sushi bar or tapas bar. I understand the desire to try new things, but I question on how often performance venues like Alinea get repeat trade not involving an expense account.

          And I have put myself at the mercy of the chef. My bride and I found a great chinese restaurant in London too many years ago. Over ten days, we ate there 3 times. We explained to them that it was our last night and we would like them to choose the meal. 100 pounds to cover everything. When asked what we liked, we said seafood. We had to beg them to stop bringing courses.

          1. I'm going to 'SV' lamb and lap with that cauliflower sauce for sure!.