4.2.13: April Fools / Best New Chefs


Food and Wine Best New Chefs

Food and Wine’s much-anticipated list was officially announced this morning, but yesterday, as in years past, Editor-in-Chief Dana Cowin tweeted clues hinting at the identity of this year’s Best New Chefs. The list of 10 includes Mission Chinese’s Danny Bowien and Los Angelean/former Top Cheftestant/tattooed hottie Michael Vottalgio — two of my favorite new and notables.

The magazine has named Best New Chefs for 22 years — a serious tradition — but this year, it’s upped the game. Download dedicated iPhone and Android BNC apps to browse all 22 years of winners and their restaurants by name, dish location, and year of honor. Talk about a well-curated list of delicious.


Stop the Passive-Aggressive Restaurant Complaining

Chefs are used to professional criticism. Their job requires taking feedback and improving, working toward the end result of pleasing the customer and serving delicious food. So when one diner recently took to Twitter to air grievances over the saltiness of her family’s food at Brooklyn’s Talde, chef-owner Dale Talde responded. First, he asked if she told her server. When she didn’t respond, he tweeted his own thoughts on the matter, albeit a little aggressive-aggressive.

I have not personally eaten at Talde so I have no opinion on the salty vs. not-salty. But any restaurant worth its salt (ha, sorry) will make an effort to please the customer’s taste. If the patron complained and the server refused, a diner might have legitimate recourse on Twitter. As for Dale Talde, Aggression may not be the best response to passive-aggression, but I can’t blame the chef for his reaction to a tweet-complaint complete with a #badrestaurant hashtag.


Jose Andres Challenges Anthony Bourdain to a Hilariously Delicious Tapas Photo-Off

Everyone loves a good food photo, especially when some of the best palates in the business are behind the camera lens. Over the weekend as Anthony Bourdain made us all jealous with photos of a tapas-eating journey through Spain (among others: clams, what appears to be some sort of stuffed squid), chef Jose Andres (widely credited with bringing the tapas concept to the US) fired back with photos of his own, and a challenge. @Bourdain accepted, and the two continued the delicious banter for hours. (This tweet is one of my favorites.) The photo war had no clear winner, but doubtlessly left a literal million followers salivating.

Bourdain’s full gallery of amazing images is also posted on Facebook.


No Tweeting, Please

Yesterday, Chicago chef Graham Elliot posted (and tweeted) an Instagram snapshot of words on a restaurant menu reading, “cell phones, tweeting and e-mailing have been proved harmful to to other diners’ appetites. please refrain,” soliciting opinions from followers. The majority thought the message seemed condescending… but if that’s what it takes to keep diners off their phones in a nice restaurant, I’m

(Graham Elliot fun-fact: he named one of his kids Jedi.)


April Fools’ Roundup

Bonobos may have won the April Fools’ web yesterday, but there were plenty of good efforts in the food and restaurant scene. A few favorites:

Worst New Restaurant? An awesome group of writers created a fake, super-timely restaurant: ‘13. Starting with its introduction, then a proper criticism. Hilarious and worth a read.

Google Nose: In the overdone world of (often terrible) Internet company pranks, Google’s announcement of its “olfactory knowledge feature”  Google Nose, allowing you to smell search results through your computer, phone, or tablet.

No Appetit? Bon Appetit renamed its homepage yesterday to read “No Apetit.” Thanks to the title’s telltale font, the subtle change was easy to miss — and worth a giggle.

Choose-Your-Own Headline: Hospitality PR firm Bullfrog & Baum ran a headline Twitter contest soliciting fake restaurant headlines, netting some funny results hashtagged #AprilFoodsDay. A few favorites: After an internal dispute, Five Guys is now Four Guys; Food trucks serving during LA rush-hour traffic on the freeway; and the winner: Horse meat found in Momofuku pork buns, no one cares.


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