If there is one group of people who aren’t fit to walk this earth, and who should have definitely been on board Douglas Adams’ spaceship of useless people, then it is this bunch: they don’t have any specialist knowledge, they delight in criticising anything which isn’t new or trendy and they clearly can’t cook themselves. Pretentious, supercilious, sycophantic, pompous: these are how I describe them when I am being nice.
Who am I talking about? Yes, that’s right: food critics. <make’s spitting sound>
I mean, really: what do they actually do? Really? Come into a restaurant, eat, drink wine, go blah blah blah and leave – and then write about their experience. Couldn’t anyone do that?! Couldn’t someone write a computer program to emulate that, just inserting appropriate words such as ‘ravishing’, ‘magnetising’ and ‘pulchritudinous’?
It’s not as if they have to do a 4 year degree to become a food critic, or sit annual qualifications to make sure they know an emulsion from a foam. They don’t even eat half their food a lot of the time – they just look at it and pass transcendent comments.
The worst of it, of course, is that they can make or even break a restaurant with their prose. What is actually a crap or average eating house can be elevated to new heights based on their words of wisdom, and what might be a fantastic and inventive restaurant can be shot down in flames, never to have the patronage it deserves.
Not that I care. Really. I don’t. I don’t mind if I never get an A list restaurant critic at the Sausage, and I don’t need any 5 star review of my astonishing creations. I know how good my food is and my customers know how good my food is. That’s what matters.
Words are mere garnish.
Food critics. Pah. Did you know that an anagram of ‘restaurant critic’ is Satanic Cur Triter? Says everything you need to know about them.
PS If you want a second opinion, I give you… Anton Ego.