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Industry opinions on how food writers could improve their reviews?

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Industry opinions on how food writers could improve their reviews?

MC Slim JB | | Dec 1, 2006 09:05 PM

As a sometime food writer, I was intrigued by industry comments in a recent thread on Boston-area "professional" reviewers, e.g., a working sommelier (CH name: hotoynoodle) lamenting the obvious lack of wine knowledge on the part of some local scribes. It made me wonder: where else do industry folks see restaurant reviewers betraying their ignorance of what's important about a restaurant experience? More important, how might writers close that gap?

Owners, chefs, designers, hosts, sommeliers, bartenders, servers: what sort of training or experience would you like to see reflected in the work of the so-called pros who review your places? Formal wine or culinary school training, a stint as a server or bartender, apprentice work to a sous chef or pastry chef, etc?

I know many writers who say, "My expertise is on the dining out experience from the customer's perspective, and since that's what my audience cares about, that's all I need." I'm not sure I agree, and I'd love to hear some industry responses to this notion (not about specific writers, just in general).

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