Restaurant critics used to be unassailable, even if almost everybody except their editors hated them. But when even Scott Simon questions the fairness of, say, Pete Wells venturing into Flavor Town (“If The Pretzel Chicken Isn’t Awesome, Why Review It?”), you figure it’s not exactly a stellar time to be reviewing restaurants.
Now this on The Daily Meal, its first annual ranking of the nation’s food critics by the nation’s chefs. No surprise: Jonathan Gold came out on top overall, followed by Jeffrey Steingarten, Wells, and Tom Sietsema. There are separate rankings for culinary knowledge, writing skills, and perceived integrity—the only flaw here is the vagueness about the number and location of the chefs polled. The Daily Meal merely notes that it reached out to “dozens of the nation’s most notable chefs and restaurateurs.” Well then.
Check out the results here.
Totally unrecognizable photo of Jonathan Gold from the LA Times