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Shaw's article in Commentary

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Shaw's article in Commentary

Phil | Oct 27, 2000 05:13 AM

Has anyone read Steven Shaw's article lambasting
negative reviews of ADNY? It can be found at

commentarymagazine.com/0010/shaw.html

It's also bookmarked at Arts & Letters under Essays
and Opinions:

cybereditions.com/aldaily/

I must say that he does make a convincing case for
dining at ADNY if you can afford it. I can't, but envy
those who can afford the strangled chickens that have
never touched water and tables with purse stands (a
nice idea to me) reserved for an entire evening.

But I think he errs in linking negative press coverage
of ADNY to an opposition to post-modernist trends in
cricism in general, and uses faulty reasoning along the
way.

Shaw claims that "there is little debate that Alan
Ducasse is, in fact, the world's greatest chef." His
evidence in support of this claim rests entirely
upon Michelin star ratings. Given that many reasonable
people dispute the status of Michelin as ultimate
arbiter of taste the claim is suspect. Surely there can
be debate.

Shaw sees the bad reviews of ADNY as indicitative of
of a harmful, trendy wave of decontructionism in the
arts where all is being "leveled and 'demistified'." I
think a good amount of leveling an demistifying goes
on here at Chowhound, where it is at least considered
possible that the food from a kitchen run by an Iranian
grandma in New Jersey might be as good as that from a
3-star chef in Paris. Deconstructionism may inspire
an awful lot of bad writing, but it is a useful tool
when used smartly and one no contemorary critic should
reject out of hand.

Shaw goes on to attack Jonathan Gold for criticizing
"New York's two most Michelin-like restaurants."
Ironically, Gold's Gourmet review praising ADNY, with
caveats, arrived in my mail a day after I read the
article.

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