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The Critics

Former French Laundry chef Corey Lee (and chef of the upcoming Benu in SF) on the role of a critic in the success of a restaurant: "Critics are enormously influential in determining the success or failure of a restaurant. But still, I believe a chef can not formulate a restaurant, a menu, or a dish with critics in mind. Cuisine at a certain level needs to be personal. I know it sounds ironic, but in order to gratify other people, you have to know how to gratify yourself first. You have to set your own standards, use your own sensibilities, and be your own critic." [ISSF]