A chef in Canada is fed up with critics and wants to flip the tables. Paul Shufelt has thrown down the gauntlet for food critics in Edmonton: He’s asking them to prepare a three-course meal for a 150-person charity event, with a panel of chefs serving as judges, CBC News reports.
Shufelt, the chef at Edmonton’s Workshop Eatery, wrote an article for the Edmonton Sun, in which he described the sinking feeling of learning about a new review and the anticipation of whether his performance will be praised or criticized.
“Over my years in this business I have had glowing reviews, and I have had some scathing reviews, I have even had both about the same visit,” he wrote, praising past veteran critics who had standard protocols for reviews.
“Today, it would seem critics are in a race to be the first to share their opinion, foregoing some of those traditions, for the sake of being the first to share the story,” Shufelt wrote. Yet he recognized the challenge in reviewing, saying that critics themselves are criticized if reviews are too scathing or too favorable.
To conclude his diatribe, Shufelt put forth a challenge for Edmonton critics, whom he called out by name, asking six to volunteer to cook at what he’s calling the “Eat Your Words” dinner, which will support the Ronald McDonald House Northern Alberta. Shufelt will make his kitchen available to the critics, and has asked four chefs to step up to serve as judges. He reportedly plans to hold the dinner in January.
“This is meant to be a fun evening where we get to see each other’s job in a different light and gain a little perspective,” he wrote.
• Can you cook? Restaurateur puts bold challenge to Edmonton food critics [CBC News]
• Edmonton critics, time put your money where your mouth is [ES]