This post originally appeared in EIC Amanda Kludt’s From the Editor newsletter, a roundup of her favorite food and restaurant stories — both on and off Eater — each week. Subscribe now.
How do you cover something you personally think shouldn’t exist? That's the question we face with the World's 50 Best Restaurants list, which debuted in Australia on Wednesday. The list itself is elitist, sexist, and Eurocentric, mostly because its formulation is inherently flawed.
Anonymous, unpaid judges from around the world are asked to choose 10 restaurants to put on the list. Doesn't matter how they got to the restaurant (junket?), whether or not they paid for their meals, or whether or not they tried to dine outside the influence of the powerful restaurant PR network. Judges are not encouraged to diversify their choices (e.g., by cuisine, genre, price, or location), and the people who control the list do not attempt to correct for biases. That way, they can just point to the votes — “this is what was chosen, not our fault” — and ignore the money, the influence, and the gamesmanship that actually control where judges are dining (and thus who they are voting for).
But you probably know all this. And you also know that our covering it aggressively every year — we had reporters up at 3 a.m. PDT and 6 a.m. EDT just so we could be the first to publish — adds to the legitimacy of the list. If someone releases a listicle and no one in the media covers it, does it even exist?
My justification: Our audience wants to know the contents of the list. I want to know. Diners, restaurateurs, chefs, food world hangers-on — they are curious, regardless of their opinion of the list and how it’s made. They want to debate the choices, congratulate their friends, discuss the pitfalls. I would just end up clicking on someone else’s coverage. That justification may not jive with everyone, but that’s the way I see it.
To me, the best thing we can do is show our audience the list, but offer all of the necessary context and caveats: Here is a controversial-but-influential thing, and here's why we believe it to be flawed. (That said, I may have to enact a coverage ban on all things Gelinaz.)
Opening of the Week: Star Provisions and Bacchanalia
Who is behind this place?: Anne Quatrano, one of the biggest-name chefs in Atlanta, and her partner and husband Clifford Harrison.
What is it?: This is the new 8,717-square-foot location for high-end restaurant Bacchanalia and the attached lunch counter and market Star Provisions. It’s a beauty — wide open, with large windows to let in natural light.
Where is it?: Westside Provisions District, Atlanta.
When did it open?: Wednesday, April 5.
Why should I care?: Quantrano is a big deal, and this restaurant duo is a beloved staple, but was very much in need of a revamp. Plus, it’s pretty.
- Intel: An avocado bar opened in Brooklyn; Chick-fil-A gave out a bunch of free chicken biscuits to carpoolers in Atlanta to help relieve traffic problems; Daniel Patterson and Roy Choi opened their first LocoL bakery; Dominique Crenn shot down an offensive panel question and put the questioner in his place; Shia LaBeouf was removed from an LA deli; Portland chef/restaurateur Naomi Pomeroy started an impromptu gathering of female leaders in the industry to discuss issues and challenges on the regular; and a successful bar owner in New York is donating 100 percent of his new bar’s profits to anti-Trump causes.
- Have you noticed how restaurant dishes are especially … pretty these days? All drapey and textured and colorful and delicate? We’re calling the visual trend “New Romanticism.”
- This episode of our road trip show at La Cocina de Doña Esthela in the Valle de Guadalupe actually made my heart hurt, I was so upset that I didn’t go when I was there.
- Automated food and beverage places are all the rage in Chicago right now.
- How to get affordable tastes of high-end restaurants in Boston.
- TIL Martha Stewart has three miniature Sicilian donkeys that she keeps as pets and walks on leashes.
- Today in petty complaints: One would think that, after doing Eater 38 guides for seven years in two dozen cities, competitors would at least choose a different number. 37, maybe? [Infatuation]
- Munchies asked males chefs why there are so few females in professional kitchens. I’m tempted to rank their responses in order of most offensive to least, but suffice it to say they hit a bunch of gender stereotypes. [Munchies]
- Some super intense shots of Daniel Patterson. [California Sunday]
- I love how Gael Greene is so excited to go eat hot dogs. [Insatiable Critic]
- Writer Jay Sacher recounts his time serving Madonna, fighting with people on the street, and eating dragon bowls at just-shuttered 40-year-old East Village restaurant Angelica Kitchen. The ode that James Oseland wrote for us was equally sad. [New Yorker]