Tom Colicchio Honored Gael Greene's True Power In A Sweet Tribute

The news of legendary restaurant critic Gael Greene's death at the age of 88 is reverberating throughout the food world, with tributes and expressions of sympathy pouring in. With a keen eye for criticism paired with a sharp tongue and cheeky style, Greene revolutionized the restaurant review and was both revered and feared by restaurateurs. "After Gael Greene, the restaurant review would never be the same," wrote critic Robert Sietsema in the Columbia Journalism Review (via The New York Times).

None were immune to Greene's biting reviews — including such culinary icons as chef, restaurateur, author, TV judge and executive producer, and James Beard and Emmy winner Tom Colicchio (via Bravo TV), who was among those who took the time to recognize the power of the pen that Greene possessed.

With a journalism career stretching back to the 1960s, as noted by The Washington Post, Greene forged a path as a restaurant critic long before the age of social media and the internet, a time when the pressures of publishing deadlines included waiting for the ink to dry. Colicchio acknowledged this in a sweet tweet in Greene's honor.

Tom Colicchio called Greene a giant in her field

Colicchio wrote on Twitter, "So sorry to hear of the passing of Gael Greene. She was a giant of restaurant reviewers, pre-social media, when a great review from her and New York magazine could make your restaurant."

With seven restaurants in his empire, per Craft Hospitality, Colicchio knows all too well the weight of a restaurant review from a reputable and trusted voice like Greene's. While he was not spared her infamous critiques, she ultimately gave her blessing to his (now closed) Colicchio & Sons, writing on her website, Insatiable Critic, in 2010, "[All] of us, the professionals and our pampered mates, are loving almost everything we're tasting tonight" 

While the relationship between restaurant and reviewer can be tenuous at best, Colicchio thought so highly of Greene's opinion that she served as a guest judge on his "Top Chef" spinoff series, "Top Chef: Masters," alongside James Oseland, Jay Rayner, and host Kelly Choi (via Reality Blurred).