Smiling team of chefs standing with arms crossed in kitchen
Chefs Have Mixed Feelings About Giving Restaurant Critics VIP Treatment
Tasting Table surveyed chefs from several restaurants to ask if they give food critics special treatment, and their responses were mixed.
Showing critics hospitality is key to Chef Thomas Tuggle. He said, “I, as chef, want to provide them with that experience so they can share it in whatever means of media they use.”
Chef Austin Sumrall echoed Tuggle, saying, “I’ll bend over backward for [...] food critics [..] that really push hospitality forward and are a part of the fabric of the industry.”
However, Sumrall shuns “food influencers,” adding, “We get emails and Instagram messages [...] wanting to trade food and services for a ‘review.’ Our policy is hard no on those.”
Chef Edwin R. Gallardo gives preferred seating, personal greetings, and an amuse-bouche to critics at times, but he treats all guests with “the same equally high level of service.”
The restaurant team must put their best foot forward no matter what for Chef Irv Miller, which he believes will give a food critic “an authentic dining experience.”
“You are only as good as your last plate,” says Chef Scott Hergott, who has a strict approach, while Chef Dan Jiricka says guests are like babies who need food, shelter, and love.
Jiricka explained, “If those necessities aren't given, that table dies.” Jiricka added while laughing that if his “baby” is panned by critics, “I’ll just make a new one.”