Thursday, August 20, 2009

Who Wants to be a Famous Food Critic?

Who Wants to be a Famous Food Critic? Especially if no one knows it's you.

That's the question that's being asked about the new Food Critic for the New York Times, who by design can't let people know who they are in a time when all the money, fame, and power comes from being a recognized brand.

Recounts the New York Observer, here is part of the dilemma, as described by someone from the outside:

Mr. Ozersky is the 41-year-old restaurants editor for Citysearch who blogs at the Feedbag...

Mr. Ozersky now wants to be a food personality. He wants to be a judge on Iron Chef. He wants to host his own television show. He wants fame. He said he’s 55 percent there. And, he said, even though the Times restaurant critic holds an incredibly powerful position, it’s the last thing he would want to do. Not in a million, zillion years, he said.

“The Times critic can’t go on TV!” he said. “What would you do with that power? You can’t go to the restaurants you like, you can’t shmooze with the chefs and writers you like. You can’t go on Top Chef!”

“As far as I’m concerned, you have to be on television,” he continued. “You can win the National Book Award and you can write on the front page of The Times every day, and you’re still not as famous as some busty tramp on Tough Love on VH1.”

Mr. Ozersky is part of an army of writers who don’t profess to be critics, or to do what Mr. Bruni does—he, instead, is trying to do something entirely different, he said.

Too true, too true.

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