David Chang and Mario Batali: So Important, So Overrated

Grub Street surveyed members of the gastronobility to assess the "state of our food union," questioning the likes of Anthony Bourdain, Alan Richman, Gael Greene, and LA Weekly's Jonathan Gold. Unsurprisingly, New York figured largely into their appraisal: David Chang and Mario Batali were named two of the country's most important chefs (along with Grant Achatz), and also two of its most overrated. And the city itself, according to most respondents, is the most important restaurant city in the country at the moment, though strong cases were also made for Los Angeles and Portland. The reason for New York's supremacy? Basically, pizza and David Chang: The latter has, says Richman, "been America's hot young chef seemingly forever, even if he must be 65 by now. The next challenger might be the city with a young chef to supplant him."  


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