Are Food Critics Worthless?

Categories: Critical Mass

Gawker really hates people who care about food! First food threatened music and Hamilton Nolan slammed the whole food-is-the-new-rock thing (Nolan was more articulate about this on WNYC recently, go listen). Today, mayo-hater Drew Magary slams food critics for being elitist, out-of-touch jerks who make "ungodly sums of money," and don't even help people find good restaurants (I'll just point you toward Robert's awesome lamb roundup to counter that).

What Magary has to say is not particularly clever, and as a person who cares about all this stuff, I wish he'd taken the time to produce something more thoughtful. But, no matter.

Because here's something I don't see often: commenters who rushed to defend fine dining and food criticism. Sort of.

Joshua O

So lets just gnaw roots and wear animal pelts. Or maybe we can wear identical jumpsuits and chew protein pills. Life is better because of art and culture, nerd.


How about the fact that regular people *do* go to these restaurants, usually for special occasions, and a food critic can prevent them from wasting a hard-earned few hundred dollars on a shitty place?


Food critics basically write novelizations of amateur porn for food nerds, like me. Sometimes, it goes fantastically. Other times, it just isn't your thing. Sometimes, it just goes all wrong, even from the get go.

Yup, fair enough.

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blind food critic
blind food critic

As a food critic who happens to be totally blind, I resent the comments made about all food critics in general.  Sure, once in a (long) while you might find one that sounds elitist, but mostly we are hard working people who eat a lot for the benefit of the public. For my reviews, please check out:


I really enjoy food writing. My background in food is minimal with my first jobs being in restaurants. I was a dinner cook for two years at a place that let me make my own special every night and had a nice collection of cookbooks. I have no food education except practical experience and what I have seen on tv so I enjoy knowledgeable food reviews. I also like the catty entertaining type of reviews you will see about a place that is so bad you had to tell us how bad it was.With all reviews there is the information value and the entertainment value. I enjoy reviews and will sometimes read reviews for lots of things I don't really plan on buying or going to see just because I like reading criticism. I don't eat meat but I read the gory reviews that seemed really popular for a while. I can't decide what I think about that since it can seem like a stunt, but if you're a food writer and someone is serving something bizarre I guess it's your job to report on it.Anyway, if the food writers are feeling unwanted you shouldn't be. It's one of my favorite sections of the site. 

DineWise Reviews
DineWise Reviews

I don't mind to what food critics say about a place. Usually they are wrong.

Mareo Lopez
Mareo Lopez

hmmm, i do agree with that point about every once in a while people do like to waste money by spending 150+ on fish and need to know that it will at least taste good, but I'm sure we can all live without food critics. I'm biased though because I'm a writer that does actual reporting and I wish I could just eat all day and get paid... ah, some just have it better... que sera sera