The questions are valid: Does anonymity matter when it comes to food criticism anymore? With the playing field so riddled with voices, who do you listen to, the traditional restaurant critic or the blogger? Who really is credible? Regina Schrambling's LAT article today sets out to answer those questions, but really just gives us food for thought:
(1) La.foodblogging should be happy to see an honorable mention---and links!---in the article. But although Eater LA, Eating L.A., the Delicious Life and Jonathan Gold were also given some love, the majority of subjects (Adam Roberts, Danyelle Freeman, Craig LaBan, Gael Greene), are as East leaning as the Daily Dish blogroll.
(2) The Knife issues 'new rules' for the foodbloggers and/or critics out there: "If the phrase "I can't write that" means something to you, it's time to go cold turkey. Ignore all public invitations; read Ruth Reichl's "Comfort Me With Apples" for tips on dining in disguise. If you don't see results in less than two weeks... well, you're probably a nicer person than me."
(3) It's admirable for food critics like Michael Bauer and S. Irene Virbila to say they're anonymous (and somehow keep their photos off of Google), but it would be much more admirable to admit that they aren't anonymous at all. Whether they like it or not, both are made at the majority of restaurants they walk into. Does it sway their criticism? Obviously not; both still take a restaurant to task for its foibles. But until wigs are donned, no one's really anonymous anymore. And speaking of Miss Irene, why didn't she weigh in at all on this topic? It's her paper. Her home. Is she above the question?
· Restaurant critics are blowing their own covers [LAT]
· How To Be A Food Blogger: A Modest Proposal [The Knife]