Chefs have a reputation for blunt honesty (think Gordon Ramsay and a host of other outspoken culinary celebs). So why should we believe it’s any different on the Main Line?
We shouldn’t—because it’s not.
For this month’s “Where to Eat Now” cover story, we gave the area’s top chefs and a few food-savvy restaurateurs an anonymous sounding board for all that thrills and irks them about the local dining scene. Much of what they had to say was positive and perhaps a little too polite. The rest falls under the heading of “constructive criticism,” minus a few glaring exceptions:
“[Patrons] are incredibly pompous, self-important and entitled,” one chef told Food & Drink editor Beth Ceccarelli. “They want to treat you badly and think it’s your mission in life to bend over backward.”
Hmm. It doesn’t sound like anyone we know.
“Some chefs refused to say anything negative about the competition, and others could’ve gone on for days,” says Ceccarelli. “For better or worse, it just goes to show how passionate they are about what they do.”
Ceccarelli describes the chefs she profiled as “products of their experiences as cooks, whether it was going into kitchens as a child that sparked their interest in food, or traveling around the world volunteering to work in famous kitchens just to gain experience. The common thread is passion. All have such a love of food that they want to share with us. That’s evident in hearing their stories and some of the hardships they had to go through to get to where they are today.”
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On a lighter note, Ceccarelli asked her interview subjects to talk about the things that keep them going on a typical day. Here are a few of the more interesting ones:
“A tall Jack and Coke, chased with a Guinness.”
“I’m trying to train for a short triathlon, so that gives me enough energy—but coffee definitely helps.”
“Black coffee. I probably drink 15 cups during the day.”
“Wawa diet iced tea.”
“Cheerios and a banana in the morning.”
“Pizza, water and bread.”