Disgruntled German critic and a commendable food challenge

Posted on June 23, 2005 by Aun

This is a quick post… was surfing (as one does) through the food-blogosphere and found two items of particular interest. The first is a series of articles (well, only 2 so far) written by (supposedly) one of Germany’s top food writers, Wolfram Siebeck, who, in response to the list of the world’s 50 best restaurants that so recently came out–and that has been heavily blogged about–was able to convince (ahem… “con” would be a better word) his editors to let him eat his way through the list, commenting on each one.

While initially excited by the features, after a quick reading of the first two stories, on The Fat Duck and St John plus others, I get the sense that Mr Siebeck is not so interested in writing fair reviews of these restaurants as he is in bashing them. Maybe his German readers enjoy such reviews, but I found them kind of juvenile. One theory that I have is that maybe Mr Siebeck is simply pissed off that only 1 German restaurant appeared on the list and this is his way of defending his nation’s pride. Hey, the only restaurant in Asia to appear on the list was Felix. Now, Felix is hardly the “best in Asia”, not even in my top 10, but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna start saying bad things about Heston Blumenthal.

Finally, what really got my goat was that Mr Siebeck kept saying that the list was put together by “The Guardian”. Now, while The Guardian reported on the list, every food-blogger and foodie knows that the list was put together by Restaurant magazine. Such an obvious error (especially to an ex-magazine fact checker like myself) is simply inexcusable and raises questions of motive.

On a more enlightening note, I enjoyed reading an article in the San Francisco Chronicle about a challenge that some San Franciscans are taking up in August, as their way of celebrating Wold Environment Day. Called “Celebrate Your Foodshed: Eat Locally”, the challenge calls for them to eat only foods grown or harvested in a 100 mile radius of SF. (For more info, click here.) I don’t know if I could do that. So much of the food we get here in Singapore is imported. But, my hat’s off to them. It’s a fantastic idea and a great way of rediscovering local produce.

About Aun Koh

Aun has always loved food and travel, passions passed down to him from his parents. This foundation, plus a background in media, pushed him to start Chubby Hubby in 2005. He loves that this site allows him to write about the things he adores--food, style, travel, his wife and his bouncing baby boy!

What Others Are Saying

  1. melissa June 23, 2005 at 6:21 pm

    Thanks for pointing this article out. Reading his criticism gave me the distinct impression that he had made his mind up about the food before even setting foot in the restaurant, don’t you think? He somehow seems deeply threatened by molecular gastronomy. Perhaps he’s afraid of seeing German haute cuisine ‘corrupted’ in the same way, but after living several years in Germany myself I don’t think that would be the worst thing in the world…

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