Why does service sometimes feel magical and, on other occasions, seem positively animatronic? At what point does mechanical precision serve to sap the expression of genuine emotion? And how do bastions of hospitality ensure that their employees can truly connect with guests and make them feel unique?
At what point does fine dining begin to lose its luster? When do totemic luxury ingredients begin to taste the same? And why—up until a certain point—do tasting menus pale in comparison to fast food?
Thoughts on the Chicago dining scene’s latest mocktroversy.
Thoughts on the future of restaurant criticism and its intersection with video game criticism.
From the archives: An Exploration of Ethnic Identity and the Persistence of “Prairie” Cuisine
While OAD’s survey-based rankings offer a valuable counterpoint to fine dining’s entrenched powers, the organization’s legitimization of social media self-aggrandizement represents the very peak of competitive conspicuous consumption. Chefs who cater to this globetrotting cabal do so to the detriment of their own communities, impeding the development of an inclusive, distinctive regional taste.