Excuse Me, But Craft Didn’t Start the Fire

Dad really wasn't made of money.ABC Gallery

Dear Grub Street,

I read what you wrote about Crafts ingredient-centric influence the other day, and I think youre way off. Didnt you ever hear of Chez Panisse, Alice Waterss hugely influential Berkeley restaurant? Is it gauche for American cuisine to have a history longer than fifteen minutes? Or is this a New York thing? Im seriously asking, as a former Bay Area resident who feels that some of the food values of that region arent fully appreciated here or, if they are, they get fetishized as new discoveries.


Dear Jane,
New York would take credit for inventing the wheel if it could. But, with all due respect to Alices restaurant, Chez Panisse cant be said to be exerting direct influence on the restaurants that have opened here in the last four years particularly the ones staffed by Craft or Gramercy Tavern alumni. And lets not forget that the cooking at Chez Panisse, while undoubtedly the source of the fresh-food aesthetic, is French, and not programmatically sparse in the same way as Craft. Someday well admit that French cuisine got its start in Europe

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