Ozersky: Now, Platt, what do you make of this business of Charlie Trotter threatening to come to New York?
Platt: Trotter’s a great chef. But if he’s going to succeed in New York, or San Francisco, of Dubuque, for that matter, he’s going to have to be around. He’s going to have to spend all his time cooking in New York. This is a fickle market, and there are many evil critics waiting in the weeds.
Ozersky: And you most evil of all. But even when these out-of-town chefs are here, often the food is strictly from hunger. Look at Tim Love’s restaurant. Or for that matter, look at the mixed reception Fabio Trabocchi got at the new Fiamma.
Platt: Texas Tim Love was just overmatched. The Trabocchi is clearly talented, but it’s not really his restaurant, and you get the feeling he’s doing everything on the fly. As for the jet-setting divas like Ramsay and Robuchon, they jet in, they jet out. Their operations are less like restaurants and more like high end, haute cuisine franchises. This is a tough town, Cutty. You’ve got to shell out the big money for rent, then you have big lumbering dimwits like you and me trolling through.
Ozersky: I know, that can’t be fun. Even our homegrown chefs dread our appearance. But I think it’s harder for the out-of-town ones, because their creations overawe their hometown brethren and then fall flat here.
Platt: Let me say this for the grand out-of-towners. There’s too much a sense that the chefs have to come here, that it’s their duty to play in New York. In the end, for most of them, it’s a trap.
Ozersky: So what should they do? Not come?
Platt: If I were them, and I had a successful restaurant elsewhere, I would not come. Times have changed. I’m pained to admit it, but in this egalitarian, greenmarket-oriented restaurant economy, you don’t have to have New York on your résumé to be a star.
Ozersky: The hell you don’t! I don’t care how many “best of the Great Lakes” awards you get. If you haven’t brought it here, you’re playing AA ball.
Platt: You’re too myopic, my ursine friend! Great Lakes?!?! They’d get butchered here anyways. But there are plenty of successful chefs in places like San Francisco, Portland, and Los Angeles who don’t come to NYC. I don’t see Mr. Puck setting up shop in Times Square!
Ozersky: Give him time! But maybe you’re right, Platty. I am perhaps somewhat chauvinistic in my attitudes.
Platt: But you’re not wrong! The poor saps keep coming! Look at that poor Japanese gentleman and Wakiya. He’s trying to cook Japanese-Chinese food for a bunch of confused hip-hop fashion victims. The results have been grimly predicable.
Ozersky: Okay, now I feel better.
Most Viewed Stories
25 Amazing Edible (and Drinkable) Gift Ideas
The Official Grub Street Review of Walmart’s Patti LaBelle Sweet Potato Pie
Consumers Are Finally Tiring of Keurig
At Long Last, Wagamama Will Make Its New York Debut
Whole Foods Again Accused of Selling Meat That’s Not As Humane As Claimed
Latest News from Grub StreetWe’re Heading Out to Truss a Turkey
Enjoy the long weekend, and remember to wear pants with an elastic waistband.Whole Foods Again Accused of Selling Meat That’s Not As Humane As Claimed
Animal-rights activists say the company and its supplier are deceiving customers.Details Announced for Alinea’s Residency in Miami
Grant Achatz will cook there from February 17 to March 13.Consumers Are Finally Tiring of Keurig
K-Cup sales are in decline, and its Kold soda machine looks DOA.The Official Grub Street Review of Walmart’s Patti LaBelle Sweet Potato Pie
There's some nutmeg blowback, but it can compete with any fancy shop's version.Costco’s Chicken Salad Is Giving People E. Coli, Too
Nineteen people have gotten sick so far.Parents Say YouTube Is Force-Feeding Kids Junk-Food Ads
There are calls for the FTC to investigate Google and the ad-makers.The Procrastinator’s Guide to Last-Minute Thanksgiving Reservations
There are still tables at the Polo Bar, Little Park, Vaucluse, and more.Starbucks Is Now the Greenest Company in the World
One benefit of having locations across the street from each other.Taco Bell’s Delivery Service May Be Looking at a $1 Billion IPO
It would make DoorDash worth about half what GrubHub Seamless is.
Police busted a cluster of spots on the Upper West Side.Nestlé Addresses Brutal Slavery in Its Seafood Supply Chain
The food giant has outlined how it plans to protect workers.At Long Last, Wagamama Will Make Its New York Debut
The British noodle chain will arrive in the summer or fall of 2016.It Turns Out ‘Objective’ Health Researchers Sent Coca-Cola Incriminating Emails
"I want to help your company avoid the image of being a problem in peoples' lives."24 Cool Kitchen Tools to Give Your Favorite Home Chef
"The Ferrari of immersion blenders," very specific beer glasses, and an optimized espresso machine.Whole Foods CEO Promises 365 Stores Will Have ‘Techno Buzz’
But there won't be a card check for old people or anything.Domino’s Decides the World Needs Yet Another Push-for-Pizza Button
It's basically Amazon Dash but in a cutesy pizza box.Crab Season Delayed Along Entire West Coast Because of Deadly Toxin
Health officials still have no end date.Good News: Cooking Meat on Low Heat May Reduce Cancer Risk
Baking and slow-cooking to the rescue.McDonald’s Instates Plan to Improve Drive-Through Inaccuracies
Unfortunately, it's going to make wait times even longer.