Our defense examines New York Times food critic Pete Wells' recent review of celebrity chef Guy Fieri's new Times Square restaurant, Guy's American Kitchen and Bar. We hope to explore the scope of arts criticism and the question, Is food considered art? In addition, we'd like to discuss the intersection of television celebrities and pop-dining.
Our presentation will address these major issues:
1. What is considered an art review? How does medium influence reviewer approach and reader expectations? What external factors impact reviews across media?
2. Is this review "successful?" How can we gauge success, particularly when it comes to commercial and culinary success? Is this review a justifiable pan? Is Wells' voice too critical or is this type of critique merited?
3. How does a piece full of interrogatives
alter the reader’s experience? How does it alter the diner’s experience at the restaurant after
reading the review?
4. How can we connect Pete Wells' review to Pauline Kael's reverence for the popular? How can we relate this discussion of pop to highbrow and lowbrow culture? Is this an appropriate piece for The New York Times dining section?
Our stance: By infusing his piece with interrogatives, his review mimics the disjointed nature of the menu, atmosphere, and experience. While this is an nontraditional format, nevertheless this is a successful art review.
You can read the Pete Wells' piece here.
For additional reading, check out another review here.