I Will Not Eat At Your Celebrity Restaurant

I Will Not Eat At Your Celebrity Restaurant

There is something so ridiculously off putting about being put on a 6 month waiting list to eat a steak and a side of veg or waiting in line for 3 whole hours for a sandwich because (insert celebrity chef's name) has his or her restaurant so hyped by social media or their hit tv shows.

I don't need "the experience," I need food because my blood sugar is getting dangerously low. I don't need to tan waiting in a line outside in the hot sun crisping me up like the bacon they are going to conveniently run out of before I even get to my table. And yet, people do this. They love this. "(Insert celebrity name's) restaurant is hot sh*t" the weekend paper reads emphatically, "and you better get a table now, or else." Or else what...exactly? Or else... I can just walk next door to a place with no line and get seated right away or better yet, walk 10 steps to my fridge and stove and make the same exact omelette that I've seen said chef make on TV. Just because someone has name recognition doesn't actually mean their food is better than every other chef on the planet or the line cook down the street or something you can make yourself.

I Will Not Eat At Your Celebrity Restaurant

What am I both paying and waiting for? It's not as if (insert celebrity name) is in the kitchen right now cooking his or her $100 gold leaf organic burger for me personally. No, that chef is somewhere chilling on a beach that you and all the other hopeless peasants helped pay for, thinking you're going to get a glimpse or a taste of what that chef is about. I mean, let's think about it. That chef potentially came up with some recipes and trained a staff of other chef's to make them. I'm not eating celebrity chef's scallop sashimi with meyer lemon confit, I'm eating chef Larry from Brooklyn's, scallop sashimi with meyer lemon confit, except he will never get the credit for making the best dish you ever had, because when you're done eating it, you will praise celebrity chef who had nothing to do with what you ate other than the idea, but you can't eat ideas. They have to be made...by Larry.

Even worse is what tends to happen with some of these places. Once they get a strong following, the portions get smaller, the quality becomes more questionable, and the prices go up because you think you're paying for something downright magical like that ridiculous "experience" we talked about earlier. Nah. Even if I can afford it, I don't want to.

I Will Not Eat At Your Celebrity Restaurant

I want grandma down the street who's cooking because she feels an ache in her bones when she isn't surrounded by her 30 year old hand me down pans she's made the same dishes in for years. I want that line cook who can't afford culinary school, but everyone knows he's the sh*t. I want that female head chef that doesn't need a television show to prove to anyone what she's been taught and has implemented in the kitchen her whole life. I want some Mom and Pop named Earl and May who greet you warmly and remember to ask you how you did on that job interview. I want a place where there is no need for 2 month reservation and everyone can find a seat at the table no matter who you are, or where you're from. I want the "experience" of eating regular food with regular names I can pronounce, made by regular people.


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Most Helpful Girl

  • Omg yes!!

    I've never been to a celebrity restaurant partly for he reasons you gave but also...

    I want food.

    I don't want a decorative swirl of carved meat with a drop of sauce that can be inhaled. I want a meal. 1 meal. Not 7 courses (aka 7 bites).

    I will always go to the little man down the street rather than the pro.

    For me and my partner a meal out is a treat (especially without my dad although we generally invite him along). I cook all the time and I cook food we like, not food that can be shaped into smiley faces. I've never been bothered by "presentation" unless it's a special occasion.

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    • HAAAAAAA! "decorative swirl of carved meat!" Some people get so upset over how you "should" appreciate this, but why is that exactly? There are plenty of OTHER chefs and line cooks, and people down the block who are also equally good or better, who cook a meal that I don't need to activate in order to eat, lol, or that I don't need to wait 6 months to taste.

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    • Studies have shown that trimming the lettuce increases the flavor of the sandwich by 30% said no one ever.

    • Studies have also shown people who ask for trimmed lettuce on their sandwich carries a 100% death toll rate...

      Thanks for mh!!

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What Guys Said 15

  • Eh. So you're not into food and that's fine, but I don't think you give nearly enough credit to the accomplishments of those individuals. This isn't like people who eat at Brad Pitt's restaurant or buy Marilyn Manson's absinthe. The individuals you show above are celebrities BECAUSE they made great food so I have to roll my eyes when you sit here and criticize people for the success that they've actually earned.

    Maybe if you had a 15-course tasting menu at Per Se, you'd leave unimpressed, but there are a lot of people who are enthusiastic about experiencing new flavors and textures. For those people, there's an excitement that comes with having a bite of something that was delicious, yet you can't quite figure out what it was. All you know it was kind of warm, a little sweet, a little salty, kind of acidic, and a little spicy. You knew that the thin slice of meat on top was salmon, but you can't quite identify what was underneath until the waiter tells you that it was a custard made out of pea shoots. Clearly, you romanticize diners and soul food, but there's plenty of room in this world for haute cuisine as well.

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    • Let's go back to the title: "I" <----will not eat at your celebrity restaurant. You and everyone else are more than welcome to do so. You may enjoy the long wait, and eating green foam, and paying hundreds of dollars, and being put on a long waiting list. You're welcome to it, but odds are the chef you so adore is not personally there cooking for you. You're eating someone elses interpretation of his or her food which isn't the same thing as eating from the master him or herself. How can I or even you, then give them such credit if they didn't cook the food, if I'm not eating their talents myself? It's like buying a "Picasso" painted by Joe down the street. The idea is the same, it may look the same, but it's not a Picasso (and also because he's long dead, natch). You also cannot definitively say that that any "no name" restaurant does not have better food than that celebrity restaurant. As I said, (celebrity chef) is not the only one on the planet that makes good food.

    • You see, that's just ignorance. It's like saying that most of the credit for creating your iPhone should go to the assembly line worker in China rather than the Apple engineer who designed it. The line cooks who assembled the dish definitely have cooking skills, but it's highly unlikely that they have the creativity it took the conceive the dish in the first place. If they did, then they'd probably be an executive chef at some restaurant rather than a line cook.

      The big issue is that you're getting way, way too caught up in this whole celebrity thing. People didn't flock to The French Laundry because Thomas Keller was famous, but rather Thomas Keller became famous because people thought the The French Laundry was amazing. No one said that only famous chefs make good food -- I've never heard anyone imply this except you. I think that good (and bad) food can be found at all sorts of places, but the difference is that I see the value in haute cuisine. Like I said, there's room for both.

    • Your last sentence sums it up. You're getting caught up in my own personal opinion because it doesn't reflect your own. I've said to you, you are welcome to enjoy whatever you like to enjoy. I<---don't "need" to go to a celebrity chef's restaurant, because even you have stated, you CAN find good food elsewhere. You cannot taste the food for me, or enjoy an experience for me anymore than I can for you. You like what you like, and if that happens to be a celebrity chef's place, than so be it. I am not arguing with you as to what you<----are welcome to enjoy in your life.

  • Actually, there is some evidence that supports taste/satisfaction being a result of paying more for their food.

    Here is the abstract from a 2014 experiment by Just, Sigirici, and Wansink.

    "A field experiment was conducted to assess how diners’ taste evaluations change based on how much they paid for an all-you-can-eat (AYCE) buffet. Diners at an AYCE restaurant were either charged $4 or $8 for an Italian lunch buffet. Their taste evaluation of each piece of pizza consumed was taken along with other mea- sures of behavior and self-perceptions. Their ratings were analyzed using 2 × 3 mixed design analysis of variance (ANOVA). Diners who paid $4 for their buffet rated their initial piece of pizza as less tasty, less satisfactory and less enjoyable. A downward trend was exhibited for each of these measures with each additional piece (P = 0.02). Those who paid $8 did not experience the same decrement in taste, satisfaction and enjoyment. Paying less for an AYCE experience may face the unintended consequence of food that is both less enjoyable and rapidly declining in taste and enjoyability. In a sense, AYCE customers get what they pay for."

    The TL;DR; of that-- people who paid more for a buffet experienced more satisfaction than people who paid less for the same food.

    There were another couple experiments in the past that have tested wines and found a large part of wine flavor came from price or prestige.

    So yes, although the "experience" of fancy meals may not be for you (or even me for that matter), but there is a reason people go for them. If not the prestige of the chef making their food seemingly taste better, it could very well be the price leading to people under the illusion of decadent flavors. Granted, the food is probably good-- otherwise it'd lead to buyer's remorse, but the mind tries to avoid cognitive dissonance. We *want* the food to taste good if we paid a lot for it. We can basically trick ourselves at that point. That's something Joe Smoe with his excellent Chicken Fried Steak combo deal can't do.

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    • I wish I could remember the show this was on, but they had a whole experiment which tested this where they served the same set of diners frozen crap food one day at a lower price with low budget decor, but the next day, same crap food, but better decor and at higher prices. Diners reported that the "fancier place with fancier food at the higher price" was in some cases in the surveys, 10x better than the lower budget seeming place. And this was frozen food! There is no denying that there are some fantastic chef's out in the world, but some of it IS just perception as opposed to just spectacular food. Truth is, if I go to some place which requires men to wear a jacket and the women to be well dressed for dinner, I simply expect the food to be better. Wether it is or not, depends on reality and my willingness to believe that the food is good b/c it's good, good b/c I paid so much for it, or good because I put effort into coming to such a place, or simply bad or mediocre at best.

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    • As I told someone else, I cannot have the dining experience for you or you for me. If you think McDonald's is the most amazing food on earth, who am I to argue with what you taste and you feel. The same goes for fancy chef restaurant. It may literally be the greatest thing on earth for that person. Great chefs can be found in a multitude of places, and just b/c someone has a tv show doesn't mean you will have the most amazing eating experience ever or perhaps, it's true, and you will. I've had all types of dining experiences; I think most people have, and you are the only one who can know what they like and what is good for you. I don't have the right to tell you or anyone else what is good for you in the dining world so by all means enjoy it all, don't enjoy it, try whatever---it's up to you.

    • I think I was trying to say something around like that, but you phrased it much better/more adequately than I was doing haha.. But yeah, I agree in full with what you said.

  • I've met people like this - people who, if they could, would just take a pill that provides all their nutrition. They have no love of food and can't tell the difference between good food and bad food and great food.

    Trump is one. Anyone who orders steak well done is another. Or smothers ketchup on their food is another.

    Nothing wrong with it, but you people will never understand what it's like to have the sense of taste that really makes great food worth the wait. To you, a McDonalds beef patty is the same as a burger cooked at home and its the same as the shin bone of an Iberian pig. It's just meat. Put some ketchup on it and I'll eat it.

    You've never bitten into a slab of something and said "holy shit what IS that?" and have to ask the staff what that cut of meat was and where it came from, because you've never tasted anything like it before.

    You're like a person who can't read wondering why other people look at those squiggles on a piece of paper. You don't understand what can be so important.

    Well, food is like that to some people. We will wait 3 months to taste how that chef does something amazing, because we can appreciate it.

    You? You're like a dog that's been shown a card trick. You don't get it. You never will. That doesn't mean you can criticise those who do get it.

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    • You missed a big point of the MyTake. She didn't say she'd rather go to McDonalds than to Emeril's, she said she'd rather spend time in a restaurant where the local chef is amazing then standing in line outside a celebrity chef's place. I agree. I frequent a BBQ place which is run by a husband and wife team that has won national competitions time and again, and there's an Italian place we like where we frequently see visitors from Italy - and they say the food is really like being home.

      Our office took some clients to a restaurant owned by Ming Tsai. The food was good but I can't say it was better enough than a closer Chinese place to warrant $50 per person for dinner. Most things had lots of extra flavors, the portions were not generous for the money and they used far too much garlic for my taste. The Blue Ginger gets 4 stars on Yelp. Many reviews echo my opinion. Was it bad? No. Would it be worth standing in line for hours for roasted chicken with preserved lemon? Not really, no.

  • I agree for some restaurants (like Jamie Oliver's places) it's a complete waste. But others like the fat duck by Heston are truly magical.

    I've often found the best actual food comes from places that are just a tier below these - still high end but don't have to trade on the name.

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  • Theo only celebrity chef who I'd ever eat food from would be Chef Gordon Ramsey.

    Anybody else and I'd rather just grill my own steak on the charcoal grill or cook in my smoker then wait 3 hours in a crowded restaurant, must be out of your damn mind.

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  • Yeah, I don't see what's so big about it either. Even if you are the most talented chef in the world, food is food. You might as well open up another location if you're looking to make money. Otherwise, you'll turn more people away and then you won't have enough customers. I'm not saying I'm the greatest chef in the world, but I know how to cook food and I'd rather save my own money so that I can take a vacation that I'll enjoy.

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  • I wouldn't do that either, but simply because I do not want to pay more money than needed for ANYTHING at all, being a restaurant, a car, a vacation or whatever else.
    That being said, the same dish can be completely different if cooked with the same ingredient by two different persons.

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  • I've been to Wolfgang Puck's restaurant in Orlando which is closing down and the food wasn't good at all.

    I've also been to Emeril Lagasse's restaurant in New Orleans which was awesome! Very expensive but I saved up for a while to come here, I had an appetizer, main course and dessert and the food was all perfection.

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  • For real. My mom is all about these. She told me about it and I just told her "I'll pass when I go to San Diego (we were going to drive to see my brother in LA." Even if I had the money, I wouldn't just for the "name" of it all

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  • I don't do restaurants anymore (not even McDonald's). Quit several years ago when I went on a diet and never bothered reacquiring a bad habit. My microwave and Chef Boyardee is good enough.

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  • That is so ridiculous I never heard of something like that in my life. I eat at Don Shulas Steak house in Miami but it's nothing like you talked about

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  • I just wanna know why Buddy Valastro is mentioned... like srsly?

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  • This is the most pointless thing I have read all day.

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  • Those self-entitled foodies would do anything just to put that dish on Instagram.

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  • Fuck celebrities

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What Girls Said 9

  • Some of these places, like Mario Batalis, are sketchy af, super over priced... it's much better to just go someplace else-good quality food is everywhere.

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  • Here's a secret from someone who comes from a family line of chefs and cooks and who works in the Food & Beverage industry -- celebrity restaurants, Five-Star Michelin restaurants, high end restaurants all suck lol

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  • I agree.. unless the people that are waiting in line have had it before and its that amazing then i guess i see why they wait. I'm a patient person, but not that patient.. even if its a food i really enjoy. I'll come back when the hype goes down

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  • I went to New Orleans once and dined at Commander's Palace and two days later ate at a little mom and pop style restaurant in Arabi. Hands down the best food was the little hole in the wall place.

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  • celebrity chef or not, I don't wait in line to eat... and I am a foodie

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  • Well said. Celebrities are nothing but a bunch of phonies

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  • Same can be said about clothing made by famous fashion designers

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  • I'm not a foodie at all so agreeed

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  • Just another way for famous cunts to make bank.

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