For casual observers of the exploding “Foodie” scene hereabouts, it’s positively delicious — a fuss between a chef and a food critic. But Scott Crawford, a much-praised chef and owner of Crawford & Son restaurant in Raleigh, has been around long enough to rise above (think yeast roll) what looks like a rather petty and vindictive step on his part against Indy Week food critic Emma Laperruque. Crawford declined to serve Laperruque on a recent visit.
Apparently, he’s still unhappy about Laperruque’s coverage of his previous restaurant, Standard Foods. But the critic is a skilled writer and approaches her work professionally. And given the Triangle’s emergence as a fashionable “Foodie” place, Crawford and other chefs should expect that the attention they enjoy — most of it extremely favorable — is going to draw critics who sometimes are, well, critical.
Said long-time restaurant owner Scott Howell (Nana’s and others of Durham): “I think he should have paid attention to that table, gave them the best meal they’ve ever gotten, let them pay and leave.”
Exactly. A critic’s review can be valuable to owners as well as customers. Crawford’s understandably proud of his work, but he’s not just a cook. He’s in the hospitality business. Banning customers, especially critics, isn’t good for it.