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Marco Romano

Agreed, Mistah Kurtz.

Mvillarcpa

I've done all but #3, but I have a stand mixer and I'm not willing to expend any unnecessary energy on proving I can do it by hand.

I don't think you need to do all these things to have an opinion on resaurants, etc. You have to take advice from someone trustworthy and consistent. If you're choosing your fine dining visits by the latest reviews on yelp, it's an indictment on you, not the yelp reviewers.

Eatingicecreaminthedark

Cod, thanks for reading all the way to the conclusion. I really do think some folks skipped from the opening paragraph straight to the comment field. The structure of the post was intended to be a bit provocative so I suppose I shouldn't complain.

I seem to have successfully communicated my thoughts to you in my conclusion.

I do want to point out that completing the following tasks does not make a chef. That usually takes years, and one must master a considerably longer list of tasks. Most of these tasks are more difficult, more complicated and require more finesse.

Completing these tasks will develop a baseline of knowledge, and perhaps a bit of appreciation for what foodservice workers do every day. I also think knowing a bit about cooking enhances your appreciation of a restaurant meal.

Having worked in restaurants for years I don't appreciate Yelp much.

If someone isn't comfortable making a complaint to someone face-to-face, I think it should tell them something...perhaps this complaint shouldn't be made anonymously online either.

Professional critics worth their salt will not visit a restaurant for a few months after opening, and will always visit a restaurant twice before writing a review. They have professional reputations to consider after all.

I have read Yelp reviews from people who haven't even dined at the restaurant, or are uncertain if they have the name of the restaurant correct. I have read complaints of restaurant owners who have had their restaurants mistaken for similar establishments.

I also think that dining is a bit different than other services that are reviewed on Yelp, and that commenters drew analogies to (one women in a Facebook comment thread drew an awkward parallel to catheterization). Breaking bread to me is about community, about culture, and about pleasure. I bridle when one suggests that at a restaurant they are merely a consumer, when I know from experience that many in the restaurant industry truly and deeply consider them a guest.

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