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Precious, arrogant, patronising


These were a few of the adjectives which came to mind when Adam read this article in the Herald the other day. Lauraine Jacobs, described as a world renowned food writer

 was invited to speak at an event organised by online review site Zomato. But in a leaked email she reveals her disdain for those “unqualified” to review restaurants.

So only the elite are ‘qualified’ to have an opinion or to write a review according to Ms Jacobs, if she was accurately reported.

Also in the article she is quoted as saying:

 I do not agree with commercial sites like [Zomato] that rely on unqualified and unpaid restaurant reviewers,” wrote Jacobs.

“Unqualified amateur diners who are rewarded with stars for the sheer number of reviews they post, but usually are lacking in expertise and have no knowledge of the industry, can completely destroy the trade and reputation of good restaurants.”

This is in Adam’s opinion an extremely patronising, arrogant viewpoint. Diners who pay for their meals are fully entitled to express an opinion. It is up to those who read the opinion to assess whether they will be guided by it. Adam tends to read a wide variety of reviews if they are available, but likes to form his ultimate view based on personal experience. He has visited a number of places over the years which established food writers gush over, but he has not found them to be as outstanding as claimed.  Adam’s views on a restaurant are as valid as Ms Jacobs. If Adam writes a review and posts it online that is his opinion, others are perfectly entitled to agree or disagree. Adam has found that he tends to place credence on reviews by people who has found over time tend to assess places similarly to himself, both on sites like Zomato and writers in magazines and newspapers. In a similar manner to reviews by TV and Film writers on blogs and papers and review sites.

Adam took particular offence at this quote from Ms Jacobs:-

“The average punter is entitled to an opinion, but when it comes to restaurant and food reviews, the ability to eat is not enough,” she said.

Pretentious twaddle spouted by someone who it is clear thinks customers should pay up, pay up and keep quiet as they are only qualified to pay money, but not qualified to really understand what is going on. What an arrogant set of statements by Ms Jacobs. Then of course the most insulting statement was this one:-

an unrepentant Jacobs told the Herald on Sunday online review forums gave a voice to people who may offer their thoughts on food when “in a bad mood that day” or who might be in an “alcoholic haze”.

What a patronising statement. Perhaps Ms Jacobs was in a bad mood when contacted by the Herald.

Disclosure: Adam goes to restaurants and bars on a regular basis, as a paying customer. He has been fortunate enough to eat many good meals in such places, he has also had some poor experiences as well. This post was written in the morning after a good night’s rest and he was in a good mood when he wrote it and was not in the remnants of an ‘alcoholic haze’, as was so memorably quoted by Ms Jacobs.

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