Acclaimed Chef Roy Choi Hits Back at NY Times’ Scathing Zero-Star Review With Absolute Class
Restaurant critic Pete Wells of the New York Times is currently on the receiving end of backlash after he gave a zero-star review (a first outside New York) on Locol, a promising health-conscious fast food chain built on a model of “giving back to communities” from chefs Daniel Patterson and Roy Choi.
“Locol’s chicken is an amalgam of chicken bits invisibly bound together,” Wells wrote. “Inside a thin sheath of fried coating, this composite of ground meat is mysteriously bland and almost unimaginably dry.”
And while he said he did enjoy the burger buns and the $2 coffee, he was not a fan of the chicken soup with rice and the chili over rice.
“One of the bowls is chili over rice with onion, cheese, and crushed saltines. The chili is the bean-and-ground-beef kind, which for some Texans is a deal breaker,” went the review. “I was more bothered by how hard it was to detect any spices other than a shadow of hot sauce. This was less like chili than like a slightly spicier version of the meat sauce my corner pizzeria pours over penne. Supermarkets sell canned chilis that are seasoned more persuasively.”
While it was Patterson and Choi’s mission to create nutritious and delicious meals, Wells expressed that the duo is “thinking about the social dimensions of fast food so much that they now see their target audience as problems to be solved, not customers to be pleased.”
He brings the point out further, stating: “The most nutritious burger on earth won’t help you if you don’t want to eat it.”
Chef Preeti Mistry of Oakland’s Juhu Beach Club took to Twitter to give his opinion on the matter:
It’s the media that choose waste space taking down 2 highly regarded chefs that are trying to do good…whilse ignoring countless others
Choi’s response, while defending the food as being not as bad as Wells writes, simply takes in the criticisms as part of the process. He also dished out some powerful lines toward the end:
“And all minorities aren’t criminals either. And all hoods aren’t filled with dangerous people either. But the pen has created a lot of destruction over the course of history and continues to. He didn’t need to go there but he did.”
Patterson, for his part, simply retweeted Choi’s Instagram post.
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