"How did the diner get demoted from honored guest whose wish was the waiter’s command to quivering hostage in thrall to the chef’s iron whim?"  This is a question that food critic Corby Kummer poses to readers in a recent articlefor Vanity Fair.

Kummer dropped by Studio Three to talk with Callie Crossley about the tyranny of the celebrity chef and the all or nothing approach that many of them have to showcasing their masterwork.

The days of the four,  five,  and six  course prix fixe menu is over--instead 12, 18, and 22 course menus are the norm.  The chefs may not make big money by offering these multi-courses but by controlling what they serve they do save on cost.

If this seems like a "high-class" problem  as Callie Crossley calls it, it's not. That's because this could be coming soon to a restaurant near you.  As Kummer so colorfully explains, "As more and more restaurants adopt this model, tasting-only menus will empower formerly well-meaning, eager-to-please cooks and servers to become petty despots, and more and more diners will discover that absolute power irritates absolutely."


Corby Kummer, Senior Editor at The Atlantic; food critic for Boston Magazine