'etiquette' on Serious Eats

'Cake Bible' Author Rose Levy Beranbaum Charged $25 'Forkage' Fee at The Breslin

Noted baking author Rose Levy Beranbaum was recently charged a $25 "forkage" fee for couple slices of cake she brought into a New York City restaurant. While it was "outside food," Beranbaum had brought the cake from a cake-related video shoot she had just done and wanted to share it with her pastry chef friends. (Heck, she even offered the pastry chef and the server a piece.) While it's common for restaurants to charge a "cake fee" to customers bringing their own dessert, here it seems a little steep. We want to know what you would do. More

Critic-Turned-Cook Mulls Question: Worst Meal Ever?

[Photograph: Robyn Lee] A few days after showing up for the Master Chef casting call, I got together at Palace Kitchen with fellow reality show hopefuls to compare notes. We mostly knew each other by our Twitter handles. "Aren't you Seattle Food Geek? (Also known as Scott Heimendinger.) And Salty Seattle (Linda Miller Nicholson), MarcSeattle as well as... hey, isn't that Serious Eats contributor Michael Natkin?" In between bites of sublime bites of Spam—yes, housemade Berkshire pork Spam, served on creamy grits, a poached egg on top—the pleasant conversation focused on, what else, food. One question stopped me cold. Marc Schermerhorn asked me, "What's the worst meal you've ever eaten?" As a former critic, I'm used to being asked... More

Critic-Turned-Cook Finds Critical Eating Habit Hard to Break

[Photograph: Robyn Lee] Since my dining budget has gone from $30,000-plus a year to zero, I don't go out often. That's why it really grinds my corn when meals go terribly wrong. As much fun as I'm having in the kitchen at Alpha Sigma Phi at the University of Washington, I occasionally wish I still had my print platform to write about restaurants that are like that emperor who had no clothes. I may not be a restaurant critic anymore, but that doesn't mean I stopped being a critical eater. The time spent in the kitchen on my quest to try and become a cook have given me new insight about the millions of little details that go into turning... More

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