'restaurant reviewing' on Serious Eats

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

Critic-Turned-Cook Reflects on Past Reviews

Critic Turned Cook follows former Seattle Post-Intelligencer food critic Leslie Kelly on her journey away from the keyboard and into the kitchen. Take it away, Leslie! ©iStockphoto.com/joanek At a recent family cookout, my Uncle Hugh asked how work in the kitchen was going. "It's hard—exhausting, really," I said. "I have a new understanding for what goes in to feeding a bunch of demanding diners." "Well, maybe you owe some of those restaurants you reviewed an apology," he teased. Uncle Hugh loved yanking my chain, but weeks later, I was still thinking about what he said. From the other side of the counter, I can certainly see how a critic would drive a cook crazy. Myself, I wasn't the kind of... More

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