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MichaelBolen

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Eater Louisville slams local food writers

by MichaelBolen » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:37 pm

There is a new kid on the block. Well sort of. I have followed the Eater publication out of NY for a few years. They now have a writer based out of "DC and Louisville." He posts a lot of good write ups, but lot of it seems to poke fun at Louisville. A recent article lambasted all the local food critics.


I personally think it raises the bar in the city. Currently, Eater only writes on what I consider to be the top 20 food towns. Louisville is one of the smaller ones besides Charleston. Thoughts?

http://louisville.eater.com/archives/20 ... post-3.php
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Ken B

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Re: Eater Louisville slams local food writers

by Ken B » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:08 am

I've enjoyed other city's versions of Eater, but like any piece of food journalism, print or online, I don't always agree with it. In this case, there seems to be a concerted attempt to be a bit strident, even provocative, more so than I've seen in the past. Guess it's just this writer's "voice", not necessarily my style. Not that I don't have my own strident opinions - in fact, I have lots of trash to talk, I just know the better of it, especially since I participate in the food and wine community in this town professionally to some extent. That said, I like a lot of what he's getting at, I like the heatmap, I like another voice and level of coverage.
Last edited by Ken B on Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Eater Louisville slams local food writers

by MichaelBolen » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:11 am

Ken B wrote:I've enjoyed other cities versions of Eater, but like any piece of food journalism, print or online, I don't always agree with it. In this case, there seems to be a concerted attempt to be a bit strident, even provocative, more so than I've seen in the past. Guess it's just this writer's "voice", not necessarily my style. Not that I don't have my own strident opinions - in fact, I have lots of trash to talk, I just know the better of it, especially since I participate in the food and wine community in this town professionally to some extent. That said, I like a lot of what he's getting at, I like the heatmap, I like another voice and level of coverage.



Agreed. Think its good. He needs to post wayyyy more neighborhoods though.
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Stephen D

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Re: Eater Louisville slams local food writers

by Stephen D » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:32 am

Oh yeah, I remember this thing and dismised it, out of hand. It was kind of funny to me that a new publication would take pot shots at the elders for being 'too nice.' In Lousville- are you kidding me?

This is my counsel- You will die here, because we don't operate like New York. You're snarky-ass can come see me any day of the week. That's right- you don't live here, so that's not gonna happen.

We are kind to each other in this market.

Now, we have a place for the foodies. It's called Louisville HotBytes.

By all means, come and break down fois gras with me. Do you even know what a proper Sazerac requires?

(If you Wiki it, I will know)

Please, run your mouth again- you will only draw attention to your stupidity.
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Re: Eater Louisville slams local food writers

by Stephen D » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:49 am

Maybe there's a better way of putting this:

Living in NYC, doesn't make you an absolute authority on cuisine, cocktails or the writing thereof. Each city has it's own culture. If you want to sell ads, maybe not piss off the the locals...

Or do it your way,..
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Carla G

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Re: Eater Louisville slams local food writers

by Carla G » Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:46 am

Zach didn't appear to be a food critic as much as he was a journalism critic. How very clever Zach! Just rehash everyone else's work.
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Re: Eater Louisville slams local food writers

by Dan Thomas » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:07 am

I guess his Google search research for his article didn't include the "glowing" review/socio economic rant about Taco Punk in the Louisville Cardinal? :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Eater Louisville slams local food writers

by Robin Garr » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:46 am

Without getting into the quality debate, Eater strikes me as falling into the same "astroturf" category (fake grassroots) as Edible Louisville: A national firm that exists primarily to seek advertising dollars, putting on a separate "local" face in many communities.
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Jeremy J

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Re: Eater Louisville slams local food writers

by Jeremy J » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:55 am

I mean, yeah, it's essentially a Louisville Food article clearing house. Think of it as a much more specific Reddit focused on Louisville foodies- so they round up all they can find relevant to Louisville and add a little snark. I can see the value. Also- wake up, people. Our local food critics kind of do tend to like nearly everything or at least try to put on a positive spin. It's a reasonable point.

And how can you not love this headline:

"If it's Monday there must be 4th St. Live closings!"
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Re: Eater Louisville slams local food writers

by Richard S. » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:23 am

Carla G wrote:Zach didn't appear to be a food critic as much as he was a journalism critic. How very clever Zach! Just rehash everyone else's work.


Exactly. I didn't see anything in the article that indicated the writer had ever been to Louisville, much less visited any of the restaurants.
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Re: Eater Louisville slams local food writers

by Steve P » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:31 am

Carla G wrote:Zach didn't appear to be a food critic as much as he was a journalism critic. How very clever Zach! Just rehash everyone else's work.


In the business world when your employer sh**-cans you, in order to save face you tell all your friends you are now a "consultant"...In the literary world, when you can't find a job that pays jack-sh** you save face by calling yourself a "Blogger"...This chucklehead is nothing more than a "Blogger".
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Re: Eater Louisville slams local food writers

by Steve P » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:39 am

Jeremy J wrote:Also- wake up, people. Our local food critics kind of do tend to like nearly everything or at least try to put on a positive spin. It's a reasonable point.



Meh - I can't say I -totally- disagree with this statement but...I think Steve Coomes does an admirable job when it comes to calling it like he sees it. When it comes to Robin and Marty I've observed them both do an admirable job of what is known as "damning by faint praise"...ya just gots tah read between the lines a bit more carefully :wink:
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Re: Eater Louisville slams local food writers

by Jason G » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:45 am

Wow that article was so brave. I can't wait until we get some REAL restaurant reviews. :roll:
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Zach Everson

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Re: Eater Louisville slams local food writers

by Zach Everson » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:29 pm

Hi—

Just wanted to say how much I enjoy the discussions on this site. Do a quick search of Eater for "Louisville Hot Bytes" and you'll see just how much quality info you guys uncover.

So let me address a few of your comments:

They now have a writer based out of "DC and Louisville."


This is my counsel- You will die here, because we don't operate like New York. You're snarky-ass can come see me any day of the week. That's right- you don't live here, so that's not gonna happen.


I didn't see anything in the article that indicated the writer had ever been to Louisville, much less visited any of the restaurants.


I've lived full-time in Louisville since November 2008 after residing in the DC area for the previous eight years (a Derby Eve meal at Mayan Cafe led to me realizing what a great city Louisville is; within two years I'd relocated here). I say that I'm also based out of DC on my website because I have clients there and don't want them to think I've forsaken them (I do travel back there often).

I've never lived in New York (grew up in Boston, went to school in North Carolina, then lived in DC). I've been here, writing about the Louisville, for more than four years and haven't died yet (although my Lipitor prescription has doubled).

Right now Eater Louisville posts one to three times a day. I write all of the Louisville-area-related content on the site. The only times you'll see content generated in other cities are national news stories, sponsored posts, or links back to Eater Nationals site (like the regular updates on Top Chef). My hope is that Eater Louisville will get bumped up to four to seven posts a day. At that time, I'll likely start to use freelancers to cover the local scene. All of them will be based in Kentuckiana.

There seems to be a concerted attempt to be a bit strident, even provocative, more so than I've seen in the past. Guess it's just this writer's "voice", not necessarily my style. Not that I don't have my own strident opinions - in fact, I have lots of trash to talk, I just know the better of it.


For better or sometimes worse, that's my voice. And I end up deleting a lot of my harsher comments too. Not sure if it's a concerted attempt other than the folks at Eater were familiar with my voice when the hired me (I'd written for a travel blog they used to run and the Eater Louisville editor application process included six sample posts).

He needs to post wayyyy more neighborhoods though.


Agreed. Eater Louisville covers all of Kentuckiana. The neighborhoods listed on the sidebar are just the ones that seem to generate the most restaurant news. It wouldn't look right to have a slew of neighborhoods there that have none or just one post about them. This city has many great restaurants, but unless they do something newsworthy, it's hard to write about them (for example, 100 posts into the site, Jack Fry's just got its first mention). I'm hoping to post more maps though that'll allow me to work in some of the city's classics.

By all means, come and break down fois gras with me. Do you even know what a proper Sazerac requires?


Can't do either, but I know I enjoy them both. As Edward Lee told me when I mentioned my inability to prepare anything more complex than a sandwich, "The site is called Eater, not Chiefer" (or, Mixologister). Feel free to message me though: always happy to learn (and drink).

Zach didn't appear to be a food critic as much as he was a journalism critic. How very clever Zach! Just rehash everyone else's work.


Eater does not review restaurants. We are a food and nightlife news site. For more info on what Eater Louisville's about, feel free to check out our intro post: http://louisville.eater.com/archives/2012/11/15/and-louisville-eater-is-off.php

I guess his Google search research for his article didn't include the "glowing" review/socio economic rant about Taco Punk in the Louisville Cardinal?


I read Rae's article when it came out. I disagree with her assessment of Taco Punk (I had a two-month addiction to its fish tacos), but enjoyed her review and wrote her an email saying such. I'm still jealous of her coining NuLu a "meme." That you had to hark back to an article in a student newspaper published seven months ago to find a negative restaurant review, however, kind of gets at my point.

Eater strikes me as falling into the same "astroturf" category (fake grassroots) as Edible Louisville: A national firm that exists primarily to seek advertising dollars, putting on a separate "local" face in many communities.


I have little knowledge of Eater's business operations, but no doubt profit did register into its decision to enter this market (as it should). That being said, Robin, as you likely know, running a website about Louisville's restaurant news isn't a path to riches. Louisville's growing reputation as a great restaurant city likely had a lot to do with launching Eater Louisville as well.

Think of it as a much more specific Reddit focused on Louisville foodies- so they round up all they can find relevant to Louisville and add a little snark.


Not an inaccurate assessment, but Eater Louisville posts original work as well. We're no different than many other media outlets, only websites often are more transparent when they post news originally gleamed from other sources. Take a critical look at the evening newscast or the C-J; you'll find few articles with truly original material. Many story ideas come from press releases, Tweets, Facebook pages, blogs, or message boards like this one. When I post info excerpted from another site, I'll always give credit and a link back (when possible).

In the business world when your employer sh**-cans you, in order to save face you tell all your friends you are now a "consultant"...In the literary world, when you can't find a job that pays jack-sh** you save face by calling yourself a "Blogger"...This chucklehead is nothing more than a "Blogger".


I've been a freelance, self-employed writer, editor, and consultant since 2005. I find nothing wrong with being called a blogger (especially when it pays). If you're interested in reviewing my writing credits, however, have at it: http://www.zacheverson.com/writing/.

---

Thanks again for all the comments. I'll check back later to see if there are any new ones. If you'd like to contact me privately, feel free to send a message through this site or email me at zach@eater.com.
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Re: Eater Louisville slams local food writers

by Richard S. » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:47 pm

If nothing else, props for the cajones to respond.
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