Monday, January 10, 2011

Bazaar Chef Jose Andres On The L.A. Times Critic Unmasking

Chef José Andrés, who's behind The Bazaar by José Andrés restaurant here in L.A. (and eateries throughout the country), stopped by the TV Critics Association press tour on Saturday to promote his returning PBS series, "Made in Spain."

Andrés was asked about the recent outing of L.A. Times food critic S. Irene Virbila by the owners of the new Beverly Hills restaurant Red Medicine.

The owners kept Virbila, who had an anonymous reservation, waiting for a table.. and then eventually kicked her out -- but not before snapping a shot of her, which the restaurant then posted online.

I know. Classy.

The general consensus has been negative toward Red Medicine, whose reasons behind outing Virbila were dubious and whiny. Regardless of how one feels about food critics or Virbila, it smacked of paranoia and was extremely unprofessional. I for one would not want to eat at a restaurant run by a bunch of big-time jerks.

Andrés appears to agree. He said he believed the Red Medicine guys likely now regret their actions (although it sure doesn't seem that way, if you read their Facebook page).

"That's no way to treat another human being, even a critic," Andrés told the room of, yes, TV critics, earning a big laugh.

The chef was later asked about new food trends; Andrés answered by describing how the power of preparing food can be used to help people in places like Haiti. Andrés is clearly a chef with class -- and someone who's using his position to do some good in the world (and not the kind of petty restaurant owner looking to just settle a ridiculous score with a newspaper food critic).

As for "Made in Spain," show continues to focus on Spanish cooking, as well as tours of the country's various regions and cooking traditions.

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