Commentary by Lynne Christopher :
Me thinks the editor does protest too much. The issue with SD Magazine has nothing to do with fact checking. It doesn’t matter. The issue is all about the perception by the people who read the magazine. No major publication, in any major food city around the country, would get away with what SD Magazine did. The connection between the writer of the story, Ron Donoho, and his Hotel Del publicist wife, is widely known around town. And don’t the magazine editors ever meet to go over covers, reviews, etc. before publication?
This is just another example of why San Diego will never be a food city; the good old boys simply won’t let go. We need honest food critics who are able to write the truth without worrying about advertising dollars to the magazine. We need restaurant writers who don’t own or have investments in major restaurants in town. Terryl Gavre rings a bell. We need restaurant critics who pay for their own meals when they review and don’t accept or count on free meals. If we ever get there, maybe the city will improve.
And as for the fancy food show coming in 2008: Restaurants in town whose reputation is based on local reviewers, better take a long, hard look at what you are doing. Why? Because the people who come to this show are very knowledgeable and sophisticated diners who are not afraid to tell restaurants exactly how they feel whether it’s good, bad or ugly.