How Restaurant Reviews ‘Crumbled’ During Pandemic and Transformed Food Critics’ Role

J. Clara Chan
·1 min read

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closures of over 110,000 eating and drinking establishments across the U.S., the losses faced by chefs, line cooks, dishwashers, servers and bartenders seemed immeasurable. Restaurant critics, unable to taste menus and tell stories, were faced with a conundrum of their own: With most businesses closed for indoor dining, or shuttered for good, what was a critic to do? The loss of indoor dining led to a period of self-reflection as traditional restaurant criticism “absolutely crumbled,” Bill Addison, the Los Angeles Times’ restaurant critic, said. But with so many businesses suffering, there emerged a balancing act between empathizing with the plight of the restaurant industry and the need to maintain skepticism as a journalist and critic. “In those first weeks of lockdown, there were a lot of people crying over the phone,” Hanna Raskin, the food editor and chief critic of The Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina, told TheWrap. “I mean, literally, tears. It was a really emotional time.” Also Read: How 'Top Chef' Will Handle Restaurant Wars in Pandemic-Altered Season Raskin said everyone was concerned about the future of the industry. “There probably was a degree of boosterism to a lot of...

Read original story How Restaurant Reviews ‘Crumbled’ During Pandemic and Transformed Food Critics’ Role At TheWrap