Food Industry

Star Chef Charlie Trotter Rips into Food Bloggers at International Chefs Congress

The first day of's International Chefs Congress festivities in New York City proved to be illuminating for food bloggers. writes that "things got a little heated" yesterday during a main stage event dubbed "What is American cuisine?" featuring panelists and long time pals Norman Van Aken, Emeril Lagasse, and Charlie Trotter when the topic veered to food writers and reviewers. 

Rather than focus on the impact of new media on American cuisine (e.g. the sharing of recipes, techniques, etc., by chefs online) or take a pass on responding, Trotter took a personal approach exclaiming, "Who in the hell has the time to go online or have your own pathetic blog? Do you have a job? What do you do for a living?"

This questionably-employed blogger is flattered that such a renowned talent, known for his control and precision in the kitchen, would take time out of the 45-minute proceedings to so passionately acknowledge the food blogging community.  Perhaps clever Trotter was offering us a taste of our own medicine?  It's only appropriate, considering the mud-slinging and snark-peddling rampant online these days.  We only wish the bitter pill had been a constructive critique of content, rather than the questioning of our very existence.   So we humbly offer some answers:

"Who in the hell has the time to go online or have your own pathetic blog?"
Tech-savvy creative types with a love of food and writing.

"Do you have a job? What do you do for a living?"
Some of us are unemployed, onto bigger and better things.  Others have jobs, like being paid to blog.  Many of us make a living in law, sales and marketing, and even in the kitchen, as professional chefs.  Your friend Norman Van Aken may know a thing or two about blogging, and like many of us, is prone to intermissions of reflection and responsibilities away from the computer. Maybe you should ask him?

According to, the discussion was for the most part instructive and productive. Van Aken shared his vision of American cuisine as "a patchwork quilt rather than a melting pot," underscoring that each culture holds a distinct identity. Asked whether farmers could be the next food stars, Lagasse responded that "listening to the farmers, fishermen, and the food makers [is] what it's all about." .
The International Chefs Congress is limited to the trade and runs through Tuesday in the Big Apple, but you can follow Star Chefs' Twitter for what the Spotted Pig's April Bloomfield and José Andrés of ThinkFoodGroup are presenting and eating.  We are inspired by the depth and range of topics covered in the full schedule and list of presenters here

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Jackie Sayet