Young and Hungry

Jeff Black’s “Not About the Bloggers” Moment

Chef and restaurateur Jeff Black was the big winner at last night's RAMMY Awards with wins for restaurateur of the year, upscale casual restaurant (BlackSalt), and hottest bar scene (Black Jack).

But that wasn't the only reason he was the talk of the night. Black caused a bit of a stir with a slight on food bloggers in his acceptance speech: "It's great to see respect being given to people that work in the business that do the long hard hours, not the bloggers... the real work."

At that point, the music began to drown him out and the crowd started yelling and clapping, but Black shouted over it: "It's about the hard work we do. It's not about the bloggers. It's not about anything else. It's about us, all of us."

Food bloggers and writers responded on Twitter:

Photo by Chris Shott

  • Milton Noones

    it's true, no?

  • Bob

    Bloggers are so self important that they thing Jeff Black's comments were about them (seems to recall an old Carly Simon song....). His speech was NOT about bloggers, but about restauranteurs, and the hard working people that make them great.

  • Jen

    I'm sure the bloggers will be happy to take their business elsewhere!

  • Bob

    I suspect he misses the days when the only food writers he had to worry about were at The Post and Washingtonian magazine. I doubt he even knows what Twitter is.

  • clean record

    Toques off to Jeff Black! How many of these self described 'foodie bloggers' can even boil water? Their only talent seems to be criticizing those who can.

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  • Lena

    He's not wrong. Some of these people act like their writing can make or break empires. Have you ever seen Elite members of Yelp? Awful.

  • thatshitcray

    A better question is when did every chef become a self Righteous asshole. Leave that title to the bloggers and get back in the kitchen and make me a pie!

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  • rugby4

    You know...he DOES make a valid point a degree! I'm NOT a chef...I'm NOT a Blogger...I'm the "middle man" - the PR person who represents several restaurants. I work with food bloggers everyday, and there ARE a handful of local bloggers here in the DC Metro who DO think whatever they write will make or break a restaurant.

    They demand fully comped meals, order the finest wines, run their servers ragged, and indulge to their hearts content. All so that their "review" will hopefully inspire their 3 readers to actually patronize the restaurant. Gimme a break!

    Unfortunately, that's what has soured many local Chefs and Restauranteurs. If only those Bloggers would get their sense of entitlement under control and stop ruining it for everyone else. I wonder if they have any clue of how hard a chef and restaurant staff works? Have they actually ever WORKED in a restaurant themselves? I'm certain the answer is "no" for 90% of these bloggers.

    That being said...there are MANY REPUTABLE and RESPECTFUL local food bloggers who DO have readerships in the 1000's (along with a healthy list of Twitter and FaceBook followers as well), and they DO NOT act like prima donnas and demand the world. They are the exceptional few, and we LOVE working with these types of Bloggers! (Unfortunately, it appears that Mr. Black has not encountered too many of these types of bloggers though.)

    And, I firmly believe that Yelp is only a place for complainers to find sympathy and get their egos stroked. For every 1 complaint on Yelp, there were 100+ customers who had a great experience...but unfortunately it's only the complainers who are motivated to post. Sad!

  • tc

    Great job Jeff. Now if we could only get Yelp prosecuted for their form of extortion--where they filter the good reviews and leave the crazies and the grudgemeisters front and center no matter how old or how wrong they are.

  • Luke

    Jeff Black is amazing.

  • tomaj

    so we have learned:

    1. some of any type of group, like bloggers, are jerks. that said, some of any group are good people.
    2. jeff black does have a point, except he went too far. but he isn't entirely wrong, he's just not entirely right. you have to consider what he said, except not for everyone.
    3. food bloggers can't cook and don't know much about food, except those than can and do. some food bloggers only have 3 readers, except for those who have thousands. they've never worked in a restaurant, except those who have.
    4. some food bloggers think they're soooo important. some chefs are soooo self-righteous.

    i'll await jeff black's "it's not about the restaurant critics! it's all about us!" speech next. we'll have this same conversation and conclusions again.