Catering on thin ice
by Adam Kuban
Wow. Village Voice food critic Robert Sietsema takes blogger and Time magazine food writer Josh Ozersky to task over a column Ozersky wrote in Time ostensibly giving people advice on how to really cater a wedding. In short Ozersky says don’t hire a caterer but instead grab local chefs to do the cooking. Here’s Sietsema:
There are other problems with the piece. You unfairly malign caterers, seemingly oblivious that many caterers are talented cooks. Also, the piece is couched as a set of “tips” to the readers as to how they should cater their own affairs. That’s useless advice, since virtually none of them could ask a gang of chefs to cook their wedding meal, and probably couldn’t afford it if they did. As a fellow food journalist noted, “It’s really a ‘let them eat cake’ kind of move.”
As a guy who has been helping plan his own wedding*, I can’t help but nod along in agreement. Even though I blog at a not-insignificant food website myself, there’s no way I could dream of roping in a bunch of NYC chefs to cater our affair.
I can’t say that Josh didn’t have a grain of a good idea here. Who wouldn’t want to feed their guests some awesome top-notch food? But when I read that column knowing that Ozerksy’s relationships with those chefs would make procuring their services substantially easier for him than it would his readers, I felt the whole thing was a bit disingenuous.
*Credit where due: The fiancée has taken most of the lead on the planning, and I am eternally grateful for that.
Full disclosure: I know Josh IRL and have met Robert a couple times but mostly know him through email correspondence and blogging.