Frank Bruni, the food critic for the NY Times, interviewed me for an article in his Critic’s Notebook titled Old Gender Roles with Your Dinner? Basically the article is about how male and female diners are treated differently in restaurants. I am quoted as saying, “Men eat and leave. Women eat and stick around” and “Waiters are guilty of treating female diners as second-class citizens.” A sommelier countered my claim saying “top-notch servers consider it a challenge to do the best for — and thus coax the most from — any table they’re given, and don’t see any advantage in showering less enthusiasm on a group of women.” I think that server spent too much time drinking the hospitality Kool-Aid. Hasn’t she ever heard about the not getting blood from a stone thing? There’s only so much you can “coax” out of a table of chicken caesar salads with water and lemon! Oh well, maybe I’m just a bitter ex server!” In any case, don’t everyone start accusing me of misogyny. Hey! Some of my best tips have been from female customers. I just wish they take less than four hours to eat sometimes! Many thanks to Mr. Bruni for including me in the discussion!
I’d also like to point out that on I’ll be doing a book reading and discussion at the New York City Wine & Food Festival on October 11th. Tickets are still available. The entire festival runs from the October 9th to the 12th. Check it out!
P.S. Here’s a postscript from Bruni on his Diner’s Journal blog.