Star Ratings, Restaurant Critic Interview, Natural Foods Movement

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes an article by Krista Kern Desjarlais about star ratings in restaurant reviews,

On the positive side, stars can fill seats, and they give a measure that lets chefs place their restaurant against others in their genre. A lukewarm review may not affect an already busy and popular restaurant. In this business, we all know the restaurants that meander up and down the scale of consistency and quality, yet remain popular regardless of a critic’s awarding (or withholding) of stars. This is an enigma of the restaurant world and shows why stars do not always tell the whole story.

an interview with Sunday Telegram restaurant critic James Schwartz,

Q: Many restaurant critics say that awarding stars is the hardest part. Is it?
A: Yes, it’s my least favorite decision. I am conscious of two things: First, I am standing in for the reader, because I have had the good fortune to go to the restaurant. So I feel a responsibility to the reader to accurately describe my experience. And I am conscious of the fact that the number of stars awarded can positively or adversely affect the business life of a restaurant. That is a second responsibility that I take very seriously.

and a conversation with author Joe Dobrow on “How the natural foods revolution has changed what we eat”.

His book offers a captivating behind-the-scenes look at exactly how we got from the dusty co-ops of yesteryear to the shiny mega-stores of today. It also explains how the growth of natural foods propelled a number of health food products into the mainstream, such as granola bars, almond milk and kale. Along the way, Dobrow explains how natural foods companies (built on values and ideals as much as capitalist principles) have begun to influence mainstream business culture by promoting concepts such as corporate accountability, transparency and the triple bottom line.