Thursday, September 5, 2013

Top chef, no hype?

Fried green tomatoes at Marketplace.
In today's review of Marketplace on Theater Square, shared with The Voice Tribune, I ruminate on the current phenomenon of "top chefs" devoting a lot of their energy to hiring PR flacks and battling to get national publicity via Food Network and high-profile competitions.  Yet one local chef wins applause, and frequent visits to New York's James Beard House, while keeping a lower, more modest profile.
Marketplace at Theater Square: Top Chef, No Hype
Voice-Tribune review by Robin Garr
We live in the age of the chef-driven restaurant. Across the nation and around the city, chefs have become outside personalities, featured on stage, screen and TV. Louisville has been no exception to this principle, with our top chefs turning up on Food Network, competing in chefly combat and scrambling after awards, honors and, of course, sweet, profitable publicity for Louisville's eateries and for the city. 
It's no surprise that quite a few chefs, including more than a handful of locals, have jumped into this fray with chef knives drawn, and their bold efforts seem to pay off in fame and, we hope for their sakes, fortune. 
It's easy for a young chef to see all this action and jump onto a public-relations treadmill, hiring flacks to beat the publicity drums and make the tough cold calls that some think need to be placed in order to be heard above all the other chefs clamoring for attention. 
And maybe it works. But in this competitive setting, I can't help but delight in one of the city's top restaurants, a spot a bit off the usual Restaurant Rows, that has quietly been gaining a top-rank reputation without obvious displays of public-relations affection or any other hype that I can detect. 
This is Marketplace at Theater Square ...
Read the full review on
and in the Voice-Tribune: