John Curtas is …

Food For Thought

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What I’ve Learned – 2014 Michael Mina decided to open in Yugoslavia, the local populace was all in.)

ELV note: We ran this feature a couple of years ago, and periodically update it so we can share these pearls of wisdom with others who follow our swinish ways:


Restaurant cooking is assembly line cooking. Think of it this way and it is harder to romanticize it the way most amateurs do.

I believe in the four major food groups: French, Italian, Chinese and barbecue.

The older a man gets, the more he becomes like a woman. And vice versa.

French chefs are just better than American ones. American cooks don’t like to admit this, but in their hearts they know it’s true.

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Letter of the Century – How Does Taste Evolve?

Dear Eating Las Vegas,

You recently wrote a caption on a photo you posted on Facebook, “I think I could eat ‘modern Japanese’ food every day of my life and not get bored.

It made me wonder how you, as a food critic who’s refined his palate over the course of many years, came to appreciate a cuisine like this which, admittedly, is not a commonplace offering in most of America?

At what point does taste get refined to appreciate the subtleties of a cuisine like Modern Japanese, or even to start exploring? Any art form (film, music, art, etc.) has levels of refinement, as the curious audience member ventures off to more significant, and more difficult to interpret, levels of appreciation. How does it happen with food?

Inquisitively yours,

Curious George

ELV responds:

The best way we can answer the question(s) is to give you a brief tour of what ELV calls: The Evolution of a Critic.

Our good friend, author, food writer, Esquire magazine food critic and noted chronicler of the history of American food and drink,  John Mariani says there are 3 kinds of food critics: “The slobs, the snobs and the oh goodie goodies.”

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