Earlier today, Voice critic Robert Sietsema wrote an open letter to Josh Ozersky calling him unethical for accepting free food from chefs at his wedding and then writing about it without a disclosure. Now, Ozersky updates his original article with a response:
Clarification: Robert Sietsema's open letter to me in the Village Voice today makes me look unethical rather than dumb, and thus requires some clarification on my part. Some of my closest friends are chefs, and when they asked me what I wanted for a wedding present, instead of a crystal decanter that I would never look at, I told them to just cook some lasagna or bake a few loaves of bread that I could share with other friends.I thought, and still think, that wedding food is almost always awful, and that having the responsibility spread out among a few chefs, each doing a specialty in pans ready for preheating, was the way to go.
That said, it was dumb of me not to be more explicit about the fact that I did not pay for any of their delicious contributions, and I was wrong not to make this clear to my editor beforehand. I am not an anonymous critic and I don't review restaurants for TIME (or anyone else). I comment and enlarge on trends on gastronomy, which I stay aware of by being close to chefs. I love my chef friends, and wanted to share their food with my other friends. Michael White's daughter was a flower girl in the wedding; Jeffrey Chodorow said one of the seven blessings under the chupah. It was a mistake, but I was hardly trying to trade column space for goods, as Sietsema is pretending to suppose.So there you have it. It was not a tit for tat situation. Commenters: do you forgive him?
· Great Wedding Food: Tips from a Newly Married Critic [TIME]
· Sietsema Calls Josh Ozersky Unethical, Unfair in Open Letter [~ENY~]