clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Best Lines From Achatz, Chang & Dufresne in Aspen

New, 1 comment

Grant Achatz was scheduled for an interview in the Eater Lounge at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, but then David Chang and Wylie Dufresne just happened to show up too. So Eater interviewed all three chefs together, discussing critics, empire building, managing expectations and more. Here are some of the best lines from that chat with the power trio:

Grant Achatz, on the current state of restaurant critics: "Now with the popularity of the blogs and say what you want about Yelp and whatever, but it is kind of taking away their credibility. Because what do people really want? They want the opinion of many people, not one person."

And Wylie Dufresne, on Robert Sietsema losing his job as restaurant critic for the Village Voice: "Was it a loss or sort of a transfer? He's still putting pen to paper or whatever. It still seems as if he's going to be offering up the same type of wisdom that has sort of defined him in the last decade in terms of great unexpected ethnic foods and things like that. So I think we look forward to seeing what he's going to continue to do and where he's going to send us to eat."

Dufresne, on setting aside expectations: "We got a letter this week from a table of three that came in and decided that the meal was just decidedly lacking in creativity and playfulness. I don't even know where to begin with that. If that's how you feel, I'm not going to engage you. But did you have popcorn soup at the airport on the way to the restaurant?...You have to bring the right attitude to the party, otherwise it's going to be hard for us to live up to whatever expectations you're putting on it. "

Chang, on what the internet has done to dining: "There's no more romance. I remember when [wd-50] opened up and a cook was like 'you have to check out this restaurant.' I couldn't go online and see what was being served...If I saw a photo and a whole progression of the meal, it takes the magic away."

Chang, on pros and cons of empire building: "I've admired Wylie so much because he's actually been at the restaurant on the line working every day six days a week. And everyone's like, "Why don't you have another restaurant?" And he's like, "I'm at my restaurant now." If you don't open it then you're not being ambitious enough. And if you open too many..."
Achatz: "You're spreading yourself too thin."

Dufresne, on endorsement deals: "It's not necessarily that it's an awful thing to be asked to endorse something because it's inherently a compliment to your skills, your abilities, on a level. But sometimes it's just not the right fit. Okay, a lot of people think that I'm someone known for a love of eggs and egg cookery. Being asked to endorse an egg yolk separator, I mean, I understood where it came from but it didn't seem necessarily like something that was ultimately worth pursuing."

· Power Trio Grant Achatz, David Chang & Wylie Dufresne [Eater National]
· All Coverage of David Chang [ENY]
· All Coverage of Wylie Dufresne [ENY]

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater New York newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world