Why This Restaurant Critic is Not Afraid of Losing His Job to Yelpers

In the age of social media platforms and user-created content, is there still a place for the restaurant food critic as we used to know it?

On this episode of Chef AF, our host Chef Jim Berman, sits down with Jason Sheehan, a former professional chef turned food writer— a venture that lead him to win a James Beard Award and later author several books.

Sheehan, who’s now a restaurant critic for Philadelphia magazine, likes “the idea of someone going to a restaurant, having something good or having something awful and then telling people about it.”

“There is a part of me that likes Yelp and other platforms like it. I like the notion of the democratization of restaurant criticism…I have no problem with that whatsoever,” says Sheehan. “What kills me is the weight that it’s given…”

Listen in to this entertaining episode as these two chefs/writers debate the role of media and restaurants in the modern age and why Jason Sheehan is not worried about losing his job to Yelpers!

Hosted by:

Jim Berman


Expert Columnist / Show Host



Have Anonymous Food Critics Become an Endangered Species?

Have Anonymous Food Critics Become an Endangered Species?

By Bev Garvin, Foodable Contributor

Anonymous food critics dine with stealth-like secrecy, making reservations and paying for meals under credit cards with fake names. Some go to extremes, wearing disguises, hats, wigs, glasses or elaborate costumes. Others dine unencumbered, but excuse themselves to take copious notes in the bathroom so they can document the details of their experience without raising suspicion.

Critics say it’s necessary for them to dine anonymously for ethical reasons and so they’re able to have a “normal” dining experience without receiving any preferential treatment. But it’s quite a game of charades.

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