Scarcely an hour passes without someone, somewhere comparing the Boston restaurant scene to its counterpart in New York City, and now chef Brian Poe of Poe's Kitchen at the Rattlesnake, Tip Tap Room and Estelle's has joined the fray. Typically, the conversation goes a little something like this:
Anonymous Commenter: Boston restaurants totes suxx compared to NYC restaurants!!?!
Level-Headed, Non-Anonymous Commenter: Boston is a very different city from New York in several ways, and here's a bunch of reasons why Boston restaurants are awesome...
And so on. Poe wrote a post on the Boston Herald blog Forklift in that vein, and he specifically addressed recent comments made by Scott Haas, the author of a new book called Back of The House: The Secret Life of a Restaurant, which focuses on the inner workings of Cambridge favorite Craigie on Main. Here's what he had to say.
"Are we New York? Nope. But in the last ten years that I've lived here we've never wanted to be New York. Do we know about Boulud, Keller, Trotter, Jose Andres, Ferran Adria? Absolutely, many of Boston's great have cooked with and for these talented chefs. Boston has Lydia, Jasper, Gordon, Jody, Barbara, Joanne, Ken, Jamie, Dante, Schlessinger, Andy, Will, Louis, Tim, Coombs, and page upon page of great Boston chefs that put our city on the map.
All of us coming up behind these greats have an appreciation for their work and their books on our shelves because they have helped to bring our industry to the top. Every chef that is willing to take a risk on a daily basis to allow his/her personality to land on a plate in front of you deserves credit and respect. This city has an amazing brotherhood and sisterhood of chefs that look out for each other, and will come to the table in a second to help in any way possible. I believe that Boston is on the cusp of breaking into the label 'food city.'
Why else would this book be written comparing Maws to Boulud--that's fantastic! And chefs of Boston--I look forward to saying I got to cook in this city as you all helped moved us right up to the top of the list of destination cuisine.
Kudos to Chef Tony Maws. It's hard to be good. Keep it up."
Note: Scott Haas did recently compare Tony Maws and Daniel Boulud in an interview, but Eater does not yet know whether that comparison is made in Back of the House.