On Jan 17 the Age ran the following story on what was probably a quiet news day during the hot and steamy holiday period.
"Irish food critic Trevor White applies his seven-seconds rule to five of Melbourne's best restaurants. He says...
I BELIEVE it is possible to review a restaurant within seven seconds. This is not, I admit, a scientific theory, and it is true that some chefs manage to outshine the dumps where they work. Still, the seven-seconds rule has served me well in 17 years as a professional restaurant critic....
Full article here:http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2009/01/16/1231608986736.html
I found the story a little disturbing as despite calling himself a "professional restaurant critic" of some 17 years standing, he has chosen to use what most of us would call gut-instinct to make up his mind about something that he is supposedly reviewing professionally .
But the more I read the story the more it seemed to ring true. I found myself agreeing with him..
Yes my vast experience of dining out combined with my " 30 years of professional expertise in the business" can indeed give me a quick instinctive accurate analysis of any restaurant that I visit.
Looking back over recent and not so recent dining experiences just confirmed it, yes that's quite true after a while of course we can pick the duds and the gems in possibly 12 if not seven seconds.
I started to congratulate myself on how clever I was and that yes we should just trust our highly experienced instinct and just go with it.....
A couple of days later I found myself in one of the places that Trevor White gave his 7 seconds away to and within the given short time frame I realised that his 7 seconds combined with the column inches he devoted to his seven second rule had given the place a sense of hubris that was lamentable. My seven seconds antennae told me to leave but I stayed and while the overpriced food was delicious my own seven seconds analysis was indeed correct I should have left after 5 seconds. So to my mind the question is this: civilians like you and me often apply what is really just a gut reaction, and usually, yes, its correct. But a "professional" restaurant critic cannot be so presumptuous that he can make an instant judgement. And this is the difference, tell a very wide readership of his instant Epiphany. The staff at the place I went to had such swollen heads and thought themselves so cool that they even mentioned that they had just been reviewed and that I should read it while I was waiting for my meal. Really?
Would a respected theatre critic leave after the first act? a film critic after the intro?
Yes you and I can and be quite content in knowing that we have good gut [intended again] instincts but professional reviewers have a deeper responsibility. Or am I just dreaming?
I prefer the soundtrack here.http://www.videosurf.com/video/youssou-n%27dour-featuring-neneh-cherry-7-seconds-150617601.