Anthony Bourdain joins the long list of people to snub the Maclean’s top 50 restaurants list
By Freya Hammond-Williams
Maclean’s knew it would generate some controversy with its first-ever list of the top 50 restaurants in Canada, and it has indeed caused some commotion amongst critics, chefs and foodies across the country. Now, Anthony Bourdain has thrown his two cents in.
The list was released at the end of last week, spurring debate on social media outlets all weekend long. Toronto has 10 slots filled on the final list, including Chantecler, Nota Bene and The Stockyards, with The Grove taking the best new restaurant in Canada distinction. But the controversy seems to be due to restaurants that were left off the list, including Montreal staples Joe Beef and Au Pied de Cochon.
In an email that’s now making the rounds on the Internet, Bourdain wrote: “Omitting Joe Beef AND Au Pied de Cochon from any list of top 50 Canadian restaurants (or even a top ten list) is like writing a history of British rock and roll and willfully neglecting to mention either Beatles or Stones. It speaks of a personal agenda so deranged or corrupted as the throw the entire enterprise into disrepute. Both restaurants are in fact, Canada’s best and most Influential cultural ambassadors. I can’t imagine what kind of spongiform bacteria might have caused [Maclean's food writer] Mr. [Jacob] Richler to neglect one or the other.”
In a similar vein, Toronto restaurateur and chef Grant van Gameren also expressed his opinion of the list, tweeting: “If I won a plaque from @macleansmag I’d be using it to keep my restaurant tables from wobbling.”
Granted, it does seem that much of the negative feedback is coming from those left off the list. Still, it’s an interesting controversy to watch.