Editorials — December 30, 2013 13:38 — 0 Comments

One Super Important Question For Julien Perry

Julien Perry is the editor of Eater Seattle. She is also the co-founder of the One Night Only Project. She has also held many jobs in the media, focused on the food world, from Urbanspoon to the Seattle Weekly. As a result, we wanted to ask her about the Seattle food scene – specifically, what she’s seen and observed! Bon appetit!  


Jake Uitti: What is the strangest thing you’ve learned about food, restaurants and chefs in your time running the Eater.com web site?

Julien Perry: I’ve been writing about restaurants and chefs for various media outlets since 2004 (Seattle Weekly, KOMO, Q13, Urbanspoon) and have yet to find anything particularly strange about the above trifecta (unless we’re talking about the personal lives of chefs, but I’ll save those juicy tidbits for when I don’t feel like having friends or a career anymore). However, a few observations that continued to prove themselves true while helming Eater Seattle this past year:

I continue to learn that chefs as a collective bunch can be very supportive of each other, even those who remain staunchly competitive; while the “celebrity chef” is going away, there are certainly chefs who are still being led by their egos (you can usually taste it in their food, which becomes an after thought); most chefs rarely get a chance to go out and try new restaurants, so they really cherish the experience when they do; they’re very vocal about people they have no respect for in the industry, often for good reason; negative online comments really do hurt their feelings; and most importantly, they remain the most passionate and inspiring bunch of people I’ve ever worked with.

Now, for the food. This past year has really instituted a shift from extreme modernist to evolved rustic (two terms I have totally made up — I think). The pendulum swung so hard to the right back when Modernist Cuisine and molecular gastronomy were all the rage. Now, it seems to be back to center. The Seattle schmear is gone (for the most part), but you can definitely still see the influences: plates are visually beautiful, have intense flavors and are homogenized. Chefs are conscience about space and presentation, but the rules have changed — dishes are approachable and fun to eat. I think most dining experiences are a lot better now because of it. Amen.


Jake Uitti is a founding editor of The Monarch Review.

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