Chef Floriano Pellegrino Explains Why an Art Lesson Was the Best Way to Respond to That Viral Negative Restaurant Review – artnet News
Call it the negative restaurant review heard ’round the world.
Yes, we’re talking about that one, in which writer Geraldine DeRuiter posted a scathing review on her website Everywhereist.com about Bros’, a restaurant in Lecce, in Southern Italy, that has the honour of being the only restaurant in the country with a Michelin star. DeRuiter described a recent pricey multi-course meal (as much as €200 per person) at what she called “the worst Michelin Starred Restaurant, Ever.”
She described “meat molecules,” (or “meat droplets,”) “frozen air,” “rancid ricotta,” numerous foams and now, most famously (or infamously) a citrus foam that was served in a plaster cast of the chef’s mouth, absent utensils.
So how did Bros’ chef Floriano Pellegrino choose to respond? With a comparison to abstract art of course.
His written response, shared with Artnet News and other curious media, featured three artworks: a basic drawing of a man on a horse; Jacques Louis David’s dramatic depiction of Napoleon Bonaparte on a horse; and finally a colorful but somewhat crude-looking abstract painting that vaguely suggests a figure on a horse or beast. The drawings were interspersed with commentary by Chef Pellegrino.
“Being able to draw a man on a horse does not make you an artist. The result of your talent can be beautiful to look at, but it is not art. Drawing a man on a horse is the same as making food. Many people are able to make good food. Your grandmother could do it. My wife does it great. McDonald’s knows perfectly how to make a hamburger that almost everybody likes, and the pizzeria around the corner does their job perfectly. Preparing food that is liked is like a making a drawing of a man on a horse. It is not that hard, but most people will admire you.”
Pellegrino went on to say that he is “bored” with the type of “impressive but. . .shallow” paintings that fill the Louvre, the Prado and the Hermitage.
“Contemporary artists are looking for new horizons all the time, instead. They discover the unknown. They doubt everything including themselves, they research every boundary, they even challenge the concept ‘art’ itself. What is art? What is food? What is a chef? What is a client? What is good taste? What looks beautiful? What is a man on a horse?”
Since the art world is no stranger to contemporary art being ridiculed, Artnet News was intrigued by Pellegrino’s response and we reached out to him to ask a few …….