Yesterday Joshua David Stein, currently senior editor at Eater National, published an open letter to Chef Cesar Ramirez in the NY Press. The letter excoriated Ramirez over an incident that took place at the intimate "Chef's Table" at Brooklyn Fare, where Ramirez asks customers not to take photos of the food, or use cell phones, or take notes. Stein says that when Ramirez caught him scribbling, the chef got in his face and accused him of disrespect and "sneaky shit." Ramirez insists he's never sworn at a customer and tells us he doesn't remember any of this. Today Stein sent us this statement in response:
Essentially, that Ramirez does not recall the incident isn't surprising. I am sure he also doesn't recall the numerous previously reported incidences of his mistreatment of customers. Furthermore, for him, Ana and I were just two covers two weeks ago. For Ana and I, however, Chef's Table was truly a once in a lifetime experience. At any rate, I think his lack of recall says less about the veracity of my account and more about how attuned and aware he is (or isn't) of the experience of his customers. It just further underscores his narcissism.
For the record, we ate there October 14th at 6:30 p.m. His other defense, that if this did actually happen I would have written about it the day before, is patently ridiculous. The reasons are twofold. One, that isn't how newspapers work. Two, it took some time for me to order my thoughts. Unlike Ramirez, I try not to act impulsively or rashly. That, as he knows, doesn't reflect well on anyone.