On a special episode of Taste Matters, host Mitchell Davis discusses taste with New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells, a man who holds one of the most influential and tastemaking positions in the food world. Find out what it means to be a restaurant critic in today’s modern age of dining and food media. Pete discusses the inherent challenges that come along with being a high profile critic; maintaining anonymity, staying objective and finding balance in criticism. Did you know in order for a restaurant to be considered for a starred review, the critic must dine there a minimum of three times? Learn more about everything that goes into the prestigious New York Times restaurant review and get an insiders perspective on the life of a food critic. This program was sponsored by The International Culinary Center.


“The job of the restaurant critic of the New York Times is not to go around town giving or taking away stars – it’s to write.”

“The only system I have is trying to keep the focus on what’s noteworthy about a particular place. If you try to systematize too much you’re not writing any more you’re just filling in the blanks.”

“I think of anonymity as an unachievable ideal. I try my best to take them by surprise at least, if nothing else. If restaurants are looking for me – they are going to see me.”

“It’s kind of amazing that this job exists and it hasn’t been made completely obsolete by all the other voices in food that are out there right now.”

–New York Times Restaurant Critic Pete Wells on Taste Matters