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Can there be more than one best restaurant? Best chef?

Can there be more than one best restaurant? Best chef?

Old Feb 7, 16, 3:59 pm
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Can there be more than one best restaurant? Best chef?

I've pondered those questions for awhile. This article on bbc.com finally motivated me to post on this subject.

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-35503084

To illustrate, I participate frequently in the "South" forum on FT, mainly because I live in New Orleans. Frequently, someone will post in the NOLA restaurant thread that "X" restaurant is the best in New Orleans. Of course, they've only been to the city once and haven't eaten in every one of the 1400+ restaurants in the area. I usually shake my head and think that particular poster must give free rein to hyperbole quite often.

In my opinion, you can say a restaurant is your favorite of the ones that you've tried. Or, the best of the ones you've tried. But, best restaurant in a particular locale, without having eaten in every restaurant? I think not. The same goes for naming the best restaurant or chef in the world.

I'd be interested to read other opinions on the "Best Restaurant or Chef" and, hopefully, we can avoid Omni territory.

Edited to add my other pet peeve: To me, there can only be one "Best" of some specific thing. How can there be the 50 best restaurants or the 10 best chefs? There could be 50 great restaurants or 10 phenomenally fantastic chefs. I guess that when I see "best", that means the pinnacle and there can only be one "best".

Last edited by FLYMSY; Feb 7, 16 at 4:47 pm
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Old Feb 7, 16, 4:42 pm
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Can there be more than one best restaurant? Best chef?

"Best" awards rarely exist just because someone wants to determine a definitive winner.

They usually are created to reward the people who give out the award, whether that's for vanity, attention, power accumulation, or just to increase advertising readership or website clicks.

So to me, whenever I see someone's Best award, first I consider why they would award it in the first place.
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Old Feb 7, 16, 5:29 pm
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Can there be more than one best restaurant? Best chef?

What's the best restaurant in New Orleans and I'll tell you if there can be more than one
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Old Feb 8, 16, 9:04 am
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Originally Posted by bigshooter View Post
What's the best restaurant in New Orleans and I'll tell you if there can be more than one
There isn't a definitive ONE best restaurant in New Orleans. It's my contention that in any major city, it is near impossible to name a definitive best restaurant, especially if you (the generic you) haven't eaten in every restaurant in a city.
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Old Feb 8, 16, 3:35 pm
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I think it's impossible to qualify especially if you are including every category restaurant. Best burger, best fine dining, best pizza.
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Old Feb 8, 16, 5:24 pm
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Can there be more than one best restaurant? Best chef?

Life would suck if absolutely everyone agreed on what the "best" anything is.

Last edited by jerry305; Feb 9, 16 at 12:20 am
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Old Feb 8, 16, 6:15 pm
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I know what best means to me, but I may well be in a minority of one
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Old Feb 8, 16, 8:30 pm
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The front page of the forum links this thread with "Can there be more than one..." which of course invokes a certain cheesy movie and its even cheesier progeny
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Old Feb 11, 16, 11:11 am
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to a certain degree youre narrowing definition
but that is separate from discussion of media

"10 best"
"best for this"

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Feb 11, 16 at 12:20 pm
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Old Feb 11, 16, 11:34 am
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No.

There can't be more than one best chef or restaurant.

There can't be even one best chef or restaurant, because
there isn't one defining palate (except perhaps mine) or
one set of criteria. Is Noma better than Astrid y Gaston, or
yet Snow's Saturday-only barbecue? Who the heck knows -
or cares?

But lexikografikly speaking, it is true that there can be
a maximum of one best in any category, and something
like "10 best" should be read as a shorthand for "10
that might be considered best" or "10 that are more
likely to yield a positive experience" or something like that.
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Old Feb 11, 16, 12:20 pm
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http://www.onelook.com/?w=best&ls=a
definitions of "best" in dictionaries
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Old Feb 14, 16, 8:59 am
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I think in general, its fairly difficult to say something is "the Best".

I think its reasonable to say "some of the best" or outstanding, but everyone has their own objective functions when it comes to evaluating a restaurant.

And a pet peeve of mine is this "top chef" type nonsense. Running a great restaurant is about more than taking a few ingredients and whipping up something tasty in a limited amount of time. I'd argue entirely different actually.

Running a great restaurant is about excellent service (not waiting an hour for a reservation, for example), excellent food and the atmosphere.

What's the point of "the best" if you can never get a reservation, or have to wait 2 hours once you're there.
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Old Feb 17, 16, 3:26 pm
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Yes and Yes.

I have eaten at many high end restaurants. Generally, they have produced the most long-lasting memories due to the novelty of the dishes and the $ at the end.

However, it takes culinary genius to produce great food with less expensive ingredients and without a brigade of well trained sous chefs and line cooks. So, props to the restaurants who produce great food at a reasonable price too.

Down with the expensive restaurants who don't deliver. Spiaggia...are you listening?
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Old Feb 20, 16, 3:42 pm
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What is 'the best' really depends on what context is. Chef's Table is my all-time favorite restaurant, but would I want to eat there all the time? Heck no; there are times where some old-fashioned Sicilian pizza is what I am hankering for, and that can taste like the best thing at that moment.
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