Before the Chron hired Bauer, its critics were Patricia Unterman and Stan Sesser, who had been doing for SF what Jonathan Gold started doing slightly later for LA: highlighting the immigrant-driven variety of good food wherever it might be found. Bauer forced them both out so he could take over both their columns and narrowed the focus to high-end and hotel restaurants.
I remember Unterman but not Sesser
Unterman was in the pink section on Sundays and Sesser was in the food? section on Thursdays. Their reviews were collected in a series of guidebooks that are useful historical references.
Robert, this was great! Thanks for sharing. I’m trying to remember, did she ever publish recipe in the Chron?
I don’t remember Unterman writing anything but her weekly review for the Chron. There are some recipes on her web site.
A recent profile:
Andrea Nguyen just shared a jam recipe from Joyce Goldstein. I bet that’s who I was thinking of.
Joyce Goldstein, ugh. She might have been the worst columnist the Chron ever had. She wrote one justifying her shitty restaurant Square One’s practice of pushing out customers.
LOL! Why don’t you tell us how you really feel
In the topic of Goldstein, I suspect she doesn’t think highly of Bauer. I was surprised to see his absence in her history of California cuisine.
Jonathan Gold’s death reminded me of how Bauer contributed nothing to food culture, in fact he diminished it by dropping the Gold-style digging in obscure neighborhoods and refocusing on whatever was hyped, trendy, or in a fancy hotel.