Changes in the LA Times Food Section

Summary: Genevieve Ko is out as Food Editor.

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well thats too bad, hopefully the food section can figure its stuff out because I feel like its losing credibility the longer this situation drags on.

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The sooner they name a new food editorial team the better. OTOH these searches take time they are really stuck

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There’s this note, from Patricia Escárcega, at the end of her interview with Javier Cabral;

“Finally, as I write this, I’m feeling sentimental about the impending departure of my colleague Genevieve Ko , who will soon be leaving the Food section for an incredible new opportunity. Genevieve has been a wonderful friend, a supportive colleague and an inspiring leader in the launch of L.A. Times’ new cooking website. She’s also a gifted cook and baker, of course (have you tried her extremely delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwich cookies?). It has been such an honor to work with you, Genevieve.”

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Maybe a FTCer (or ex-FTCer) can assume the mantle! ;-D

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I have said his around before (I think) - they should be reviewing restaurants. Most places I know are open outdoors, or doing take-out (why not review takeout?) and many new places are opening that deserve some attention. If the two senior food critics don’t want to perform those responsibilities for health and safety reasons, they should let others run with it temporarily.

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Could not agree more.

They should be reviewing and even increasing their reviews (even snippets/highlights a couple times a week would be great).

So many places doing takeout/delivery, plus the home-based cooks creating amazing dishes and items, in addition to the bricks/mortar places with the outside dining.

No negative criticism (if it sucks simply move on); rather, bolster and promote the folks doing well!

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i see the problem with this as being two-fold:

i rather doubt anyone is going to spend time travelling to a location, getting the meal expensed, and not write some sort of review. and here’s where you’d need the brilliance of a jonathan gold who could educate the typical white bread reader and then recommend the most successful offerings.

more importantly, i suspect that most writers will want to give a place at least six months to work out any potential kinks. it took david chang about that much time to find his stride at his first restaurant. even now he concedes that his success would have never been possible without f–king up massively at the start.

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Hence the idea of snippets/highlights - not full-fledged reviews/critiques as normal, but rather, “Hey, had an amazing delivery of X from Y and can’t wait to explore more things!”

With the more traditional concept of reviews, I think Tom Sietsema in the Washington Post has found a great approach:

(Multiple edits to fix self-induced tech issues.)

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to be fair, bladdison has done snippets/highlights just not as much.

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it can be helpful if a new place knows its limitations; an increase in demand could be a blessing and a curse; many new places won’t be able to ramp up to meet the new demand level without suffering issues with quality. OTOH, a place still finding its stride will get dinged as it’s unlikely a reviewer will come back and try the place again after an initial ‘meh’ response.

with the growth of social media, the ability of a newspaper to influence/sway opinion has been dramatically lessened. hummus labs in pasadena has gotten a significant increase in business due to the exposure they’ve received in the FB group “SGV eats”. then there’s instagram/twitter. choi was very astute using twitter to publicize the location of kogi on any given night. and the services are FREE. i don’t see newspaper food sections as being able to compete with that. even sites like eater are IMO fatally flawed by the biases of their writers. there’s too much diversity in a place like LA to expect a small staff of writers to cover it all comprehensively.

he’s gone on record as trying to avoid reviewing a place if it hasn’t been open at least 6 months. i believe he mentioned that when reviewing dolan’s uighur cuisine.

Jonathan Gold’s the stellar example of the service a professional critic can provide that social media can’t. He established his credibility and expertise. You knew you could trust his recommendations.

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weeks

IIRC esparza reviewed dolan’s…

“A Monterey Park native raised on dim sum and chile relleno burritos from La Azteca Tortilleria, Genevieve will soon join the New York Times Food section and NYT Cooking as a senior editor.”

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i think it was david chang who observed/suggested that half the world’s food bloggers/writers are asian women. that might explain why i hadn’t heard of her.

Genevieve, most of her career was helping co-write cookbooks. If you look up her resume its quite impressive as far as newspaper food media, that has been a recent transition for her.

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Wow. Can the la times management go any lower?? For some reason, my Twitter wasn’t working and couldn’t find out if bill Addison made any comment or is he crickets.

for those that don’t use twitter:

!
!

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