Chefs That Drip

As an architect who designs restaurants, I can say with certainty that there are many aspects of commercial restaurant kitchens the general public does not want or need to ever see. With that said, my beef is with celebrity chefs and cooks on TV continually sweating in the food they are preparing for guests, judges, or themselves. The sweat is most often highlighted with a well-lit close-up and smashes the fantasy created by the preceding food porn shots. This is why the toque was invented and why chefs should be forced to wear trucker hats, bandanas, do-rags, or headbands of some kind. I plead with the celebrity chefs to stop sweating in the food. If you can’t stay as cool as Mike Lata in seersucker, then put a lid on it. —David Thompson, architect

Burps On A Plate

I’m glad that the whole foam trend seems to be on the wane. At first, I found them interesting, intriguing, even fun. But then I had some bad ones, foams that existed just as a technique on a plate. They added nothing to a dish but a faint flavor without any texture, like a burp bubbling up hours after you’ve eaten something tasty. What’s the point? Keep your foams and give me a sauce, something made from a stock that took hours to prepare and has been reduced to a sharp, bright, decadent flavor that the plate would feel naked without. —Stephanie Barna, CP editor and food writer

Haughty Diners

Without a doubt, my biggest restaurant beef is with guests who are demeaning to service staff wherever I’m dining. It’s rude and cringeworthy. Sitting near them at any restaurant ruins an evening, especially as they always seem to have a loud or irritating voice (just like on planes, right?). At Woodlands, we appreciate everyone’s business, and we always appreciate feedback; however, good manners cost nothing, wherever you choose to eat. —Matt Owen, Woodlands Resort & Inn

Wonder Bread

My beef is with bread. Not cornbread, spoon bread, or other Southern-style breads, but basic baguettes, whole grain, ciabatta, sourdough, etc. I’ve had great-tasting bread in so many other cities — why not Charleston? Why is it so difficult to find a baguette that is crunchy on the outside and nicely honeycombed on the inside, not one where the inside can be flattened like a Wonder Bread disk? Or how about a dense whole grain bread — the best toast ever? And don’t get me started on Italian country ciabatta — a clerk in a well-known bakery here didn’t even know what I was talking about. We have so much “great” happening in so many culinary corners of Charleston — now we need bread. —Susan Bass, avid foodie