The chef at Bros’ has responded to a viral review eviscerating the Michelin-starred restaurant.
Floriano Pellegrino’s three-page statement includes illustrations that liken Bros’ food to art.
Blogger Geraldine DeRuiter, who wrote the review, told Insider the statement is “comedic genius.”
After being called the “worst” Michelin-starred restaurant in a viral review, the chef at Bros’ in Lecce, Italy, has responded by calling the food “art.”
In a blog post published on Wednesday, Geraldine DeRuiter, the author behind The Everywhereist, reviewed the tasting menu at Bros’, which is the only Michelin-starred restaurant in the southern Italian city.
DeRuiter wrote that her table was served 27 courses, including “twelve kinds of foam, something that I can only describe as ‘an oyster loaf that tasted like Newark airport’, and a teaspoon of savory ice cream that was olive flavored.” A particularly odd foam dish, she wrote, was a dessert served inside a plaster mold of the chef’s mouth.
As Insider’s Armani Syed previously reported, DeRuiter’s post went viral after Helen Rosner, a food writer at The New Yorker, tweeted a screenshot of the blogger’s photo of the dessert along with a quote from the review.
In response to the scathing review, the restaurant owned by the Pellegrino Brothers produced a three-page statement — published in full by TODAY Food — which includes a drawing of a man on a horse, as well as a portrait and an abstract painting of the same subject.
“Preparing food that is liked is like making a drawing of a man on a horse. It is not that hard, but most people will admire you,” part of the statement from Chef Floriano Pellegrino reads.
The statement points to the drawing as an example of such crowd-pleasing cuisine that “is not art,” and compares the painting to the work of “a master chef.” But Pellegrino writes that he is “bored with spectacular paintings,” pointing out that museums are filled with such work.
Pellegrino likens the cuisine at Bros’ to the abstract art, writing that contemporary artists cross boundaries to “discover the unknown” and challenge the entire notion of “art.”
“Contemporary art does not provide you with answers, but offers you great questions,” he writes. “Contemporary cuisine should do the same.”
The statement concludes by affirming the restaurant’s confidence in its work.
“We know very well where we are and what we are doing. We would rather be attached to our work and the technical aspects of it,” it reads. “How can we respond? Only with or menu. Because we are better with food than with words.”
The statement also thanks the blogger, whom Pellegrino refers to as “Mrs. XXX – I don’t remember her name,” for helping the restaurant sell out of its “Limoniamo” — the mouth-shaped dish DeRuiter’s dessert was served inside.
Representatives for the Pellegrino Brothers did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
DeRuiter shared her thoughts about the chef’s statement on Twitter.
“As a writer, you pray to the gods of chaos for material like this,” DeRuiter told Insider. “I’m a humor writer, but I don’t think anything I can come up with will ever top ‘This is a man on a horse’. It is comedic genius.”
DeRuiter previously told Insider that her experience at Bros. was “as though someone who had never seen a restaurant or eaten food tried to replicate what they thought a restaurant was.”
Read the original article on Insider