Top Chef To Mike White: “You’re a D***”

 
By 8 October 2010
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Update: Mike acknowledges he was incorrect, Tom apologizes.

So Tom, I admit that I was wrong in assuming that the Starbucks event meant you were using them as a vendor. But now that I have your attention, I challenge you to raise your coffee program to the same exceptional levels as the rest of your dining experience.

Celebrity Chef Tom Colicchio, noted restaurateur and star of the Bravo series Top Chef, has just called NYC blog barista Mike White a “dick” via Twitter. Though Tom primarily uses Stumptown Coffee in his New York City restaurants, he recent allowed one of his restaurants to serve as a venue for Starbucks instant coffee marketing. Check out this cat fight on Twitter:

Bitterpress has some interesting things to say about the dangers of calling out a restaurant:

But this is the inherent danger in trying to build bridges and create better coffee service in the restaurant industry. Trying to be candid with Tom, and calling him out on a bullshit move (i.e. promoting flavored instant coffee), Mike may have created a tension between coffee and one of the biggest celebrity chefs out there.

Tom’s work on Top Chef has made him a hero of mine. I’ve never tasted his food, but his work as a critic puts him up there with Roger Ebert for me. I’m not a big Ebert reader, but one thing is true between those two men: they have no apologies for stating their well thought out, honest, and straightforward opinions.

That being said (sorry Larry David), Colicchio’s capitalized “Dick” comment is frightening. Is he able to dish out criticisms (pun!) and not choke them down (double entendre!). Has Mike White challenged Tom to better himself, or driven a wedge between these two men?

There’s one thing we know for sure: Top Chef kingmaker Tom Colicchio thinks Mike White is a proper noun “Dick”.

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