The website The Daily Meal polls chefs nationwide (and anonymously) about what they think of the critics who write about them. Overall, 28 critics were reviewed (not, I hasten to point out, me; the rankings are mostly limited to the major dailies, statewide magazines and national blogs). The highest-ranking Texas critic, Austin’s Pat Sharpe, came in at No. 11. And Dallas Morning News’ Leslie Brenner? At No. 26. Of 28.
Criteria include food knowledge as well as prose style and “who you’d like to share a meal with,” so it’s no wonder Brenner faired poorly, following the divisive Twitterfeud between her and Knife founder John Tesar (who, incidentally, did not observe the “anonymous” option in the poll).
Incidentally, Knife was my No. 1 restaurant of the year (despite giving it as many stars as others on her Top 10, Knife was nowhere on Brenner’s year-end). Tesar was also just nominated for a James Beard Award for best chef/Southwest, alongside other Dallas cooks: Matt McCallister, Omar Flores and David Uygur. San Salvaje by Stephan Pyles was also nominated as best new restaurant in America, and Pyles as best overall chef.