Adam Rapoport Wants to Open a Sandwich Shop, Thinks Michelin Stars and Reservation Apps Are Eh

Another day, another Reddit AMA, this time from Bon Appetit’s EIC and resident bro, Adam Rapoport. While we think he was supposed to be answering questions about making turkey and that sort of thing, instead we got a little further insight into the comfort foods of Rapoport, and some more off-the-cuff opinions about “things only food bloggers care about,” re: reservation apps and Michelin stars.

We also get one of the best sassiest remarks about the state of print media in it, from a Reddit Q:

Since we are in the middle of the “Chipotle Revolution” where traditional fast foot places are being overtaken by more diverse, fast-casual options that emphasize freshness of ingredients and healthy choices, I’ll ask this:
If you could open a fast-casual restaurant, what would it be? What would be your signature dish?

My life-long dream has been to open a sandwich shop (freshly roasted meats, homemade slaw, good bread, lots of mayonnaise). My wife is concerned that perhaps this is not the most viable career choice. Hmm…

Some would say the same about print media in 2014… I think you’re doing okay :-)


Anyhow, some of our other favorite fun facts about Rapoport: he likes hair metal, apparently?

What’s your favorite hair metal ballad?

Excellent kick-off question. “Mama, I’m Coming Home” by Ozzy. Listening to it right now on Spotify. Bonus: Underrated hair-metal ballad–“We All Die Young” by Steel Dragon in that Marky Mark movie “Rock Star”.

And mayo.

Favorite sandwich?

Turkey club on toasted wheat with a generous amount of Hellmann’s mayonnaise. And I do like in Europe how they insert a hard-boiled egg into the equation.

And French fries (amen on the salt).

What’s your ultimate comfort food/s?

French fries. Hot, crispy, salty but not too salty. I could eat mounds and mounds of them. But let me take this moment to kvetch: It drives me nuts how NYC bistros and restaurants over salt the hell out of their fries. Salt is good, essential even. But too much salt is not.

And Thanksgiving leftovers (twoweekstwoweekstwoweeks):

What is your favorite thing to do with thanksgiving leftovers?

Fry em up in a pan with butter (mashed potatoes and stuffing), and then blanket with hot gravy, at 1am while watching SportsCenter.

Oh, and the juicy stuff — he believes all restaurant workers deserve a raise.

Since the culinary arts are a skilled trade, should line cooks in casual restaraunts (Panera, TGIF, etc.) be compensated accordingly? In my experience we make about as much as a shift leader at macdonalds.
Head chefs always get respect, but I am talking about the saute, fry and noodle guys.

Not sure I entirely follow the question, but I do know that line cooks–even at top-level restaurants–don’t make much commensurate to equally skilled people in other professions. Much of it comes to down to what slim profit margins that restaurant operate on–about, what six percent or so? It’s hard work. It would be great if all kitchen workers made more.

And those reservation apps everyone’s been talking about …

I know this is a bit off from your standard fare, but I’m wondering what you think about the latest trends in reservations at restaurants. A lot of places are going to the ticketing system, there are also some pay-for-reservation sites and then there are also ‘scalping’ reservation sites.
Back in the day we’d tip the Maitre’d or host, or spend hours on the phone trying to get through, but nowadays things have changed. Better/worse? …

I was just talking with a chef friend the other day about this. It’s kind of nuts how in a city like NYC, it’s almost impossible to get a reservation at a popular restaurant unless you know someone etc. Online reservations–great. But bidding and competing for tables, I don’t know, it’s hard to endorse that. It just doesn’t feel right.

Do you think Michelin should expand its ratings to more U.S. cities or would that just water things down?

I don’t know if Americans really care about Michelin. I mean, do they? (I know New Yorkers don’t.) Or is it more geared toward foreign tourists visiting America?

Welp, he’s right about that.


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