Every Rage Tweet John Tesar Fired Off in Response to Leslie Brenner’s 3-Star Review

John Tesar went on a scorched earth Twitter tirade against Dallas Morning News critic Leslie Brenner following a tepid review with a few bright spots, but still one that only scored him 3 out of 5 stars at Knife. In an interview with us from just over a year ago, Tesar admitted he and Leslie had standing tension:

I don’t play with the media, but I’m not afraid of the media anymore. I’m not afraid of food critics anymore. Leslie Brenner is probably one of the worst food critics I’ve ever seen in my entire life, because she’s destroying star structure, and she doesn’t have a lot of respect in Dallas. And I want to respect her, it’s not like I’m a chef who’s like, “Screw the critic!” I want her to love me. She has daddy issues, and I have mommy issues with her. The rest of the village loves me, and Leslie can’t deny that I’m a good chef, but she always has to say things like “You know, when I was a kid, the truffles were better in France than the ones I had at Spoon. And the caviar, it’s not the best in the world. If I’m going to give it five stars…”

And everyone knew that Spoon deserved the five-star rating, compared to whatever else was going on in Dallas. That doesn’t mean anything to the rest of the United States, but if I don’t have the approval of the local critic, I’m screwed. Because [The Braiser] might want to talk to me, but Food & Wine isn’t going to want to talk to me. You know, what’s his name, Andrew Knowlton’s not going to buzz through my restaurant for fifteen minutes and put me on one of those lists of the 50 Best New Restaurants, which to me, is a great accolade, and I would love the attention, but to me it’s bullshit.

So, there’s clearly some fraught chef/critic relations going on here, but Tesar really fueled the fire with the following series of rage tweets:

And now she’s banned from Knife. This is like, the alternate ending to Jon Favreau’s Chef.


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