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Bowles, Chicago Mag Clash On Twitter

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jul 21, 2010 8:25PM

Photo by Ian Merritt
For pure getting-sucked-in time killer voyeurism, few social media platforms can match Twitter. It's even better when a flame war breaks out. Such was the case last night when Graham Elliot Bowles read Chicago magazine's recap of his Lollpalooza food court preview party. Writer Cassie Walker took the unusual step of ranking the bite-sized samples of the food served. "Unusual" in that, while Walker was transparent that she was attending a media preview and, according to Chicago Mag, introduced herself as a journalist to Bowles, the food rarely gets a grade in the interest of maintaining ethics. (For an example of how this was done properly, read Janet Rausa Fuller's recap of the Lolla media preview on the Sun-Times food blog, which does everything Walker did except review the food).

Bowles expressed his frustration with Walker's recap via Twitter, apparently without the benefit of a deep breath or five.

"Three words of the day: FUCK CHICAGO MAGAZINE."

Chicago Mag's response was priceless: "Only if you buy us dinner first." Which led to another reply from Bowles here and a more contrite reply from Chicago magazine here.

Walker's odd decision to review the food at a media preview was overshadowed by Bowles's churlish response to the post and to others who felt he needed to take a step back and compose himself. Bowles is known to not take criticism lying down, to which we can personally attest. There's also the perception that complaining about the coverage of a scheduled media preview is a little more than gauche. But he's also one of the more media savvy chefs in the city. The old maxim, "Any press is good press" is both applied and tested here.

(Disclosure: In the interest of transparency I should point out that Stolpman and I both attended graham elliot's second anniversary dinner in May. Neither one of us reviewed the meal.)