Last night at the launch party for The LA Times’ Food Bowl, Jonathan Gold revealed “The Best Restaurant of the Year.” The honor was awarded to Taco Maria, a Costa Mesa Restaurant that serves “Alta California cuisine, a mezcla of Mexican and American cultures.” In his acceptance speech, Chef Carlos Salgado respectfully denounced the concept of “best restaurant” as not relevant to the art of cookery, and suggested that superlatives encourage competition rather than collaboration.
He went on to discuss the current political climate in America and its effect of the culinary world. He ended on a strong note with nothing less than a call to arms. I apologize for the quality of the video. I had intended to transcribe the speech, but I decided that the message was more powerful in Chef Salgado’s own voice.