shame on you bon appetit

 Bon Appétit is a well-respected magazine in the world of food and wine, a bible for those in the restaurant, catering and winery profession. It is our longtime love and support of this publication that makes their recent decision to repeatedly slam the catering industry all the more shocking and insulting. 

In their recent ‘Food Lovers Guide to Weddings’ issue, published in April of 2015, Bon Appétit staff writers made the egregious claim that caterers are a bad choice that brides and/or grooms should avoid if they want the finest food at their reception. Characterizing catered food as boring and bland, they wrote that, “the best way to make sure your caterer doesn’t serve bone-dry chicken: Don’t hire one.” In a sidebar for this story, they wrote that couples would do well to “lose the caterer.”

What do they think should the married party do instead? Bon Appétit chose to adopt the virtues of having an established restaurant provide food for the affair  - a solution that is far from tried and true. In fact, many people have their own horror stories about chefs, poorly equipped to cater a wedding, blowing a fuse at crying brides and being unable to deliver the quality that they promised.

Last week, Adam Rapoport published a quasi apology on Bon Appétit’s website, claiming that “We pissed off the Catering Industry – and we’re sorry.” But are they really? The 400-word screed seems to have been published with tongue planted firmly in cheek, as no real apology can be found within. Instead, Rapoport waxes poetic about his own sister’s irritation with the original article, and deflects Bon Appétit’s responsibility by claiming that this was, of course, only a suggestion.

He writes, “the point of this four-page primer is to get you to think differently about your wedding, to give you options…. Mind you, these are all things that a caterer can and will do. You just have to ask.” Exactly. You just have to ask – as industry leading caterers we can and do create wonderful, exciting and innovative wedding menus.

Rapoport goes on to say, “the fact is, most of us here at Bon Appétit have been to a gazillion weddings, the majority of which have been serviced by caterers. Some have been great, some have been so so. And that’s no different from restaurants—some are great, some are good, some are really…meh.” So why was Bon Appétit so eager to recommend a restaurant if they are equally “meh?” This contradiction is never explained, nor is it supported.

We want to firmly state our disagreement with the way that Bon Appétit has characterized those in the catering industry as being antiquated, poorly equipped and behind the times. The best way to ensure that the food at your wedding is delicious, unique and exceeds your wildest dreams is to do your research, taste the food and communicate with your caterer. And maybe, although we hate to say it, put down that copy of Bon Appétit - for good.