LFS Nostalgia

May 14, 2009

Written by: Vince McConeghy

It was announced yesterday, on multiple Food Blogs, that the estimable critic Frank Bruni was leaving the culinary world's most exalted media position as restaurant critic for the New York Times.

Apparently this is big news. But reading the internal memo that was leaked from the Times, it's even bigger news that the Times' editor Bill Keller crafted such drek to announce Bruni's departure.  

Doesn't Keller have a newspaper to save?

Meanwhile in Buffalo, Janice Okun reviewed another restaurant.

It's been a couple months since Okun printed her farewell piece in the News. Okun's grasp on WNY's food bully pulpit, however, remains unchanged. 

I guess I had mistakenly supposed that Okun was ready to step aside and unleash the next generation of food critic amongst my unsuspecting colleagues in the food business.

Boy was I wrong.

I can't blame her, though.  Most of those who have plum gigs in our "Littlest Big City" tend to hold on to them just a little bit longer than in other markets.  Think of Marv Levy, Rick Jeanneret, or for that matter, Ed Kilgore. 

This town hardly ever lets its young voices be heard until well into middle age. The only person not to overstay his embrace is the greatly missed, sadly departed, John Otto.  Now, there is someone who has proven to be truly irreplaceable.

John Otto answering the telephone on the radio

While on line at a local bookstore, I saw Irv Weinstein's trademark grin and glasses filling the cover of a book on WNY nostalgia. I caught myself tearing up.  I miss you, Irv.  You rode off into the sunset, leaving those 'pistol packing punks' behind, and you didn't come back. 

That takes guts. 

Irv Weinstein, gone but not forgotten.


Comments (2)

Tim Burr
May 22, 2009 11:35 AM

I miss John Otto's voice and eloquent use of the English language. He certainty was a master who cannot be replaced.

George Schaeffer
May 15, 2009 2:58 PM

Ah, the Irv Weinstein show with Buffalo ablaze. Bet most did not know that Irv had to sit on a phone directory to give the appearance that he was nearly the same size as the co-anchor. Go ahead - look it up.