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Chef and restaurateur Jeff Black caused a bit of a stir during the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington’s RAMMY Awards gala on Sunday for a perceived slight on bloggers in his acceptance speech for restaurateur of the year. He just sent out this letter trying to walk it back:

To the blogging and media community,

I certainly apologize if my comments at the RAMMY awards were upsetting and I am sorry they were taken out of the context I intended. The point I was trying to make is about the underappreciated people in our industry. Have you ever cleaned a toilet you didn’t own? Scrub pots of food you were not allowed to taste. Clean a table that the food and drink from were more expensive than you can afford. Many of us in the restaurant business have. It’s where we start and hopefully with enough dedication we prosper.

The truth of the matter is I should have directed my comments to people who use the internet as a Bully Pulpit to deride or denigrate many in the restaurant business. Not the trophy chefs and restaurateurs (who should have thick enough skin to take critical comment in stride), but the people who really make the industry work. Countless times nameless, faceless “Posters” on food blogs deride waiters, bartenders and other restaurant employees without thought of the consequences or the commitment these people make every day.

At Black Restaurant Group we support blogs that celebrate Hospitality, That support The Local Food Scene, that spotlight farms and farmers and all the hard work they do. What we don’t support are people who come to the restaurants and make threats of negative posts for “freebies” or to skirt the rules. (You can call me anytime and I will give a laundry list of outrageous behavior from certain people, cell xxx.xxx.xxxx*). Again I do humbly apologize if my comments where taken out of context. I was merely trying to stand up for the people that make my company the success that it is.

Thank you,

Jeff Black

Black Restaurant Group

*Y&H removed the phone number.

Photo by Chris Shott