[Left to right: Thierry Rautureau; Capitol Hill resident; Texan; Snooki]
This morning Hanna Raskin informed the world that she will now be adopting assorted disguises when she reviews restaurants. It seems RN74 has a poster hanging in its service area, bearing a picture of Raskin's face and the ominous/hilarious warning "Hannah Raskin...know her."
An item such like this is a given in restaurant kitchens in cities like Chicago, San Francisco and New York. Team Mina probably installed this without a second thought. The fact that you don't hear about these signs much in Seattle speaks more to the state of our food criticism culture than Raskin's relative anonymity.
But it's that whole "relative anonymity" thing that has Raskin doing a little soul searching. Our fair Seattle Weekly critic does all the reclusive things an anonymous critic should do. However she will do the occasional "registration-required" event for a good cause. It's this (rather noble) exception that has not gone unnoticed over at the mothership:
But those exceptions are so exceedingly rare that it galls me when I'm labeled "un-anonymous." My hunch is most diners don't bother to distinguish between "un-anonymous" critics who storm into restaurants demanding special treatment and "un-anonymous" critics who've been outed on Eater. I put too much work into remaining behind-the-scenes to have my efforts dismissed because an angry blogger at a private party surreptitiously took my picture.
Her solution: take a page from Ruth Reichl and rock some disguises. Raskin asks, "Can I fully regain my anonymity? I figure if women can reclaim their virginity, I probably have a pretty good shot at it." Game on. Also: who does Eater need to bribe over at RN74 to get a shot of that poster?
[Image inspiration: Raphael Brion]