Barry Maiden, mastermind behind the swoonworthy Southern restaurant Hungry Mother, isn't happy with the proliferation of faux Southern restaurants throughout the city. He unburdened himself to Eater: "I take it personally when someone opens a restaurant and it’s dubbed as a Southern place. I want to like those places because it could be somewhere I could go away from here and enjoy some authentic home cooking, which Southern food is at its core. It’s peasant food. But I think people want to capitalize on that fact of it and the fact that it’s cheap and also trendy, and now they can capitalize and make money off of it, which really, really pisses me off." OK, but he does like Ken Oringer!
"Ken Oringer opens restaurants because he’s passionate about it and he’s good at it. You’d never know Ken Oringer wasn’t from Spain based on Toro," he allows.
Grub Street interviewed the Food & Wine Best New Chef 2009 back when he won the award, and at the time he also really loved Eastern Standard and RF O'Sullivan's.
He also approves of Highland Kitchen, although he doesn't understand why chef Mark Romano hasn't done a pepperoni roll yet. It's been a long hot summer.