It started so innocently. Graham Elliot Bowles held a sample event on Monday to showcase some of the food items that would be available at this year’s Lollapalooza. We showcased a few of the items yesterday. Chicago Magazine was also there, and decided to give little mini reviews on both the taste and portability of the items. The reviews weren’t particularly glowing, pointing out that Big Star’s sope was “On the bland side,” and that Graham Elliot’s lobster dog was, “Too Rich.” It was a little strange to review the food at a sample event, especially considering that these were small samples of the food, and that the actual items would be bigger at the festival. Still, we didn't quite expect this reaction from Bowles: “Three words of the day: FUCK CHICAGO MAGAZINE.” And then it spiraled out of control from there.
Chicago Magazine responded with, “Only if you buy us dinner first,” which had us rolling on the floor, but Bowles didn’t think that was quite as funny as we did. He came back with, “@ChicagoMag bought you dinner/drinks last night, which your JV Yearbook team promptly "reviewed". Stay classy Chi Mag!” Ouch!
Chicago Magazine pulled back and issued a declarative statement, “We appreciate @grahamelliot's opinion on our opinion. He's doing his job, we're doing ours. No need to make it out to be more than it is.” But Bowles kept on the attack, “Misquotes, inaccuracies, pseudo reviewing of tastings/samples of menu, topped w/ overall crappy writing.”
We’re not quite sure what to make out of all of this. On one hand a publication reviewed the food at a sample event, which wouldn’t appear in the same way at the actual event. Still, Bowles wanted media attention of the food, and he got it. Honestly, after reading over the reviews again it’s hard to figure why got so offended. Thanks goes to the 312 Dining Diva for being on top of all these happenings.
Oh well. This isn’t the first time Bowles has taken on someone who he thinks missed the point. Back in June, he took on the creator of the “Chicagoans Against Graham Elliot” Facebook page.
Sampling Lollapalooza Cuisine with Graham Elliot Bowles [Chicago Magazine]
Food Fight! Chicago Mag vs. Graham Elliot Bowles [312 Dining Diva]