Where should we draw the line on menu substitutions?

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Not all mixologists and chefs like you messing with their recipes.
  • Overworked. Underfed.
  • Not all mixologists and chefs like you messing with their recipes.
Every chef, regardless of their motivation for getting behind a hot grill, has a vision of the food they're sending out into the dining room. The composition of dishes is intentional and, in many cases, a reflection of the chef's influences and evolving abilities over years. And then a diner sits down and explains that they really don't want salt, butter or cheese, and could the sauce just come on the side?

Chefs are apparently striking back in what Time's Josh Ozersky calls "The New Culture of Culinary Coercion." In the piece, he wonders if a culture of tasting menus and inflexible chefs has gone too far. So, should every restaurant allow substitutions, or are there dishes from chefs of certain renown, bartenders with certain skills, and restaurants at certain price points that we (as nonchefs) shouldn't be allowed to monkey around with?

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