Diners, in a quest to look for the latest dish, newest restaurant, or trying the most bizarre foods, have fueled a need for restaurants to push the boundaries of what is allowed, including in the check. The need to be “in the know,” has put the food critic in the driver seat and, in an age of constant status updates, almost everyone has turned into a food critic. On the other hand, the food industry at-large has pushed chef with sponsorships, food programs, book deals and other perks, to become secretive about their craft. Since profits are slim, only those with immense financial backing from corporate sponsors are able to move into the celebrity chef arena that most chefs now aim to be part of. Sponsorship is now so prevalent that some chef’s jackets start to look like car-racing jackets with logos galore.
It is precisely the balance between authenticity and corporate sponsorship that has at the moment divided the food industry on two camps. Whatever camp comes out victorious could decide the future of the food industry for the next decade.