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Food Critic Grilled Over Steak Review

Steamed chef may force Philly writer to reveal identity in court
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2007 4:00 AM CDT
Food Critic Grilled Over Steak Review
Chops restaurant in Bala Cynwyd, Pa., is shown on Wednesday, June 20, 2007. In a lawsuit filed by Chops that involves issues as lofty as the First Amendment and as mundane as which cut of meat was actually eaten, Philadelphia Inquirer food critic Craig LaBan is being sued over a three-sentence restaurant...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – A miffed chef is suing the restaurant critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer after he reviewed a $15 slab of steak as "miserably tough and fatty." But the suit could be even more of a raw deal than expected for writer Craig LaBan, who was ordered to give a video deposition that could jeopardize his cover.

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Cooks who learn LaBan's identity may dish out special treatment, undercutting his ability to review. The writers says it's his First Amendment right to express opinions but the chef claims it's libel because the review was based on a falsehood: He beefs that LaBan didn't order a strip steak at all, but a steak sandwich without bread. (Read more chef stories.)

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