New food critics debut at Phoenix Mag

By Michele Laudig

No, that's not a typo in the headline.

Instead of hiring one new critic to replace recently-ousted restaurant reviewer Nikki Buchanan, Phoenix Magazine's July issue reveals three new scribes: Carey Sweet, Geri Koeppel, and Gwen Ashley Walters, all of whom also write for the Arizona Republic.

Since I just got my new issue in the mail, I can't tell you much about the coverage or the writing, except to say that there seems to be more of it than in past issues.

When Buchanan, who'd been at the magazine for-ev-er, parted ways with her employer, it had been reported that she'd had disagreements with management over having to meet with advertisers. One of those advertisers is El Pedregal. And supposedly somebody wasn't happy with Buchanan's brutally honest review of Luc's, the pricey El Pedregal eatery, wherein she concluded: "Luc's sucks."

I think iced tea shot out of my nostrils when I read that kicker!

Since then, Luc's has already gone through a couple of chef and menu changes, so it likely bears no resemblance to its former slam-worthy self.

Nevertheless, I found it very interesting that along with the new food critics, the new issue of Phoenix Magazine also contains a two-page advertorial on Luc's, as well as an ad for a TV promotional event for Luc's that the mag is co-sponsoring.

Now whaddaya think of that?

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