Dear Chefs of the Hudson Valley,

I appreciate you. I appreciate your attention to detail and your dedication to your craft. I appreciate how hard you work, and how hard you’ve worked to become a chef. The Hudson Valley is home to one of the best culinary schools in the country, if not the world, and we’re so lucky to have so many great chefs. Yes, I really do appreciate you.

That being said, I have a question to ask. What is more important to you, presentation or taste? For me, as a consumer, it’s taste. Presentation is nice, but if it doesn’t taste as good as it looks then what good is presentation? It’s nice to have both presentation and taste, but if I had to give up one, keep your beautiful presentation and give me an ugly plate of deliciousness. 

And what if that presentation actually changes the taste of the dish? That’s what I really have a problem with. If I order a piece of chocolate cake and the menu only describes the cake, I’m not going to be happy when it comes in a swirl of lovely raspberry sauce. Because I hate raspberries and suddenly I have chocolate raspberry cake. No thanks.

I like chocolate and I like cheesecake. But I don’t like them together. So, when I order cheesecake I don’t want it swimming in a puddle of chocolate sauce that looks like a feather or flower or whatever. Your presentation has ruined the taste of my dessert. And chances are that I’m paying 8 or 9 dollars for that dessert. At least say on the menu that it comes in a sauce so I can order it without.

In closing, thank you for letting me vent. And just a reminder that there is a whole portion of the population that hates cilantro. It tasted like soap or plastic to us. I’m part of that portion, so maybe offer a few cilantro-free dishes, please. 

Your Friend, Robyn Taylor

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