Hanna Raskin is Stripped of Anonymity on Eater.com

The ability for dining critics to remain anonymous is almost impossible these days. While Leslie Brenner and I cling to the idea that we are still somewhat unknown (cue laugh track), the Dallas Observer’s Hanna Raskin attended Monday night’s Foodways Texas event and wore a nametag. Of course, Eater.com has posted her picture. Do you think this matters? Can I sell my fat suit and wig collection on eBay? And if that is Hanna? Girl, you need to eat more.


  • Mike

    Just another reason she’s an incompetent ‘food critic’.

  • Elizabeth Bair

    Eater already posted pictures of Hanna in April of last year, before she came to the Observer

  • downtowner

    hah! she lives in my building.

  • Mark Woods

    Slack jawed yokel.

  • Nancy, I am deeply committed to the principles of anonymity — which, as you say, are sadly becoming a bit anachronistic. (Much like the notion of print journalism, which I also steadfastly support.)

    I make reservations in fake names. I have a wallet stuffed with credit cards assigned to aliases. And as any publicist in town can tell you, I never attend media or public events.

    But I didn’t hesitate to wear a name tag at the fundraiser for Foodways Texas, a grassroots group devoted to the preservation and celebration of Texas food and food culture. Folks who would ante up $75 on behalf of that cause aren’t the vicious malcontents who dredge up photos for Eater: They’re my colleagues and my friends. Disguising my identity at such an event would be tantamount to wearing a hat and Groucho Marx glasses to Thanksgiving dinner.

    It is not uncommon for critics to identify themselves in situations considered “safe”: I have a stack of name tags from Association of Food Journalists’ conferences and Southern Foodways Alliance symposiums to prove it. What is appropriate is to request no photos be taken, which is why I instructed the photographer at the Foodways Texas event that I wasn’t to appear in any of her images.

    But I do appreciate you raising this important question (although I selfishly wish you could have done so without further disseminating the Eater.com post) and look forward to hearing your readers’ take on the issue.

  • Using a fake name for reviews then boldly appearing at a dinner where you chummed around with 5 or 6 chefs is okay? This photo came from one of your $75 paying malcontents and YOU posed for it. I deeply question your ethics and any review you ever write in the future. By the way Nancy attends these dinners in heavy disguise, that is why she can call you out on this Hannah.

  • Glenn Campbell

    Why is Nancy Nichols so catty?

  • Jared

    Here is the photo of the day, forget that she wore a name tag. She looks friggin smashed. http://picasaweb.google.com/jim.gossen/FoodwaysTexasDallasFundraiser12411#5566137489615488898

  • Scott–DFW

    Leaving aside the worthiness of the Foodways Texas cause, Hanna, how could you have considered attending this event “safe,” in terms of maintaining anonymity and professional distance from the restaurants and chefs you cover? It was on your turf, it was highly publicized and open to all comers, and many high-profile chefs were going to be there. How is attending this any different than openly attending and rubbing elbows with local chefs at a Share Our Strength charity dinner or Savor Dallas?

  • Dear Hanna,
    Perhaps this will make you feel better. The picture was taken 10 years and 20 pounds ago but it is there right alongside yours. I appreciate your comment. You are smart and dedicated and diligent. I guess we differ on on what is considered a safe event. A food journalist or IACP event is different from a room full of chefs and Dallas foodies. Obviously one person at Smoke was a malcontent. Still don’t get the name tag if you are in a room with “friends.”

  • Muse

    I suspect more people would be concerned about this if we only knew who she was.

  • KitchenDoor

    Scott is right. Your defense is weak. Choose your mission. Are you an advocate for food trends or a food critic? If you are both, skip the name tag. You lost my respect.

  • Josh

    She could have very easily said “hey, I’m here in support of this but I really can’t be walking around with a name tag”. Simple as that. She’s a bonehead.

  • Ozonedude

    Yup, you’re certainly one to avoid a photo opp at a restaurant upon which you’ve heaped praise.


  • john

    Ozonedude busted you big time. You, Raskin, Brenner, and Faries need to concentrate on putting out valuable reviews and food stories. Quit the cat fighting.

  • anonymous

    WOW. Such hypocrisy.

  • Sarah

    Raskin is back peddling on her blog today saying she won’t write about chefs she knows. . She then went on to say she met Byres when she first moved here. Later she gushed about Smoke proving her to be a liar. Raskin needs to leave both Byres and Foodways alone. She is a liability to both

    I think integrity is an asset a critc needs most.

  • Andrea Grimes

    Really, Hanna needs to eat more? This post is the worst.

    I’ll take doing your job like a professional over wholly irrelevant body-snarking any day.

  • I thought you had a sense of humor Andrea.