Date: 01 Apr 2014

De Gustibus Disputandum: The Aesthetics and Ethics of Taste in the Rhetorical Genre of the Restaurant Review

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Abstract

Contemporary professional restaurant reviews have consequences beyond the dinner plate. They now face challenges from the democratizing efforts of blogs and crowd-sourced reviews. Thus an analysis seems appropriate for determining how they are written and what might be lost should they be replaced. Restaurant reviews are presumed to be a species of art and literary criticism and as such have evolved as a rhetorical genre. Through genre analysis we inductively construct the form of the professional restaurant review and then apply it deductively to recent reviews to discover any substantive and stylistic differences that have arisen in the evolution of this genre of writing. We conclude with a critique of this genre that reveals ethical implications for the uses of metaphors in professional restaurant reviews.