One of my new roles is to run interference for the magazine publisher. If some restaurant owner or publicist becomes a nuisance, they get my e-mail address. I’m not complaining; gentle-but-firm isn’t a stretch for me. And there are perks.
For instance, this old and wizened PR agent, let’s call her Muriel Goldberg, recently got in touch about two Italian restaurants she represents. Very New York pushy, she e-mailed and called over five times in a two-day stretch, using language that’s vaguely threatening:
Jesse, I’m looking forward to meeting you and if you like good food, I’m sure you’re looking forward to it, too.
So now I will visit the restaurants, eat a free meal, and decide if we should do a feature. Muriel will be joining me, which means I’ll get the hard sell. HOWEVER, she was kind enough to write a series of essays on how to dupe food writers and critics. I know all her tricks now. Do your worst, dowager!