Michael Pollan: French Laundry 'Felt Like Work,' Chipotle Is 'A Step In The Right Direction'

For the most part, sustainable food guru Michael Pollan, author of Omnivore's Dilemma etc., makes pronouncements on the broadest contours of the food world. His central motto, infamously, is "eat food." Doesn't get that much more basic than that. Even when he does deign to address a foodstuff more specific than, say, "vegetables," he usually refrains from singling out individual restaurants. That's why it was refreshing for him to discuss his restaurant preferences in detail with the Denver Post.

He had praise for two paragons of sustainable dining, on vastly different scales: Chipotle and Chez Panisse. He refers to the latter as one of his favorite restaurants, noting that he lives nearby. He applaud's Chipotle work in sustainability, which he calls "a step in the right direction," though he chides the chain for serving "very high-calorie food."

Pollan had harsher words for Thomas Keller's three-Michelin-starred restaurant The French Laundry, in Yountville, Ca., which has been called the country's best restaurant. He said that he'd been there for his 50th birthday and had a thoroughly unpleasant experience. He even went as far as to say his meal "felt like work," complaining that the elaborateness of the meal distracted from his conversation. Maybe he's a Pisces?