A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 19, 2013
Tweezer Food

"Tweezer food” has been cited in print since at least 2000, when a book included, “I’ve also heard it called tweezer food because it’s so artfully arranged on the plate, it looks like it’s been placed there with tweezers.” Diners are sometimes given tweezers to eat this food.

The food writer Josh Ozersky popularized the term in 2010. In April 2013, Ozersky wrote “The Hidden Virtues of Tweezer Food,” indicating that he was not necessarily against such food.


Google Books
Glutton for Punishment
By Cecile Lamalle
New York, NY: Warner Books
2000
Pg. ?:
“I’ve also heard it called tweezer food because it’s so artfully arranged on the plate, it looks like it’s been placed there with tweezers.”

Fodor’s
richardsonsnm on Feb 7, 06 at 9:47am
My wife and I stay at both the Four Seasons and the Athenee, no offense intended, but these are VERY stuffy places, even for an anniversary. The concierge at the Four Seasons directed us one afternoon to Chez Renee just down the street, the best Dover sole and tenderloin with bearnaise, casual, and local. Being in the restaurant business, we just don’t have the patience to sit around for 3-4 hrs and eat “tweezer food”.

New York (NY) Times—Schott’s Vocab
April 26, 2010, 11:20 am
Tweezer Food
High-end restaurant cuisine that is delicately prepared and presented – often literally with tweezers.

In a passionate take-down of Sam Sifton’s review of the New York restaurant Sho Shaun Hergatt, foodie Josh Ozersky deployed the term “tweezer food” to describe the precision of certain eateries that serve “international rich person food.”

I ate in that restaurant, and that is a three-star restaurant. Now, you can say “I don’t like tweezer food, I’d rather have a taco,” … Great! Great! Go have a taco! … This is a restaurant that has an army of people working in lock-step perfection …

Time magazine
Restaurant Ratings: Is Michelin Lost in the Stars?
By Josh Ozersky Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010
(...)
Both do the same sort of tweezer food; it’s merely a question of taste and emphasis.

New York magazine—Grub Street
No Tweezer Food at New Brooklyn Star
1/28/11 at 11:25 AM
“No meat glue, no cooking in bags, no tweezers, no garnish towers, or dots of color.” —The Brooklyn Star describes itself in a Craigslist ad seeking kitchen staff for its imminent reopening.

Zagat
7/16/2012 04:55:00 PM
Where Do You Stand on “Tweezer” Food?
By Meesha Halm
Jay Rayner’s recent “War on Tweezer Food” article in The Observer got us thinking about the Bay Area’s own tweezer cuisine. In general, we agree that tweezers best belong in beauty salons, surgery rooms and possibly the fish station where they are the most effective tool for removing small bones.

Esquire
APR 19, 2013
The Hidden Virtues of Tweezer Food
By Josh Ozersky
at 11:05am
(...)
And I’m not sure I totally believe in my campaign against tweezer food.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Friday, April 19, 2013 • Permalink