In their final year as the San Francisco Chronicle’s restaurant critic, Soleil Ho tirelessly covered the Bay Area’s food industry with passion, care and understanding. They continued to shake up typical food writing conventions, using their platform to uplift small restaurants run by people of color as well as question titans that have seemed untouchable. They don’t merely tell readers where to eat; they explain why food matters.
In their review of the French Laundry, one of the country’s most famous and esteemed fine dining restaurants with a perfect three-star rating from the Michelin Guide, Ho finally gave voice to something many in the industry had been quietly thinking for years: that the restaurant was coasting on its reputation. It sparked furious debate online, leading to multiple follow-ups such as a live talk on Twitter Spaces and a reader poll that attracted over 15,000 responses.