Alpha males aren't end of the story

Beard controversy obscured Greek contributions to Birmingham dining

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Put aside, for a moment, the question of whether Birmingham restaurateur Timothy Hontzas spoke too harshly to his employees and guests. Put aside the debate over whether The James Beard Foundation had any business policing Hontzas’ behavior or stripping the chef’s award eligibility following an ethics investigation sparked by an anonymous tip.

Instead, let’s linger on an aspect of the controversy that’s gone mostly undiscussed in the wake of Hontzas’ disqualification on May 10, a decision so fraught that it was dissected on the front page of the New York Times.


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