New Cafe critic Gretchen Kurtz dishes up a few words on her philosophy

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A presidential honeymoon lasts about 100 days. Having devoured well wishes and advice from Kyle Wagner, Laura Shunk, John Kessler and Jason Sheehan, I'm bracing myself for a honeymoon about 99 days shorter than that. I'm sure donning a thick skin will be hard -- possibly as hard as not shouting "Don't you know who I am?" when a server puts a tray on my head -- but I've endured hard things before (natural childbirth and breaking my jaw on a mogul spring to mind). Feedback is part of the deal, though, and a good dialogue will benefit us all. As the clock ticks down until my first review hits and those comments start rolling in, let me share a few words about my philosophy:

See also: - Jason Sheehan: Don't take anyone's advice about anything - John Kessler warns our new critic about 7/Eleven hot dogs - Kyle Wagner serves up some advice for our new Cafe critic - Laura Shunk dishes out some tips for our new Cafe critic

1) I promise to say it like it is. Though I don't have an actual post-it on my computer, I learned the same rules as Wagner ("Is it true? Is it fair? Is it necessary?") when I started writing for a daily paper some twenty years ago. It's as important for restaurateurs as readers to trust me on this.

2) I am just like you. Well, maybe not just like Sheehan, who sang drunken karaoke at an Asian joint in Aurora, but when I eat out and write about it, I'm doing so as a regular person. Yes, I am a restaurant critic and I get paid to eat out. But I'm mostly someone who wants to share a meal with good friends, eating great food in equally great environments, being treated well and getting good value for my money. When this doesn't happen, I'll tell you. (See item #1.)

3) I will do my best to be anonymous, so that my experience will mirror yours as closely as possible. Full disclosure: wigs aren't my thing. Sorry.

4) And for those of you mourning Shunk's departure, the ones who found your brainwaves in-sync and her advice spot-on, I ask you to give me a chance. I have big shoes to fill, as anyone who's followed the previous critics' paths can attest, but I promise to do the best I can -- in my own voice, with my own observations, and fully cognizant that being a pet sitter is one of the best jobs in the world.

Watch for Gretchen Kurtz's first restaurant review -- on The Kitchen Denver -- to be posted here later today.

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