I have now spoken with the Vancouver chef who supposedly wrote the horrid email we received, bashing our food and promoting his restaurant. The chef, a true gentleman, was apologetic and livid at the thought that someone had written such an email in his name, forging his signature. He was also wondering who the heck we were and why someone would write to us in this manner.
Aki and I are equally disturbed because the importance and credibility associated with one's name and signature apparently no longer exists. It appears anyone can be anyone, throwing stones at people from afar or worse, ruining someone else's reputation for reasons of spite or plain maliciousness. We have in many ways been causalities of a form of identity theft.
Sure, the email was an ugly thing, but the deeper issue is about credibility. What if we hadn't been suspicious of it's origins? Questioning of the fact that any Chef would put their name to such a document that could be easily reproduced and replicated for the world to read? What if we had published it with the Chef's name intact? Then the writer of the this digital forgery would have gotten what they seem to have wanted, making the Chef in question seem petty and disagreeable, and getting a rise out of us at the same time. And that is something the digital world needs to think long and hard about. Where is the accountability on the Internet?
So, at the end of the day the chef in question did not write the letter. Someone else did, forging a signature and utilizing a misleading hotmail address. That is just plain wrong. So the next time you get a letter from someone you don't know, look carefully at it's origins because it may not be from who you think it's from. It may be from someone just trying to play games with you on-line.