Gentlemen vs. Players
Last week a bit of a furore arose in the Twtter shpere over a blog by a young man called James Isherwood on visiting Claude Bosi’s Hibiscus restaurant in London. The review didn’t make the greatest reading in the world, but it did severely criticise one dish and the service. Part of the game, one would have thought but Claude’s reaction was, so to speak, a little OTT, particularly as he thought that having asked James if he had enjoyed his meal whilst going through the restaurant (as chefs do), James replied in the affirmative. Having then read his review, Claude tweeted as follows
Now I know that running a Michelin starred restaurant is a very fraught occupation – but this?
It isn’t only amateur bloggers who make “mistakes”. When I had a restaurant (many years ago) a then leading critic, Jonathan Meades, mumbled “OK” when asked if everything was all right, but still proceded to give a lousy review, compounded by the fact that he wrote that the lamb dish he ate contained curry, which it never did. To me this showed the level of his taste buds to be completely fraudulent, but he did write well. We did conplain to “The Times” and did get a one line apology from them the following week, although it was not on the restaurant review page so probably nobody saw it anyway. To Claude I would say that it isn’t easy for someone to criticise a meal to the chef’s face, but you do have to realise that you are always going to get criticisms, whether they are fair or not. I’m sure that James’s blog will not stop people coming to your restaurant. To James, I would say, don’t let this incident stop you blogging. Your reviews will get better and better and don’t be afraid to tell the chef face to face if asked whether you enjoyed your meal (or not) if you were not happy. He (or she) will probably call you a c**t there and then but at least it won’t be all over the bloggersphere unless, of course, you decided to include that comment in your review!