Gary Usher savage response to diner’s TripAdvisor criticism

The freedom of speech can be a wonderful thing! If diners can complain about anything then chef’s deserve right of reply. Absolutely.

Restaurants, and all those in the food industry, deserve the support of their customers more than ever in the current pandemic. Unless you have a truly shocking meal or something needs to be brought attention to the public, then why bother with a lame TripAdvisor post to satisfy your ego. I’d ask the TripAdvisor diner what has their bad review achieved for them? If there’s a genuine unhappiness with the service, price or food then why not communicate with the owner in private? This is not only a classier way to deal with it but it’s also far more likely to end in a good resolution for both parties. TripAdvisor serves a purpose, yes, but complaining about the price after the meal seems like an after-timer’s attitude at best, at worst it’s just stupid: ‘I can’t believe I just spent £2 on a chocolate bar! I blame Nestle!’

Can a chef truly ‘own’ a recipe?

Has Gordon Ramsay really plagiarised Australian Mitch Orr’s signature macaroni, pig’s head and egg yolk. Or is this chef clout chasing?

Gordon's Vietnamese braised pork carbonara
Gordon Ramsay’s
The Australian chef's signature dish
Mitch Orr’s

For my money, recipe borrowing is fair and has always happened. Should you give credit when you’ve been inspired? Absolutely. But if Mitch Orr is expecting anything more from GR he’s either crazy or clout chasing. This isn’t The Big Mac or Coca Cola. He should take the compliment and go for a surf. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

What do you think?

I’d like to thank Gordon Ramsay and Mitch Orr for their IG pictures and Pip Sloan at the Telegraph for letting me borrow her article which you can read in full at the below link. 🙂

Top 10 (London based) British Chefs

Almost impossible to create lists like this. But we did anyway. Chefs are British and primarily based in London (not just have their 2nd restaurant here). Many more specific chef lists to follow.

Phil Howard – Elystan Street

Phil Howard

Tom Aikens – Muse

Tom Aikens

Tom Story – Story

Tom Story

Ollie Dabbous – Hide

Ollie Dabbous

Adam Byatt – Trinity

Adam Byatt

Marcus Wareing – Marcus

Marcus Wareing

Claire Smith – Core

Claire Smith

Bryn Williams – Odette’s

Bryn Williams

Fergus Henderson – St John

Fergus Henderson

London Michelin stars – 25 January 2021

The awards will take place at the delayed date.

Meanwhile take a look at the 67 London restaurants with Michelin stars on the brilliant Hot Dinners Website:

Top 10 Food shows: #7 Adam Ragusea

Gordon Ramsay enjoyed a purple patch in UK food TV from 1999-2012. Boiling Point, Kitchen Nightmares, The F Word were some of the best TV shows you’ll ever see about kitchens. But just when I thought he could do no wrong, along came Ramsay’s Cookalong live. A worthless runt of a show. Like Ready Steady Cook on bad acid.

Ramsay is TV gold but even he couldn’t make live TV cooking watchable. To learn from live cooking in the flesh can be glorious. You get close to the action, listening, smelling, prodding and tasting. With live TV you miss all the details. Pre-prepared uber-ingredients appear out of nowhere at the last minute. The camera is on always on the chef instead of the food. They are way too difficult to follow for the amateur cook.

My friend Matt recently messaged to say I should check out Adam Ragusea. he’s the man behind my ‘famous lasagna’”, Matt promised, “the absolute best for demystifying cooking.” I was intrigued but skeptical.

Five minutes into the show I could see it was different from the usual dross. Firstly, the camera takes a bird’s eye view of the pan, like you’re actually the cook, cooking. The narration is fast and straight to the point. His recipes are simple. Easy to follow. Clearly explained.

He throws in just enough detail not to bamboozle. For his Bolognese he describes the difference in the sound you hear as the mince begins to caramelize rather than sweat – an oft-overlooked nuance that adds depth of flavor.  Little gems like this make a big difference.

Ragusea’s style is born out of a frustration that TV-chefs are ‘playing a different game’ to the average home cook. Bottomless pantries and sous-vide machines are always on standby.  He critiques TV chefs for being entertaining practitioners but hopeless teachers. Ragusea is a professor and what he really likes to do is debunk TV chefs’ pseudo truths. “Onions aren’t particularly acidic!” he barks watching Marco Pierre White.

Ragusea isn’t going to inspire the next Escoffier. Nor does he want to. But if you prefer your teaching straight up, without Ramsay’s expletives or Nigella’s sensualism, Adam’s your willing professor. Matt’s lasagna is a winner and now I know why.

From the Mail: Chef reveals the 6 worst mistakes home cooks make in the kitchen that ruin their food

1. Not adding acidity

2. Poor seasoning

3. Overcrowding pan

4. Not resting meat

5. Burning garlic.

6. Not enough good quality fats

Pret a Manger offers ‘all you can drink’ season tickets for £20 – could restaurants follow a subscription model?

Nearly everything we purchase now is done so on a subscription basis. Could restaurants follow the same model?

Read the BBC’s article here:

Top ten Instagram food accounts

Get following and weep at beauty of these:

1) Munchies @munchies

2) Andrew Scrivani @andrewscrivani

3 Dennisistheprescott @dennisistheprescott

4 Johnnie Collins @johnniecollins

5 The Burger List @theburgerlist

6 Chewtown @chewtown

7 Donal Skehan @donalskehan

8 candidsbyjo @candidsbyjo

9 Cashew Kitchen @cashewkitchen

10 Twigg Studios @twiggstudios 

Series of these to follow. If you have any recommendations for more get in contact on Twitter or Instagram

Top 10 Food shows: #8 F*ck, That’s Delicious

F*ck, That’s Delicious. The Life And Eating Habits Of Rap’s Greatest Bon Vivant.

A famous rapper is eating Labk Tikka on a gritty New York street when a car pulls up to him unexpectedly. It feels tense.  The driver shouts:

“Action Bronson! We went to high school together! You don’t remember me? .. Vic!…

I’m out on bail …10G’s. I got my lawyer right now”

The driver spots the film crew.

“I don’t need this shit on camera”

The famous rapper reassures him: ‘we’re doing a show baby’ but the driver is spooked and speeds off.

The film crew are from Vice magazine and the moment was so serendipitously Vice you wonder whether it was a plant. The show being filmed is “F*ck, That’s Delicious” and the famous rapper is also a chef, television host and larger than life personality.

Action Bronson was born to an American Jewish mother and an Albanian Muslim father. Growing up in the cosmopolitan area of Flushing, Queens, he was exposed to a gamut of ethnic diversity and food. His mother, a brilliant cook, inspired him so much that he would eventually attend culinary school in Manhattan, before becoming a chef. A broken leg would put a halt to this chef journey, however, so he recuperated making rap.

And the rest, as they spit, is history. Bronson is now one of the biggest rap stars around, adored by fans globally. But he’s never forgotten his first love, food, which is why Vice created this show with him. ‘Fuck that’s delicious’ is a part travel show part comedic, weed-infused docu-series. But really, it’s all about the food. Bronson and his entourage can’t get enough. His praises places with all the originally, gusto and sincerity you could hope for. Lamb neck in Morocco? ‘That’s phe-nom-enal’

‘F*ck that’s delicious’ follows Bronson and his crew: Meyhem Lauren, The Alchemist and Big Body Bes as they explore the world, and their hometown-boroughs, absorbing the culture, vibe, cannabis and food in a way only they can.

One minute they’re in a fried chicken shop on a back street in the Bronx, the next they’re eating 5-day ‘mesmerising’ pressed duck in Daniel Boulud’s 3 star, on white tablecloth. Bronson takes everything in his stride with his appreciation of hospitality reminiscent of Bourdain.

What makes this show completely different from others is the commentary. Bronson is, of course, a natural orator and his crew also freestyle one-liners describing food like you’ve never heard before:

‘I hear there is a tuna in the building’

‘I feel like a lion when I eat that’

As Rolling Stone put it, this is: ‘elaborate gourmet references that sit alongside equally outlandish hip-hop braggadocio’

Though this is selling Bronson short. He describes food poetically through similes, wordplay and assonance:

“The olive oil virgin, first press, it’s never blended, kid/ I’m straight raw like Carpaccio”

“Too beaucoup, fresher than a lake trout / Barbecue the venison, pair it with a great stout”

“Liquorice liquore, one cube, a touch of water / Watch it mix, turn white like the Duchess’ daughter.”

In ‘From Paris with love.’ we see Bronson develop an obsession with natural wine. Why? Because it’s made by small producers and he’s always rooting for the underdog. He’s loyal too. You’ll see characters popping up again throughout the seasons as he brings them onboard his magical mystery tour.

As Bronson etches his name alongside other food-presenter greats, his heavyweight chef-pal roster grows weekly: Mario BataliAndrew ZimmernDaniel BouludRick BaylessGrant Achatz. But whether it’s an Argentinian Bakery, a kebab house in London or a natural wine bar in Paris, Bronson shows equal and abundant love for the people who make a living through food. The heart of this show is an appreciation of diversity in culture. Something the world could do with more of right now.

‘A man with a gastronomic vision, to a hip-hop artist of the top of the top category, and a student of life with legendary curiosity. Bronson is the Leonardo da Vinci of pop culture’s multi-cosmic, infinitely overstimulated, twenty-first century children of the handheld devices. At the very same moment all this is swirling around in your head, on your tongue, throughout every single muscle of your dancing, jumping being, you realize . . . F*ck!!! This is delicious.” —-Mario Batali

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