As the latest Michelin Guide hits the shelves, Decanter editor Guy Woodward lambasts the UK’s top chefs as ‘self-serving egomaniacs’ who put their own career above their customers’ needs.
In the upcoming March issue of Decanter, contributing editor Fiona Beckett attacks the more celebrated end of the restaurant market for its growing pretension, and doing a disservice to consumers – notably wine lovers.
‘The kind of food you get in a typical three Michelin-starred restaurant has become so refined, so fiddly, littered with so many show-off dishes that it’s hard for a decent wine to get a look in,’ she writes.
Woodward backs her in his editorial. ‘Chefs’ disregard for wine is nothing new – despite their willingness to rake in 40% of their profits from the resource, few chefs know much about wine,’ he writes.
‘But if chefs are going to put all their energies into creating mind-blowing dishes of intricate complexity, shouldn’t they have the confidence to up their prices, rather than forcing wine lovers to foot the bill for their vanity?’
‘Starstruck’ critics are also targets of Woodward’s ire. ‘In many cases, critics are equally egotistical, splashing photo bylines next to their “anonymous” reviews, seeking out TV careers in preference to learning the basic skills of the job – ie the ability to review a wine list.
‘Aren’t critics meant to relay the experience an ordinary reader can expect in a restaurant? That’s never going to happen if your face is known to all the staff.’
Written by Adam Lechmere