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News from Alexander's


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Given the discussions about this restaurant here on egullet, I thought this post from the Observer's food blog might be of interest. I also hope it doesn't fall foul of the moderator police.

I think the moderator police will be fine with the link, although they do like some kind of summary or quotation so that people aren't absolutely forced to leave the site to know what it is about. e.g. I think the following quote sums things up very nicely:

Attridge was a big, ambitious chef who wanted to play a big ambitious game. His ingredients were the very best, and were being brought in from all over the country. Alexander's have now cut £15,000 off their costs each month, by switching to local food suppliers, and local linen companies. The menu has also been simplified. 'I've been listening to the locals, about what they do like and what they don't like.'
(I'd have made it the full paragraph only then it would have exceeded eGullet's limit on not quoting more than 15% of the article!)

Is there any word yet on where Simon Attridge is going to go? From the sound of it, the restaurant was good and the chef was good, but they just weren't best suited to each other. A switch to local food suppliers etc. sounds like a good move on the part of the restaurant and I hope we'll be hearing of a similarly good move for the chef.

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He was a good chef but you didn't need to be Ramsay, Mystic Meg or an economist to see that incoming would not match outgoing, especially not that far out even if it is a wealthy area.

I think that the criticism levelled at him and at the restaurant from some quarters was unnecessarily spiteful and can't have helped matters. The truth hurts of course, but there was no need to twist the knife.

S

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I think the combination of ambitious head chef and inexperienced owners led to the inevitable really.

There was a certain amount arrogance coming through which smacked of " I know best", which in the end obviously wasn't the case.

I note that most of the issues with the website remain unaltered, the first point of reference for many potential customers. :wacko:

I

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I think it prudent to add that pricing wasn't necessarily down to Simon. It seems to me that the main fault lay with the owners who clearly clearly wanted to run a high end restaurant without realising what that entailed, indeed their website (still not updated by the way) says that they "....approached the task of establishing a fine dining restaurant of the highest quality with considerabe anticipation" (my emphasis).

I saw Simon a couple of weeks ago, he was doing well, hopefully he'll come back to the board soon, a nice guy and a talented chef. :smile:

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Shame it didn't work out for Simon,my best wishes to him for the future.

I have just re read the thread, and honestly can't see where the "spitefull comments" were.Honest and brutal yes, but it's a very brutal and honest buisness we're in.

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Shame it didn't work out for Simon,my best wishes to him for the future.

I have just re read the thread, and honestly can't see where the "spitefull comments" were.Honest and brutal yes, but it's a very brutal and honest buisness we're in.

I was referring to the original newspaper review which, as I recall, seemed to take inordinate pleasure from putting the boot in, sneering cheaply at the maitre d's name etc. It is perhaps a brutal business but that doesn't mean we can't try and be gentlemen. Good writing need not be sadistic writing, even if many readers do take pleasure in seeing the odd Christian get mauled by a starved lion. Hyperbole, irony even the, ah, subtle art of rhetoric can be usefully employed to make honest points in criticism. At least that's what I prefer reading anyway.

S

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