Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Recommended Posts

Chef Ryan Simpson and his entire team have walked out of The Goose restauratn, in Britwell Salome, just two weeks after winning his first Michelin star.

This is the message on the website: http://www.gooserestaurant.com/

What is going on there? Only last week he was talking about becoming the first chef to retain the restaurants star - both Mike North and Matthew Tompkinson left before they had the chance to do so.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a tiny bit more information at http://ow.ly/14Zkj

Ryan was somewhat unhappy of the direction that the operation wished to pursue and the resources that where made available, he felt that in his opinion that the business was also not using best practice in it’s daily operating procedures, and felt that the time was right therefore to part company
Link to post
Share on other sites

From the article, quoting Simpson:

“Castle told staff that the restaurant was losing money and that despite the team having won a Michelin star last month, the food was too poncy. He wanted the Goose to go back to basic pub grub, burgers and chips that sort of thing, and this in addition to the ongoing methods of how the business was being run was the final straw for us."

Now closed to be refurbished as a gastropub.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to post
Share on other sites

From the article, quoting Simpson:

“Castle told staff that the restaurant was losing money and that despite the team having won a Michelin star last month, the food was too poncy. He wanted the Goose to go back to basic pub grub, burgers and chips that sort of thing, and this in addition to the ongoing methods of how the business was being run was the final straw for us."

Now closed to be refurbished as a gastropub.

There does seem to be a pattern here (again from the Caterer article):

The Goose first gained a Michelin-star in 2005 under head chef Michael North, who left the restaurant in 2006 to set up his own business. He was replaced by former Roux Scholar Matthew Tomkinson, who regained the star in 2008 and left later that year to join the Montagu Arms Hotel in Beaulieu.

Simpson, who was named the Good Food Guide’s up-and-coming chef last year, joined the Goose in June 2008...

As suggested in the Didcot thread The Goose was a place people would go out of their way to visit, but I can't see a gastropub selling "basic pub grub" getting the same attention (apart from the unlucky people who haven't seen threads like this first).

Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a piece on the walkout in today's Times http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/food_and_drink/article7021182.ece.

Interesting to read the online reader comments. There are currently 11 of them with a majority supporting owner Paul Castle's decision to dumb down the Goose menu.

Here is a link which works (yours acquired an extra full-stop on the end): Times article

Reading this I don't see quite the same bias which you saw, but what I can see is that only one of the comments seems to have been from someone who actually visited The Goose:

My business is within a few miles of the Goose and I can assure everyone that it was possible to have a two course lunch there for under £15. For example, Poached Egg with pork belly, followed by grilled bass. What's poncey about that.

There are several comments which seem to be over-generalizing whilst apparently knowing little of the location.

However, what several comments pick up on is quite how the owner seemed to think that the prices were deterring locals whilst the chef apparently thought that the restaurant was doing well(?) and that perhaps the problems indicate a lack of communication.

What no-one but the owner and Ryan Simpson can say for certain is how much communication over this there was (or was not) before this all went pear-shaped. I am also in agreement with those who are suspicious about the string of good chefs who have now left The Goose after gaining a star. If the owner knew that the locals wanted burger and chips then why on earth did he decide to employ another winner of the Roux Scholarship?

Edited by JudyB (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Both The Times and the The Indy comments boards make for depressing reading, the general consensus seems to be chefs should know their place, chefs are prima donnas, the owner is always right, and pubs should serve burgers not fancy "Michelin" food in order to make money.

Obviously the posters are ill-informed and don't recognise that many pubs that gain stars also make lots of money so something was wrong at The Goose, and given it chequered history it doesn't appear the issues were all in the kitchen.

However, I saw today that Chris Horridge is to leave Cliveden after a short tenure. I was put off the Bath Priory because of his healthy food evangelism, a message he carried through to Waldo's. Maybe, like me the punters were put off. It illustrates to me that the chef and the Owner need to be very closely aligned, I wonder if the only way to do this is for them to be one and the same, like Pernes at The Star?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jan Moir's jaded insight into fine dining is worthy of a read.

Eight years (or so)at the coalface is a lot less time than I have endured, and I don't get paid for it :huh:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1250091/JAN-MOIR-Squid-bonbons-Liquorice-lentils-No-thanks-Ive-bellyful-poncey-food.html

Edited by david goodfellow (log)

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

Link to post
Share on other sites

She's no doubt right that there's some terrible food crimes being committed in the name of molecular gastronomy or simply "modern cooking". I guess it was the same with Nouvelle Cuisine. But there's good food and bad food and certainly Heston serves good food at the Fat Duck, contrary to her assertions. Her rejection of "poncy" food out of hand is pretty rich coming from a restaurant critic which has given great reviews to some pretty poncy places in her time. Compare the quote from her LCS review at http://www.areyoureadytoorder.co.uk/review.php?id=38

"The fluffy, smoked spume is so light that it melts on the lips like a snowflake and what lies beneath is a shot of lentil-based soup that's both warming and exotically fragrant."

"Best of all, however, is the chicory cheesecake with chicory ripple ice cream"

with the quote from the Daily Mail article

"Savoury ice creams, savoury sorbets, salmon poached in liquorice, a relentless parade of pappy textures of mousses, foams, creams and hideous vacuum poached meat? Yes, yes, and yes again."

There's no need to pigeon-hole food into "poncy" (bad) and "real" (good). It just doesn't work like that.

Also I'm sure this thesis (such as it is) has absolutely nothing to do with the situation at the Goose.

Also David - we should not be linking to the Daily Mail :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

...and the reposite from Mr Raynor

Guardian Blog

Ha ha..spot on. Well done Jay.

I've never undestood the problem of the savoury ice cream!!!!!! types. What's cheese made out of? Milk. What's ice cream made out of? Errr, milk.(Alright pedants, I know it's curds, whey and cream, but...) So it's just that because ice cream is always percieved as a "sweet" it therefore follows that to make it savoury is some sort of anathama... :rolleyes:

Link to post
Share on other sites

...and the reposite from Mr Raynor

Guardian Blog

I would say Jay Rayner's piece is without doubt one of the best food related articles I have read in a long time. Food journalism taken to another level, and stepping outside of the almost "masonic" like restaurant critics unwritten code.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jan Moir's jaded insight into fine dining is worthy of a read.

Eight years (or so)at the coalface is a lot less time than I have endured, and I don't get paid for it :huh:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1250091/JAN-MOIR-Squid-bonbons-Liquorice-lentils-No-thanks-Ive-bellyful-poncey-food.html

Expectations are low for her "tribute" to Alexander McQueen (sorry not food related).

Link to post
Share on other sites

A great piece of writing Jay and as one of the now seemingly guilty parties practising modern cuisine it is very welcome to receive a more balanced view on what is now quickly becoming the Medias unfashionable style of cookery.

It does remind me greatly of the nouvelle cuisine fall out,(sadly I’m old enough to recall it), yet the original concept and ideas from that period have lead us to where we are today, and i think it will be the same again, yes there are people cooking without any depth of understanding or knowledge doing very little to promote our cause which as with all things in life once it filters down becomes diluted in its execution, and two techniques emerged overshadowing the whole definition namely foams and jelly.

In my own humble approach i simply want ingredients to taste better and reflect their natural properties while increasing consistency, though you have to keep an open mind if a classical preparation produces finer results with a product then you follow that road no question.

just to add surely there is still room for all types of food out there poncy or not as long as its good tasting grub :smile:

Link to post
Share on other sites

The comments on the Daily Mail site are funny.

This is my favourite so far:

"We all know poultry must be thoroughly cooked, no pink meat/ juices. Similarly, red meat should ALWAYS be cooked until the red meat & juices are no more."

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1250091/JAN-MOIR-Squid-bonbons-Liquorice-lentils-No-thanks-Ive-bellyful-poncey-food.html#ixzz0fJyNCp3V

Link to post
Share on other sites

just to add surely there is still room for all types of food out there poncy or not as long as its good tasting grub :smile:

Absolutely.

I'm looking forward to enjoying Marc's "poncy" food in a couple of weeks. It will be a joy - of that I'm sure.

And I was also looking forward to eating Nigel Haworth's hotpot last summer. It was a joy.

Two very different experiences. But you wouldnt say one was better than t'other.

Edited by Harters (log)

John Hartley

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...