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Everyone - Isherwood and the chefs - has dropped a bollock here.

The only issue is whether or not the meal in question was a freebie. If it wasn't, Isherwood's dropped bollock was a simple case of naivete. If it was, I really hope this incident goes a long way towards bring to an end the practice of blogger freebies. Food blogging seems to me to be a worthwhile and entertaining pastime, but only if the bloggers are getting the very same experience as every other punter. If they're not, it becomes pointless and vain.

By & large agree.

Problem is bloggers are often attracted by the promise of freebies & superior access.

What has gotten lost is that its only the quality of the commentary that matters, not just that you made the effort.


A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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To provide a further piece of context, the word c$%t is frequently bandied around in the catering industry - high-end professional kitchens in particular - and doesn't hold the same level of taboo and insult as it does in the wider world.

Indeed - I worked in the building industry for many years and you get numb to the "C" word after a week as it is part of every sentence

What is it about supposedly-mature men that the worst thing they can think of to call one another is something relating to female genitalia?

Just like infantile adolescent boys in a schoolyard calling one another pussy.

They seriously should be embarrassed if that's the best (worst) they can do.

.

Sorry to divert the thread briefly but please note that using the "C" word in parts of the UK is not the same as using it in the US.

Anyway, both parties could have come out of this a lot better by not engaging in the whole thing. All rather silly.

Sorry to continue the diversion but I know that the "C" word in parts of the UK is not the same thing as using it in the US. "Pussy" isn't considered in most quarters to be the most vile and vulgar and obscene choice of name-calling either.

But my original point still stands.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Everyone - Isherwood and the chefs - has dropped a bollock here.

The only issue is whether or not the meal in question was a freebie. If it wasn't, Isherwood's dropped bollock was a simple case of naivete. If it was, I really hope this incident goes a long way towards bring to an end the practice of blogger freebies. Food blogging seems to me to be a worthwhile and entertaining pastime, but only if the bloggers are getting the very same experience as every other punter. If they're not, it becomes pointless and vain.

By & large agree.

Problem is bloggers are often attracted by the promise of freebies & superior access.

What has gotten lost is that its only the quality of the commentary that matters, not just that you made the effort.

I am not defending Isherwood but why would he risk his credibility lying about paying for the meal. Here is his quote

"He mentioned I was given freebies, but I'm wise enough to know these were amuse bouches - they even appeared on the pre-printed menu they gave to me at the end of the meal "

This never ending accusation that bloggers get free meal after free meal is pure fiction especially from my point of view. In all of my years of dining I have only ever received five in decades, and we eat out an awful lot.

I for one would be very interested if people would name and shame those bloggers who receive these financial incentives. It would help clear up these never ending accusations.

After much annoying innuendo The Critical Couple now put a disclaimer on their site.


Edited by david goodfellow (log)

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Problem is bloggers are often attracted by the promise of freebies & superior access.

Plus the chance to do a bit of Food Bragging to their friends. Some diners get quite sycophantic about the celebrity chef dining scene - it is like collecting Michelin stars are the new cigarette cards.


http://www.thecriticalcouple.co.uk

Latest blog post - Oh my - someone needs a spell checker

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Everyone - Isherwood and the chefs - has dropped a bollock here.

The only issue is whether or not the meal in question was a freebie. If it wasn't, Isherwood's dropped bollock was a simple case of naivete. If it was, I really hope this incident goes a long way towards bring to an end the practice of blogger freebies. Food blogging seems to me to be a worthwhile and entertaining pastime, but only if the bloggers are getting the very same experience as every other punter. If they're not, it becomes pointless and vain.

By & large agree.

Problem is bloggers are often attracted by the promise of freebies & superior access.

What has gotten lost is that its only the quality of the commentary that matters, not just that you made the effort.

I am not defending Isherwood but why would he risk his credibility lying about paying for the meal. Here is his quote

"He mentioned I was given freebies, but I'm wise enough to know these were amuse bouches - they even appeared on the pre-printed menu they gave to me at the end of the meal "

This never ending accusation that bloggers get free meal after free meal is pure fiction especially from my point of view. In all of my years of dining I have only ever received five in decades, and we eat out an awful lot.

I for one would be very interested if people would name and shame those bloggers who receive these financial incentives. It would help clear up these never ending accusations.

After much annoying innuendo The Critical Couple now put a disclaimer on their site.

Hang on David - I'm not saying all do but someone did bring up the point of the Cube on twitter - hardly anyone paid for that!

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To provide a further piece of context, the word c$%t is frequently bandied around in the catering industry - high-end professional kitchens in particular - and doesn't hold the same level of taboo and insult as it does in the wider world.

Indeed - I worked in the building industry for many years and you get numb to the "C" word after a week as it is part of every sentence

What is it about supposedly-mature men that the worst thing they can think of to call one another is something relating to female genitalia?

Just like infantile adolescent boys in a schoolyard calling one another pussy.

They seriously should be embarrassed if that's the best (worst) they can do.

.

Sorry to divert the thread briefly but please note that using the "C" word in parts of the UK is not the same as using it in the US.

Anyway, both parties could have come out of this a lot better by not engaging in the whole thing. All rather silly.

Sorry to continue the diversion but I know that the "C" word in parts of the UK is not the same thing as using it in the US. "Pussy" isn't considered in most quarters to be the most vile and vulgar and obscene choice of name-calling either.

But my original point still stands.

While MF'er and f**k are liberally salted throughout regular conversation polite or not the "C" word is probably the the worst thing one can say anyone and particularly women in the States. It's rarely used by anybody and is considered indescribably vulgar.

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I am not defending Isherwood but why would he risk his credibility lying about paying for the meal. Here is his quote

"He mentioned I was given freebies, but I'm wise enough to know these were amuse bouches - they even appeared on the pre-printed menu they gave to me at the end of the meal "

He doesn't have *ANY* credibility to risk FFS!! He's a guy whose blog had less than 10 entries - its brand new.

And on the freebies, like the flip flop on whether he went into the kitchen the amuse bouche line is something he settled on a day or 2 after the argument. I was involved in the original, real time exchanges and despite the subsequent deletions i am very well aware of the original claims & statements.

Oh and he's not wise enough about anything, he's the rankest of amateurs. Right on the lowest, least experienced tier - which is fine but don't be taken in by a rapid journalist lead reinvention

Plus comp'd dishes usually appear on the bill for no charge as part of stock control and the order to kitchen process

This never ending accusation that bloggers get free meal after free meal is pure fiction especially from my point of view. In all of my years of dining I have only ever received five in decades, and we eat out an awful lot.

Its never ending because like big brother contestants, the desire for freebies is common. Its one of the things that upsets chefs, how often & fervent the entitlement complex is.

as for your own situation:

- do you speak with PR?

- do you contact a restaurant beforehand to announce your upcoming visit?

- do you send back comped unordered dishes?

Perhaps you should draft & outline a personal code of conduct for your blog so readers & chefs know exactly where you stand on these subjects? Always pay, no extra dishes, no PR etc much like Jay Rayner has been calling for in the last few days. He's made the point that he does just this, nothing extra, no freebies, books himself etc

Nearly every major wine critic does this also, so their integrity can never be questioned

I for one would be very interested if people would name and shame those bloggers who receive these financial incentives. It would help clear up these never ending accusations.

How about I take the field, and exclude by exception those who disclaim individually

After much annoying innuendo The Critical Couple now put a disclaimer on their site.

Quite right too.


A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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Problem is bloggers are often attracted by the promise of freebies & superior access.

Plus the chance to do a bit of Food Bragging to their friends. Some diners get quite sycophantic about the celebrity chef dining scene - it is like collecting Michelin stars are the new cigarette cards.

Exactly right - does anyone think isherwood wasn't giving it all that to his date trying to impress?


A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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Everyone - Isherwood and the chefs - has dropped a bollock here.

The only issue is whether or not the meal in question was a freebie. If it wasn't, Isherwood's dropped bollock was a simple case of naivete. If it was, I really hope this incident goes a long way towards bring to an end the practice of blogger freebies. Food blogging seems to me to be a worthwhile and entertaining pastime, but only if the bloggers are getting the very same experience as every other punter. If they're not, it becomes pointless and vain.

By & large agree.

Problem is bloggers are often attracted by the promise of freebies & superior access.

What has gotten lost is that its only the quality of the commentary that matters, not just that you made the effort.

I am not defending Isherwood but why would he risk his credibility lying about paying for the meal. Here is his quote

"He mentioned I was given freebies, but I'm wise enough to know these were amuse bouches - they even appeared on the pre-printed menu they gave to me at the end of the meal "

This never ending accusation that bloggers get free meal after free meal is pure fiction especially from my point of view. In all of my years of dining I have only ever received five in decades, and we eat out an awful lot.

I for one would be very interested if people would name and shame those bloggers who receive these financial incentives. It would help clear up these never ending accusations.

After much annoying innuendo The Critical Couple now put a disclaimer on their site.

Hang on David - I'm not saying all do but someone did bring up the point of the Cube on twitter - hardly anyone paid for that!

Quite so - and how many people disclaimed whether it was a freebie?


A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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The Cube is an exceptional case. I think nearly every blogger of note has had a freebie there, and they continue to do so. I was offered a meal two weeks ago but turned it down.

No I'm not on about The Cube but places like Gavroche, Midsummer, Ledbury, etc, etc, etc. etc, and all of my recent meals on my blog plus some which are not on there yet.

I'm going to help by posting this link to Urbanspoon. There are over 600 blogs on there I defy anyone on here to positively identify anyone ( or more) blogger on there who accepts free meals on a regular basis in return for a favourable review.

http://www.urbanspoo...estaurant-blogs


Edited by david goodfellow (log)

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Everyone - Isherwood and the chefs - has dropped a bollock here.

The only issue is whether or not the meal in question was a freebie. If it wasn't, Isherwood's dropped bollock was a simple case of naivete. If it was, I really hope this incident goes a long way towards bring to an end the practice of blogger freebies. Food blogging seems to me to be a worthwhile and entertaining pastime, but only if the bloggers are getting the very same experience as every other punter. If they're not, it becomes pointless and vain.

By & large agree.

Problem is bloggers are often attracted by the promise of freebies & superior access.

What has gotten lost is that its only the quality of the commentary that matters, not just that you made the effort.

I am not defending Isherwood but why would he risk his credibility lying about paying for the meal. Here is his quote

"He mentioned I was given freebies, but I'm wise enough to know these were amuse bouches - they even appeared on the pre-printed menu they gave to me at the end of the meal "

This never ending accusation that bloggers get free meal after free meal is pure fiction especially from my point of view. In all of my years of dining I have only ever received five in decades, and we eat out an awful lot.

I for one would be very interested if people would name and shame those bloggers who receive these financial incentives. It would help clear up these never ending accusations.

After much annoying innuendo The Critical Couple now put a disclaimer on their site.

Hang on David - I'm not saying all do but someone did bring up the point of the Cube on twitter - hardly anyone paid for that!

Quite so - and how many people disclaimed whether it was a freebie?

I did on my blog :smile:

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To provide a further piece of context, the word c$%t is frequently bandied around in the catering industry - high-end professional kitchens in particular - and doesn't hold the same level of taboo and insult as it does in the wider world.

Indeed - I worked in the building industry for many years and you get numb to the "C" word after a week as it is part of every sentence

What is it about supposedly-mature men that the worst thing they can think of to call one another is something relating to female genitalia?

Just like infantile adolescent boys in a schoolyard calling one another pussy.

They seriously should be embarrassed if that's the best (worst) they can do.

.

Sorry to divert the thread briefly but please note that using the "C" word in parts of the UK is not the same as using it in the US.

Anyway, both parties could have come out of this a lot better by not engaging in the whole thing. All rather silly.

Sorry to continue the diversion but I know that the "C" word in parts of the UK is not the same thing as using it in the US. "Pussy" isn't considered in most quarters to be the most vile and vulgar and obscene choice of name-calling either.

But my original point still stands.

While MF'er and f**k are liberally salted throughout regular conversation polite or not the "C" word is probably the the worst thing one can say anyone and particularly women in the States. It's rarely used by anybody and is considered indescribably vulgar.

And, while some can say this is a "diversion" from the original subject of the thread, and that this particular sort of vulgarity is commonplace and "no big deal," and that only nannies and grannies get offended by it, would this incident have been so widely discussed had the chefs' response been less vulgar and obscene?

Obviously not.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Everyone - Isherwood and the chefs - has dropped a bollock here.

The only issue is whether or not the meal in question was a freebie. If it wasn't, Isherwood's dropped bollock was a simple case of naivete. If it was, I really hope this incident goes a long way towards bring to an end the practice of blogger freebies. Food blogging seems to me to be a worthwhile and entertaining pastime, but only if the bloggers are getting the very same experience as every other punter. If they're not, it becomes pointless and vain.

By & large agree.

Problem is bloggers are often attracted by the promise of freebies & superior access.

What has gotten lost is that its only the quality of the commentary that matters, not just that you made the effort.

I am not defending Isherwood but why would he risk his credibility lying about paying for the meal. Here is his quote

"He mentioned I was given freebies, but I'm wise enough to know these were amuse bouches - they even appeared on the pre-printed menu they gave to me at the end of the meal "

This never ending accusation that bloggers get free meal after free meal is pure fiction especially from my point of view. In all of my years of dining I have only ever received five in decades, and we eat out an awful lot.

I for one would be very interested if people would name and shame those bloggers who receive these financial incentives. It would help clear up these never ending accusations.

After much annoying innuendo The Critical Couple now put a disclaimer on their site.

Hang on David - I'm not saying all do but someone did bring up the point of the Cube on twitter - hardly anyone paid for that!

Quite so - and how many people disclaimed whether it was a freebie?

I did on my blog :smile:

and yet you didn't mention in your faux indignation post above about how its so unfair to bloggers ;)

So do you follow jay rayners policy of not accepting free dishes, announcing your visits, or anything designed to ensure you get a better than usual experience?

It is not acceptable to hold both positions, one or the other please.


A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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The Cube is an exceptional case. I think nearly every blogger of note has had a freebie there, and they continue to do so.

No, I don't think its ok to try and brush this aside.

its very relevant (inconvenient) to the point in hand

* sorry if I seem a bit fired up, but I think the blogger/pr nexus is a massive issue right now. There's huge hypocrisy around this at the moment, and that is at the heart of the whole #chefsunite nonsense


A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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Now this is interesting.

Remember the original "Critical Couple" and their spat with Marcus Wareing?

Discussed at length here

http://forums.egullet.org/topic/135406-top-chef-calls-to-rant-about-negative-comments/

(make sure you read the last page - top sluthing by Paul O'Vendage)

Anyway - one would think that they would be on Isherwood's side, having had a similar experience, but no - it appears that they are also promoting CityJohn's blog on their twitter page.

Mrs Pot, meet Mr Kettle.


http://www.thecriticalcouple.co.uk

Latest blog post - Oh my - someone needs a spell checker

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The Cube is an exceptional case. I think nearly every blogger of note has had a freebie there, and they continue to do so. I was offered a meal two weeks ago but turned it down.

Bugger. I've been blogging about cookbooks for a whole two months now and not been offered one freebie of note! Not even a copy of Jamie's Fifteen Minute Meals. Am clearly not doing enough to make myself notable! ;-p


More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!

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The Cube is an exceptional case. I think nearly every blogger of note has had a freebie there, and they continue to do so. I was offered a meal two weeks ago but turned it down.

Bugger. I've been blogging about cookbooks for a whole two months now and not been offered one freebie of note! Not even a copy of Jamie's Fifteen Minute Meals. Am clearly not doing enough to make myself notable! ;-p

Jon and David,

You really should come out to Asia. Here in Singapore, it's part of the standard marketing routine to have a pack of bloggers (credible or otherwise) visit within a fortnight of opening, even at restaurants with world-famous chef-proprietors who really should know better.

Back on-topic, while I find the chefs' behaviour in this instance utterly repugnant and OTT, equally I find Isherwood's words and actions rather odd.

1. Re his excuse that he was on a date, he spoke to Bosi only after the meal, and he only had problems with one starter out of a "more than pleasant meal". Is this really the stuff that ruins dates?

2. His complaints about the sommelier are not very clear. If the sommelier sends you wine you didn't ask for, don't assume it's on the house, drink it and gripe about it afterwards when you get charged for it. Clarify the situation or send the wine back. If there's too much wine, tell the sommelier you've had enough.

3. If you are going to pre-announce yourself and ask for an interview, think of how you are coming across. You are announcing to the staff that you care about your dining experience (whether it's true or not) and that by God you're going to write about it. The chef, not unreasonably, may want to know what you think and you should be prepared to honestly interact with him. Tell him one starter wasn't to your taste. Tell him you found the wine service pushy. It's called a conversation.

It doesn't sound like Isherwood is a very experienced diner, but at the same time, these are points of commonsense, not the sacraments of some elitist cult.


Julian's Eating - Tales of Food and Drink

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I've been watching "Professional Masterchef" this week and found it interesting how the three 2* chefs reacted and treated the contestants. On the one hand, right from the start, Tom Kerridge welcomed, guided and praised the two doing a service at the Hand & Flowers. Just as you'd expect a good manager to behave in any industry. And, at the other end of ths scale, I thought Marcus Wareing came across as a pretentious knobhead.


John Hartley

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I've been watching "Professional Masterchef" this week and found it interesting how the three 2* chefs reacted and treated the contestants. On the one hand, right from the start, Tom Kerridge welcomed, guided and praised the two doing a service at the Hand & Flowers. Just as you'd expect a good manager to behave in any industry. And, at the other end of ths scale, I thought Marcus Wareing came across as a pretentious knobhead.

My sentiment exactly. I didn't know Tom Kerridge and from the chefsunite story I assumed he was an uncouth bully. Instead he came across as warm, sympathetic and understanding, a gentle giant. Quite a change from the usual style of this part of the competition. A 2* without pressure. And by the way his dishes looked more inviting than Wareing's to me :cool:

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I agree about the look of the dishes, Man.

We looked to having a meal at the Hand & Flowers in the summer when we were celebrating a major anniversary. Was going to go for lunch but we were seduced by Le Manoir. I know we made the right choice then but will probably have to have another schlep down south. Still can't get my head round the concept of a pub with 2*.


John Hartley

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I really enjoy Professional Masterchef - I am surprised there is not more discussion about it on here. And yes, I agree with your comments regarding the striking difference in approach...I would have much rather been in the Hand and Flower's kitchen than MH or MW.

And I was very happy to see both chefs get through to the final in that episode, I think they are the two strongest all-round chef's and was a little disappointed to see them placed in a semi together. Although Michel obviously has a bit of a liking for the kid (who's name escapes me).

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'Opinions are like a?%£holes; everybody has one.' (Unknown)

'What chefs have to realize is that the people judging them know less about food than they do.' (Marco Pierre White)


Edited by bhsimon (log)

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'What chefs have to realize is that the people judging them know less about food than they do.' (Marco Pierre White)

To which the correct response is "All chefs, Marco? And all people?


John Hartley

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