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BLOG SITE OF SPIRITUALMAN, KEVILL DAVIES

Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

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Monday, 15 August 2011

Food critics

It is reported that the chef of the 'River Cafe', Brecon assaulted one of his staff following a bad report in the press from the food critic, AA Gill. He is said to have described the food as 'disgusting'.
Mr Gill is of course welcome to his opinions but should he give voice to his necessarily subjective thoughts in the press. It is almost certain that what he likes, I won't. I never use to read Michael Winner's reviews, or for that matter, the Hotel Inspector column in a National newspaper because their views count for very little but could have a disproportionate consequence for people who are often striving very hard in an industry that involves hard work in front of the general public over many hours a day, most days of the year.
I have worked in the catering and hotel industry and I can vouch for the strain of trying to do your best when tired beyond the point of pain to make a success of a business so dependent on public opinion. It isn't only the proprietor that suffers. Staff, relying on the work to pay a mortgage or rent, maybe disadvantaged because the food was not to a critic's liking.
I make no excuse for those who have no right to be professionally catering, producing unhygienic and unappetising food, but surely it is better to allow the business to fail through word of mouth of the public that test it on a daily basis.

While I'm having a moan about catering, there are two things I particularly dislike about modern restaurants. The first is uncooked vegetables. I loath the hard and crunchy carrots and broccoli being served up. If you are going to cook a vegetable and charge for it, do it properly. The second is serving meals in 'towers' with all the food piled up on one another. Ludicrous!! Serve it so that the diners can see all the dish without having to dismantle the damned thing.

I remember our hotel being assessed by the AA for a star rating. We didn't particularly cater for motorists or passing trade so I wasn't really anxious but after a good look round the critic told me that some of the major carpets were looking a little 'tired'. Well I would have done if I'd been trodden on for twenty or more years but the point was I knew all this. He didn't tell me a thing I didn't know and given money would have corrected immediately. It was in the nineties and we were just coming out of recession and all our profits were needed to pay the ruddy banks.
Needless to say I didn't take the AA up on their offer but the carpets were eventually replaced when funds allowed.

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