London-based husband and wife blogging team The Critical Couple have reviewed quite a few Michelin-starred restaurants, both negatively and positively. And they weren't expecting a personal response to their negative review of the two Michelin-starred Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley in London. After visiting the restaurant seven times in the last year, they found their most recent experience there "severely lacking" and simply explained why.
A few days after the review ran, "MrsCC" posted on the food and restaurant discussion board eGullet that chef/owner Marcus Wareing had called her on the phone. Not to apologize for the poor experience which caused them to "begrudge the money we had spent that night," but to flip out over the review for half an hour.
According to MrsCC, Wareing "ranted" at her and her husband and was "actually abusive." She also claims he asked her, "How would you like me to write about you and your appearance and the way you dress?" MrsCC says she and her husband paid for their meals, and she noted that Wareing didn't sound drunk, just angry.
Wareing, we'll remind you, is a former protégé of Gordon Ramsay. He opened and operated Pétrus for Gordon Ramsay at the Berkeley Hotel in 2003. They were so close that Ramsay was the best man at Wareing's wedding. However, in 2008, Wareing and Ramsay had a famous falling out, lawsuits and all. Wareing was able to keep the restaurant, and renamed it Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley. Perhaps that is where Wareing learned to be so shouty?
Anyway, there are so many questions! Was there a better way to handle this situation? Yes, absolutely. Why would a big-name chef get so angry about a single blog post, and how much power is he giving bloggers by doing so? How about the fact that Wareing possibly abused the reservation system to acquire their phone number? And in what way is a negative restaurant review analogous to poor fashion choices?
We've reached out to Wareing and the restaurant for comment and will update when we hear back.
· Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley: a very disappointing service [Critical Couple]
· Top Chef calls to rant about negative comments [eGullet]
· All Freak Outs on Eater [-E-]