Before the era of the internet, disputes between chefs and diners were generally relegated to the dining room, where perhaps only a few fellow patrons might overhear such a tiff. But thanks to review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor, now the whole world can watch these sagas play out on-screen.
According to Birmingham Mail, the latest TripAdvisor drama involves Purnell's, a fine-dining restaurant in Birmingham, England that was anointed with one Michelin star back in 2009. leave the following one-star review, in which they assert the prices were "disgraceful" and "immoral" for the tiny portions they were served. In addition to expressing disgust at the beef cheek and outrage at a small "quinell" of ice cream, the reviewer advises the chef that perhaps he ought to tune in to MasterChef "for a few lessons to see how food should be served."
This didn't sit too well with chef-owner Glynn Purnell, who has been cooking professionally since he was 14 years old and also frequently appears on BBC cooking shows. Purnell promptly fired back with a lengthy TripAdvisor response of his own: In addition to asserting that the diner never gave any indication that they were having a bad experience while they were actually at the restaurant, he counters their MasterChef recommendation with this: "Perhaps this reviewer would have more satisfaction from watching Man Vs. Food," referring to the now-cancelled Travel Channel show in which Adam Richman gorged himself on absurd food challenges like five-pound burgers. An excerpt from Purnell's response is below:
And it looks like the vast majority of the public is siding with Purnell on this one: Per a poll by the Birmingham Mail, 94 percent of readers think the chef is right.
Last month another TripAdvisor controversy erupted when a reviewer who was "on a tight budget" complained a restaurant charged her $3 for a glass of lemon water. The cafe manager fired back with a lengthy diatribe explaining all the staffing and supply costs that went into serving said cup of water, winning the praise and support of diners from all over.