Sunday, 1 February 2009

Oh Woe Is Me!

Bonjour mes peu d'ananas vitrés par sabyon!

I have grave news my fellow foodies. Just over a week ago the unthinkable, yet almost expected, happened to me. I was made redundant and had to leave my employer and my Staff to face the winter of discontent alone. The decision had to be made and unfortunately it was my turn for the chopping block. I hold no animosity or ill-feeling to my bosses or any other members of the Staff and I wish them all well. I hope that all will come good for them and the Pont-de-Barre will thrive once again. Good Luck Guys!

In our current economical climate, I am beginning to see a 'wind of change' in the way people dine. Where as before it was almost never an issue if you had a full 3 course meal with all the added extras, aperitifs, liqueur coffees, brandy and cigars e.t.c. Times have changed though and the Food Industry is beginning to see a dramatic shift in the way the country eats and drinks.

So as we move forward into 2009 and the recession begins to take hold, we are seeing a rise in the cost of produce, a rise in the cost of alcohol and the inevitable collapse of the Catering Industry as a whole. Having watched numerous companies fall at the feet of bankruptcy, mergers and takeovers, how long will it be until you find your local pub or restaurant fall at the hands of the economy? Many have already fallen foul to the "2 for 1" virus, despite the trade associations calling for calm and restraint. Is this really the way forward? Is the future of this Industry doomed to selling low-grade and sub-standard produce for a pound just so customers will grace their tables? Are we really losing the battle to the larger and more well known companies who can sell pints of beer and lager for 99 pence? The answer......It has already begun and a lot of privately owned restaurants, hotels and public houses have already crumbled under the pressure putting many in debt and many others in search of work!

As we watch our local eateries fall into a state of despair, we would hope for some words of wisdom from the very people who have help contribute to high produce prices and spend thrift customers. Many and baying for some sort of guidance from the ageing Messiahs, but to no avail. No words of encouragement, no shoulder to cry on and no ear turned in the direction of our plight. I speak, as always, of our 'gracious and God-like' Celebrity Chef!

To be quite honest, I am dumbstruck. For years now these Culinary Buddhas have been torturing and mangling our brains for vast wads of cash, but when we need them the most they are nowhere to be seen. apologies, they are on the TV but how are they assisting in this crisis?

Well, 'Mockney Boy' is currently taking on the EU over Pork and is pushing the price over and above an acceptable cost. This will then have an effect on every other meat and will push their prices even higher than before. The 'Poisoned Dwarf' is licking his wounds after having to shut down one of his pubs, The Greyhound, and has also seen a slump in the price of his 'knife collection' in most major stores. I actually bought three sets and use them for opening my mail, screwdrivers and opening tins of paint and varnish. Chef Ramsay appears to be in more difficulty than he is letting on with the rumour of severe financial problems and the possibility of being prosecuted by Companies House in relation to his accounts. Finally, and one that has really sent me reeling, is the new adverts of the Knorr Stocks Range. Marco, Marco, Marco......WHY??? I'm sure you don't need the money, but in promoting these products, you have signed a deal with a devil greater than yourself! For years you have promoted 'from scratch' cooking and now we see you using a product that is undoing all your good work.

As for the rest of our over-promoted cooks......where are they now when the Industry needs them the most?

Now the news and we start with some fantastic news.....

Luke Fredberg, TripAdvisor spokesman “The biggest and best dirtiest list is back, with TripAdvisor discovering that some hotels take the concept of offering dirt cheap rooms all too literally."

At last we will be able to discriminate correctly when choosing our city-based hotels. The return of the list is welcomed by many and will now name and shame the worst culprits of Health and Safety violations through reviews of their poor and unfortunate guests. Well Done TripAdvisor!

'Mockney Boy' is at it again and is urging Caterers to know the origin of its pork and the subsequent dishes that are produced from it. News Flash, 'Me dear old China Plate', it's called a PIG and has been around for some time, and that 'Me fluffy 'aired, Fireman Sam Role', is where Pork comes from!

And finally......On a lighter note, The Anstuthers Fish and Chip Shop in Fife, Scotland has won the award for 'Best Fish and Chip Shop in Scotland' for the forth year running. Not only that, but they have also been awarded the prestigious 'Best Fish and Chip Shop in Britain'. Congratulations to Robert and Alison Smith.

Our website is taking shape and is now looking almost reasonable. We expect it to be online to view within the next month or so. Anyone wishing to promote restaurants, hotels, blogs and anything else to do with catering please contact us either through the comments section or email us at

On that crispy and light battered note......

Le Chef Grincheux


SheR. said...

Oh dear Chef.
I hope better times will come for you real soon! Good luck with your future ventures. And I'll be back for more of your blog posting!

zerrin said...

Sorry to hear that. I totally agree with what you say about economy. The effects of crisis seen as clear as there. A lot of compnaies and factories go bankrupt.

I hope these change soon.

parfitt said...

Hopefully you will have found a new position by now, so that we can continue to read of your exploits.