Two leading chefs have got into an online beef over the issue of customers’ dietary demands.
This is why I have trust issues with allergists…. https://t.co/eZ8DDGxMBj
— Craig Millar (@craigcmillar) December 29, 2019
Masterchef finalist Dean Banks’ and Craig Millar’s Twitter spat boiled over when the former criticised “so-called” professional chefs who complained about allergens.
When Mr Millar, who owns Craig Millar @ 16 West End, in St Monans, said he hoped the comments were not aimed at him Mr Banks retorted “who are you?” before stating he would welcome any customers he didn’t want.
Mr Millar has previously tweeted about what he called “allergy bingo” and hit out at diners who request a vegan menu then turn up and opt for fish.
Mr Banks, who grew up in Arbroath and Carnoustie, opened Haar Restaurant in St Andrews after reaching the final three in Masterchef The Professionals in 2018. He told his fellow chef: “I openly disagree and I’m happy enough to take all your customers you turn away because of it.”
Did you actually read the article or the tweet? When you’ve run a restaurant longer than 10mins come and speak to me! Now your 15mins of fame is coming to an end you’ll need to decide whether you want to be known for running a decent restaurant or losing twice on masterchef!
— Craig Millar (@craigcmillar) December 30, 2019
Mr Millar responded: “When you’ve run a restaurant longer than 10 mins come and speak to me.
“Now your 15 mins of fame is coming to an end you’ll need to decide whether you want to be known for running a decent restaurant or losing twice on Masterchef.”
Tomorrows allergens for one person. I see so many chefs complaining about this sort of stuff. I love it! To know we can cater for everyone at @HaarRestaurant is great for buisness. #cheflife pic.twitter.com/iB6fkJtTIx
— ChefDeanBanks (@banks_chef) December 28, 2019
Following the exchange Mr Millar told The Courier: “I cater for people with all allergies so I’m not sure what his beef is.
“I have actually eaten at his restaurant and it was okay but I’ll not be going back.”
Mr Banks said of Mr Millar: “I didn’t know who he was, I had to Google him.”
He added: “We have a different ethos here at Haar.
“If someone wants to have lactose-free milk for their latte but has butter in their main course that’s their choice.
“My menu is built very much for everyone. A customer is a customer and we work in the hospitality industry.”
Mr Banks, who recently cooked Christmas dinner for the homeless at Dundee’s Steeple Church (see video above this story), has less patience with customers who don’t honour their bookings. He recently became so frustrated with no-show diners he charged a group £650 when they failed to turn up for a booking at Haar.
Just last month another Fife restaurateur Vikki Wood hit out at “snowflake” diners.
The owner of The Wee Restaurant chain listed more than a dozen requirements from one table of five during the festive season which included an “allergy to rare meat”.
One diner claiming to be a vegan then ordered the dairy-heavy chocolate creme brulee.
Ms Wood said the hospitality industry should fight back against the “faux dietaries aka picky eaters”.