Keith McNally of Balthazar blasts London's food critics - Spear's Magazine

Keith McNally of Balthazar blasts London's food critics

“My pet hate is the London food and restaurant community which, with two notable exceptions, is a petty, self-regarding, back-stabbing bunch of narcissists who should be put through a meat grinder and dumped into the Indian Ocean.”'

A piece in the Independent has just tickled my tastebuds: Keith McNally, who has brought Balthazar, his wildly successful French-ish New York bistro, to London, is upset with the city's food critics.

'Mr McNally told The Independent: “My pet hate is the London food and restaurant community which, with two notable exceptions, is a petty, self-regarding, back-stabbing bunch of narcissists who should be put through a meat grinder and dumped into the Indian Ocean.”'

Given that Giles Coren said in his review that Balthazar served 'the worst food in Europe', albeit counterbalanced with praise for it as 'the best restaurant in London', McNally certainly has cause for anger.

But back-stabbing? That suggests a pretence of friendliness or approval that critics must be careful not to give. To walk away from a meal which you've told the chef or owner (for they inevitably hover) was wonderful and then to write a hostile review is indeed treacherous. (Not that I'm suggesting Coren did that.)

Still, it seems that McNally has grown rather soft in his New York years. Unlike the steak at Balthazar, he needs to toughen up.

Read the full story here

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