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More Damage to Kitchens on the way

message posted 17-Nov-06 10:51:08
Former chef swears he'll lift lid on life in kitchens

A FORMER chef who claims to have worked in some of Edinburgh's leading restaurants is promising to lift the lid on life in the top kitchens in a TV documentary.

Dougie Dunlop, who now works as a stand-up comedian, says he was the victim of Gordon Ramsay-style outbursts and witnessed poor hygiene during five years working in the Capital's kitchens.

The 33-year-old describes being kicked and having a pizza shoved in his face in front of a restaurant full of customers.

He also recalls watching in horror as a kitchen porter was almost knocked unconscious when a metal pot was hurled at him.

Mr Dunlop's tales of bullying and bad behaviour - which will be broadcast by ITV under the title Confessions of a Chef, in the New Year - come just days after Edinburgh was named the best UK city outside London to eat in.

A study by cognac producer Rémy Martin found 52 per cent of the 48 Edinburgh restaurants featured in the prestigious Harden's UK Restaurant Guide 2007 are classed as either exceptional or very good, more than in any other city except London.

Mr Dunlop, who simply walked out of one of his jobs, said his experiences would "put people off eating out for life".

He said: "This is about the other side of eating out, the things that the customers don't see and the things they don't want to see.

"Before the Gordon Ramsay epidemic, I don't think it hit home with people about how angry head chefs can be.

"I have had food flung at me, I have been called every name under the sun and I have had threats."

The worst moment of his kitchen career came when he mistakenly put olives on a pizza after missing a scribbled note not to do so.

Mr Dunlop, who lived in the New Town before moving to London to pursue a full-time career in television and stand-up comedy in 2001, said: "The head chef ushered me up to the hatch, got the pizza and smeared it over my face and whites.

"Then he kicked me and said: 'You're not working in my kitchen in dirty whites'. The customers were aghast."

The young chef got changed and walked out of the restaurant never to return. "That was the only job I have ever walked out on," he said.

On another occasion, the same head chef hurled a pot at a kitchen porter, which knocked him to the floor.

Despite the man suffering from concussion, Mr Dunlop said the chef swore at him and ordered the other staff to get him out of the kitchen and get on with their work.

The 33-year-old, who has refused to identify any of the restaurants he worked in for fear of legal reprisals, said he also witnessed shocking examples of poor hygiene.

However, he is remaining tight-lipped about those failings, ahead of the programme being broadcast early next year.

More than a quarter of city restaurants failed to meet basic food safety and hygiene standards during inspections last year.

A total of 12 out of 46 of the city's eating places assessed by food safety inspectors over 12 months fell foul of environmental laws.

Mice infestations, out-of-date food and failures to store both raw and cooked food properly were among the contraventions.

message posted 17-Nov-06 11:04:22
Now Im not one to advocate violence in the kitchen, but did anyone else note that this guy claims to have worked in some of the leading restaurants and then gives the sob about being having a pizza smeared in his face?

What "leading" restaurants do you know of that makes pizza, except pizza parlours!!!!!

Does anyone out their know this guy, where did he work? The problem is this, he goes on tv and makes every chef look bad, the celeb chefs cant counter the claim because of f-word, kitchen nightmares already make chefs look like asses and then the public believes what they see on telly.

Now when I say public I also mean the kids that WERE thinking of going to catering college but now ARE'NT.

P.S When I was a commis I burnt several trays of sausage rolls the head chef gave me a glass of water and told me to sit there and eat them. It tasted bad, made me feel ill, BUT I have never burnt anything in FOURTEEN YEARS.

message posted 16-Jan-07 11:23:57
Tony,Kman, what can I say,this dunlop nerk (personal opinion) is probly due a good kicking the only people who get the kind of abuse he claims to have suffered are the whining tossers who piss off everybody they come into contact with,sadly they make a lot of noise and people listen to them.For too long now our industry has been critisised by those least qualified to do so and those complaints have been sympathised with by a bunch of fawning dribblers who could'nt find the fish fork in a fish fork drawer, come to think of it he should do well as a comedienne(deliberate spelling) but he may not like having things thrown by his audience, and they surely will...........
message posted 16-Mar-07 18:32:04
I see that the program was finally aired on telly the other night.

How embarassing, all you tossers that went on telly (five seconds of fame wa£$^*). You have made all chefs look bad, can you honestly think that punters will just ignore your comments.

WRONG, next time someone has a bad meal, the chef is going to have a hell of a job trying to please that customer, in fact they will probably walk out rather then send the food back thinking the chef is going to get up to all sorts of nasties with their food.

You bunch of idiots !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! sorry you %^*(%£, $%$^&%, %^%%%,^%%(* is to good for you.
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