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Top Chef Hits Out at Fake Allergies

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Top Chef Hits Out at Fake Allergies
Photo Gault&Millau Belgium/Facebook

One of Europe’s top chefs has hit out at customers who request menu changes, despite not having intolerances or allergies, saying the "trend" is heaping huge stress on he and his team. 

Nick Bril, of the the two-Michelin-star The Jane restaurant in Antwerp, Belgium made headlines after calling out picky customers who "misuse" dietary requests on his Instagram story.

Brill, who had just returned from a vacation, spoke of how nearly half of his customers had requested changes during one service. “First week after a wonderful leave. And it sucks . So many dietary requirements, restrictions, allergies … that it becomes impossible,” he said.

After receiving both support from colleagues, and abuse, including from those who wished allergies on he and his family, the chef sought to clarify his comments in another post.

Today I hit the newspapers, with my Insta stories about a trend which has been growing for a few years now. A lot of support from people who know how difficult it is, but also a lot of bad reactions from people who started hating me, even wishing me or a beloved one, an intolerance or allergy. (really?) People who have an issue, will respectfully tell us in advance, and we are able to adjust this. Yes we can host gluten and lactose allergies. Yes we can take peanuts out of the menu. Yes we can adjust the issues. And we will! But in this matter there is a very fine line between those who suffer, and those who use these issues, because the[y] don’t like to eat certain flavors or think they will not enjoy it, prepared by chefs who want to take amazing and expensive produce to a next level. Or they just want to look nice in their beach clothes during summer.”

He continued: “Fine dining is ment [sic] for people who love gastronomy, who love to explore new flavors, who love to enjoy the richness that our industry offers. But piling up a collection of things that you preferably don’t like to eat, but still want to have a 15 coarse [sic] exiting [sic] menu, that 15 times needs to be entertaining, flavorful, packed with texture, and sexy and exiting [sic], coarse after coarse [sic] is the same like walking on water?”

Read in full below.

 

Today I hit the newspapers, with my insta stories about a trend which has been growing for a few years now. A lot of support from people who know how difficult it is , but also a lot of bad reactions from people who started hating me, even wishing me or a beloved one , an intolerance or allergy. ( really?) People who have an issue, will respectfully tell us in advance, and we are able to adjust this. Yes we can host gluten and lactose allergies. Yes we can take peanuts out of the menu. Yes we can adjust the issues. And we will! But in this matter there is a very fine line between those who suffer, and those who use these issues, because the don’t like to eat certain flavors or think they will not enjoy it, prepared by chefs who want to take amazing and expensive produce to a next level. Or they just want to look nice in their beach clothes during summer. We had all miss- uses of these requests. The extra labor cost, the extra stress in terms of routing, workflow and failures made by our team that creates extra stress with employees.The costs of loss of these products, animals and things that have died , for us to enjoy, just because people want to go to a fine dining restaurant, but just don’t want to dine with finesse. That’s a big difference. Fine dining is ment for people who love gastronomy, who love to explore new flavors, who love to enjoy the richness that our industry offers. But piling up a collection of things that you preferably don’t like to eat, but still want to have a 15 coarse exiting menu, that 15 times needs to be entertaining, flavorful, packed with texture, and sexy and exiting , coarse after coarse is the same like walking on water? Dear followers, fans or people who think i am an asshole speaking openly about this. I hope with this post that the people with issues, understand that me and all my colleagues with respect your demands. And the people who use these intolerance and allergies just to stay in their comfortzone, maybe open up for chefs who invest their lives to prepare en present food in a unique way. With their hearts and soul. Me and my fellow cheffriends are thankfull for making us enjoy our passion again 🙏🏻

A post shared by Nick Bril (@nickbril) on

Brill is not the only chef to call out fake allergies online: last year, we reported on an angry Australian chef who had posted an image of all the adjustments he was having to make to tickets during service.

But, chefs at this three-Michelin-star restaurant have developed the perfect way to deal with dietary requests, even at the last minute.

What do you think, was chef Nick Bril right to call out his customers? Let us know in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.

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