Any views on the Great British Menu "scandal"?

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Alex Lake, May 19, 2019.

  1. I know Andrew Stevenson has been vocal in his dismay at the winning dish from GBM being a direct copy of a dish shown on Instagram by chef Salvatore Martone from L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon in New York.

    Salvatore Martone on Instagram: “Put the Lime in the Coconut! #theartofplating #dessert #pastry #coconut #Lime #passionfruit #mango. @investhospitality @joelrobuchonusa”

    I've been unduly upset about this myself - I think because it makes me feel that the programme is even more of a fraud than all the others are - and that's several hours of my time spent on a scam.

    What is the view of others here (other than those sensible ones who have better things to do than watch stupid TV shows!)?
  2. TV shows are always with some scandals, as if they love scandals. (they have had some domestic violence criminal there, no?)

    I just found this copycat issue makes the program name laughable. It is not British, and copying without acknowlegment is not great.
    Alex Lake likes this.
  3. It’s Television, and call me a cynic that’s all it is ,not real life. Saying this knowing a notable editor.

    It’s along the same lines as bargain hunt/antique programmes where the producer will pay cash to vendor to knock down the on screen price to make good television.
    And this is only the stuff we know about.......

    Which explains why I laregley don’t indulge
  4. It's nothing new.

    Adam Reid's winning "golden empire apple" dessert from 3 years ago, which he still has on in his restaurant for a hefty £20 supplement, is a direct copy of a dish we had in (then) 2* Bord'Eau in Amsterdam the previous year.

    On the subject of Adam Reid, virtually every dish on this year's menu was basically what we had in his restaurant in December. So it wasn't created for the brief, it was off the shelf dishes slightly repackaged. Other than the treacle tart dessert, none of it was particularly great.
  5. The theme notion is a bit of a joke, at least based on what I saw.

    However, good to hear it's not a one-off and so not really a scandal. Just standard working practice.
    Po-yu Sung and Ian Sutton like this.
  6. I fear you've over invested, Alex! If it's not an actual documentary, then it's theatre for entertainment.
    Alex Lake and Jim Fulcher like this.
  7. Even entertainment needs rules, but I think I’m not designed for TV!
  8. I started to have my doubts about GBM this year and whether the chefs always presented their first attempt to the judges or not and how the whole thing is timed or stage-managed. This was when I spotted that the waiting staff had changed between collecting the plates from the kitchen and the ones that actually placed them on the judges table. Initially there were three male and one female waiters, but, by the time they had reached the judging chamber, there were two males and two females. Suggested to me that the collection and delivery happened at two completely different times in the day. Unless someone dropped a plate in transit and they all had to be delivered again.
  9. And the rule is - you need to entertain.............
  10. “Are you not entertained?”
  11. GBM is pretty cheesy, no? If there’s no theme the chefs can’t be judged on whether or not they’re “hitting the brief”. I rarely watch it but did see the episode in question and thought the person who did the “New Romantic” pudding was robbed. I also thought the great Peter Hook deserved some sort of prize for some valiant double denim action.
  12. Never watched this, nor any other TV chef-abuse shows. Is it any good? I’m afraid I’ve become irredeemably cynical about any “competitive” show on TV. Even University Challenge has started to piss me off. Bring back Floyd.
    Thom Blach likes this.
  13. I think the simple answer is "No" ;-)

    My main problem is that the Mrs likes it and she likes me to watch it (and all the Masterchefs) with her (and it's not sufficient merely to be in the same room!)
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
  14. Hooky was great. Probably the only 'rock star' guest judge with a personality. I couldn't imagine him and Bez being let loose in a Range Rover around Manchester 30 years ago :eek:
    Peter Webb likes this.
  15. Too many of the students do persist in believing they need to be a personality.
    Keith Floyd: the MES of TV chefs. Remains eminently watchable even after all the years.
    David Crossley likes this.
  16. Agreed - great taste in music as well.
  17. I've never more than glanced at it because the elevation of apparent innovation for its own sake over the idea of making things that are good to eat seems to me fundamentally ungastronomic and something that damages expectations of both cooks and customers.On the other hand I accept that I am perhaps being somewhat pompous.
    Kevin Courtney and Ben Halton like this.
  18. I absolutely agree. There can often be a tiresome highly personal discussion/disagreement between the judges about whether a dish met the brief or not which becomes more important than whether the food is good or not. Ever more complex presentations and the need for a "narrrative" risk overwhelming the food.
    Alex Jagger likes this.
  19. I start to miss Countdown.
    Ian Sutton likes this.
  20. Looked like anarchy round Manc - loved Hooky’s comment about the difference between the Oldham St and Hollywood stars - cold, rain and no one taking any selfies. And Bez being Bez...
    Paul Anderson likes this.
  21. Countdown is still on. There's even a late night version of it with additional swearing.

    On the subject of the stage management of programmes like Great British Menu and Masterchef, it has been a long-standing joke (for me at least) that someone will be let down by a piece of equipment (usually a freezer) not working, and I was convinced that the production sneak around turning freezers off, changing oven temperatures etc to create the false jeopardy that TV producers seem convinced we need.

    It was interesting to listen to this podcast with chefs Paul Foster and Frances Atkins discussing (among other things) their experience of Great British Menu and basically what an unutterable bunch of shits the producers are.
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  22. This story doesn’t seem to be picked up by the mainstream press. I guess it’s not X Factor.
    Alex Lake likes this.
  23. I guess it's too much to expect even a statement of contrition from the programme makers, BBC, or Lorna herself.
  24. Perhaps the biggest shocker was some of the stuff served up by Michael O'Hare's chap, pretty much all of which made me feel a bit sick just looking at it. Skate skeleton served up as a mohican anyone? All-black food anyone? If I remember correctly of course.

    From his potted biog at the GBM site: "his menu is one that will shock and awe whoever tastes it" Why Kray? Why not just serve up some nice food?
    Alex Jagger likes this.
  25. The whole notion of having to down tools against the clock rather than spend a minute completing a dish is total and utter bollocks.

    I'm glad I never watch tv apart from sport and netflix anymore, lifes better without it!
    Leon Marks and Alex Lake like this.

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