Lazy chef fired for serving grocery-store cheese in original wrapper

Illustration for article titled Lazy chef fired for serving grocery-store cheese in original wrapper
Photo: David Marsden (Photolibrary/Getty Images)

We get that when we go out to a restaurant, we’re not buying just the food. We’re purchasing ambience, and getting waited on, and not having to do the dishes. Even with all that though, a markup in excess of 1,000 percent seems excessive. But that’s what happened at a restaurant in Bristol when the chef neglected to take the wrapper off of a baked camembert. The Independent describes, “A restaurant in Bristol has come under fire after a customer who had ordered baked camembert was served Asda’s own-brand of the French cheese in its original packaging. The cheese usually retails at the supermarket for £1.15, but the dish Emma Daniels was given was priced at £13.”


We’re not sure if they say this in England, but: Busted! Daniels subsequently ranted on TripAdvisor, “When we go out to eat we realise you pay for more than just the ingredients, you pay for atmosphere, staff, cooking etc etc. What I didn’t expect was to order a sharing starter of camembert and to be served Asda’s own-brand camembert in the original packaging! Even when I cook it at home I cook it in a terracotta dish!!”

The bonehead play unfortunately lost that chef their job, as restaurant manager Ashely Kirwan told The Caterer magazine: “We have taken action and the chef who was responsible is no longer in the business.”

It kind of reminds us of that Long Beach restaurant that proudly served up Popeye’s chicken as its own. When Sweet Dixie Kitchen was called out, the restaurant not only admitted it, but practically crowed about it, basically saying that good chicken was good chicken no matter where it came from. We suppose we could say the same about baked camembert, even if that markup gives us considerable pause.

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.



I don’t get comparing this to the Popeye’s thing. That incident was about actually attempting to pass one thing off as another. This is about just failing to maintain the proper presentation.

Fried chicken is a fully prepared food. You expect the restaurant to have taken the ingredients, assembled them and cooked them to recipe, creating something that is ostensibly at least a little bit unique to them. It doesn’t matter where the chicken breast came from as much as what they did with it.

Cheese on the other hand is functionally an ingredient in its inseparable form, like a piece of fruit or a bottle of wine. You don’t expect them to have a cheese cave underneath the building. You know they bought cheese from someone else in its already finished form, just like you know they didn’t bottle the wine themselves or grow their own tomatoes out back.