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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

On Gauthier: a couple more words

We wrote quite scathing comments on our last experience at Gauthier. We were angry and disappointed. However, we have now communicated with a very civilised Alexis Gauthier, who apologised but also made us consider certain aspects of what we wrote (and we ourselves considered more). Since not all chefs react in this kind manner to negative comments (how many times have we escaped by skin of our teeth some angry and crazed knife-wielding cook...), we think this reaction goes to his credit and so it is only fair to report it.

Secondly, although we hinted  in our review that we had been there other times before with good experiences (otherwise why return?), this was in the long spell when we had interrupted blogging, so we only wrote public reviews on our last and only negative experience. While the report for that bad night is completely accurate, that report alone does not paint a full and balanced picture of our overall experience at Gauthier. We apologise for that.

Third, Gauthier asks us if £35 for three courses is really such a bad deal in London, as we had ranted. Our answer is that no, it is not a bad deal. Although there are indeed some fantastic deals around for excellent cuisine (e.g., not to go too far, Arbutus), prices at Gauthier are perfectly competitive for London. And we add that they happily offer filtered water for free, which is the decent thing to do but is very rarely done. What we meant was that we would not pay for that particular experience.

It might be appropriate to clarify that we always pay for all our meals and we have never had, nor will we ever have until we make public comments, free meals anywhere, be they offered by way of apology or appreciation for regular custom, or else. In particular, to be blunt, we are not writing this because we have been sweetened: if we go back to Gauthier, we'll pay. However we confess to having accepted small attentions every now and then, like any regular customer in any place: Alexis, please prepare some nibbles. :)

To conclude: as we state in our blurb, we respect the professionals we 'criticise'; and who are we to criticise serious professionals anyway? We are not professional critics. We simply aim to report our experiences, the experiences of passionate, normal bill paying customers, and we are always happy to rectify or rebalance our perspective if it seems fair to do so. 


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