This past week has been rather a colourful one on social media. Whilst many will often see the likes of Twitter & Facebook just filled with dross and mundane updates, or pictures of cats in boxes etc. this week has shown that there is so much more to it: humour, power of public opinion, PR and so on.
The power of public opinion.
As I posted on Friday, about the backlash against The Cambridge News using one letter of complaint as an article to beat Midsummer House, when, actually they hadn’t done anything wrong
Full story: Here on Chefhermes.com
Needless to say, the power of a Twitter backlash against such a piece forced The Cambridge News to run a follow up piece, showing support for Clifford & his team.
Result all round.
The Power of PR.
This week Restaurant Mark Greenaway launched ‘The most expensive dessert in Scotland’, an elaborate Rhubarb & champagne concoction costing £30, it does come accompanied with a glass of Dom Perignon.
Full story: Here at The Daily Record
Needless to say, this didn’t stop Gabriella Bennett at The Herald poking a little bit of fun at the extravagant dessert. Their take on Greenaway’s pud cost just 41pence, enjoy the full story here.
The Debretts 500.
Rather me try to explain what this is all about, I’d rather leave to Debretts themselves:
For almost 250 years Debrett’s has been recognising people of influence and achievement in British society. Beginning in 1769 with the Peerage it later expanded to include People of Today, which has developed into a network of over 22,000 people across all walks of life.
The Debrett’s 500 is a positive endorsement and recognition of Britain’s 500 most influential people. It has been carefully compiled by independent panels of specialists in each field who provided nominations for selection to Debrett’s. A truly inspiring group of people.
There are the usual suspects in there: Corbin & King and AA Gill. But there are also some of my favourite food people around listed as well: Marina O’Loughlin; Jason Atherton; Olly Smith; Tom Kerridge and Russell Norman.
For the full list, see Debretts here
Easter Eggs already?!?
Yes, with Valentines day not even out of the way yet, the PR firms are trotting out their client’s wares. So you’d expect the usual suspects in the form of Cadbury’s & Nestlé. But this year the commercialisation of a religious festival has sunk to new depths.
I present to you Easter eggs with a difference:
Yes, your eyes aren’t deceiving you, Easter eggs from Pot Noodle & Marmite. What the connection to the crucifixion of Christ is I don’t know.
“This may be the worst thing mankind has ever done to a chicken”
Yes, that is a quote from The Independent newspaper when describing Kentucky Fried Chicken’s latest offering, The Double Down Dog.
KFC say that at the moment it will only be available in The Philippines for two days, & limited to only fifty per day per store.
It’s a hot dog drizzled with cheese sauce and swaddled by a fried chicken bun.
To be honest, I really don’t know what to say, in a week when it was announced that the tide was beginning to turn with obesity in children, KFC & other ‘Big Food’ companies make that fight harder for parents, by doing such ridiculous things as this.
Comment may be free at The Guardian, but do they know the cost of the damage?
This final snippet caught my eye from The Guardian.
Every new restaurant serves the same ‘unique’ dishes as every other place.
Firstly, why is a British newspaper outsourcing its writing to a NYC based writer, who clearly has no idea on the British restaurant scene? This piece by Emily Gould dribbles on about various things that effectively only happen in Hipster restaurants, which are style over substance anyway. One particular dish she recalls is a ‘kale Caesar salad’, if you actually Google this, you’ll find that the entire page is all US based websites or chefs. The reason for this? Because we Brits have an ounce of common sense to know that it isn’t going to be a great dish, or long lived enough for anybody to remember it.
Gould, incorrectly arrives at the conclusion of:
A dish – say, the kale Caesar salad – that was once novel now reeks of something that’s graduated from the R&D department of some centralized authority. Dishes like that persist because they maximize profit, not because people love to eat them.
Yet again, just like The Cambridge News, somebody who doesn’t really understand what the word HOSPITALITY means, but also begrudges a sector where margins are so tight, a profit, or the chance to employ people who need a job.
To illustrate how tight margins in hospitality actually are, Gleneagles Hotel is up for sale with a reputed price tag of £200million. Turnover at the former Ryder cup host property was nearly £40million last year, sounds good so far doesn’t it? Pre-tax profit was £262,000. So yes, the hospitality sector is just out to fleece the general public, and I do wish newspapers like The Guardian & Daily Mail would bear this in mind.