My clients complained to me about restaurants in the region

Everything regarding their stay was good....SLIGHTLY difficult clients...I predicted.

SO that was a sigh of delight for me but......

One restaurant on my list seemed to have caused them to get really upset.

Apparently a caterpillar appeared peeping at them from the lettuce garnish.

Then a scene seemed to have taken place....everyone seemed to have got into

a horrific mood and the other clients witnessed the whole drama. Waitress and Owner/

chef were in tears.

I called the restaurant to get their side of the story.

It is 6 of one and half a dozen of the I know that restauranters ..SOMETIMES

are little complaisant and I do not agree with this. No restaurant in the area gets a 8/10

In my personal Good Food Guide...which relates to content of dishes, service, ambience.

Price is not relevant in my judgement.

However clients on holiday are sometimes rather naughty....not sure why...but it happens.

Well I am fussy....too fussy really but I do feel that the standards have dropped in this

region. My feeling is do something well or do not bother to do it all.

So I stick to cooking.

well done Barbara for kicking off such an amusing series of exchanges. ALL our many guests (not paying - just friends, family, friends of friends etc) have been delighted by the variety, quality and value for money of the restuarants in our area [S Tarn] from the local village where madame makes delicious garlic and veg tarts as starters for their 3 course + wine 12 euro menu, up to the Michelin-starred Bistrot des Saveurs in Castres where you can still eat at lunchtime for 23 euros. Only rarely (apart from the ubiquitous green beans) do we encounter tinned or frozen stuff. I think we should all be thankful,how catering standards have improved over the last 20 years, both in France and especially Britain. If you want to know what BAD food in restaurants is like, go to USA!

Well, these days, anyone can download a recepie, and churn out a few verrines. The armchair experts are always on guard for anything too "ordainary" in gastronomy these days.

Our chef put on a filet de cannette, with chorizo stuffed under the skin about two weeks ago, EVERYONE who has eaten it has said it was wonderful, excellent, delightful,or even just "bien"...

enter-stage left-, the armchair expert... "oh, no", she exclaimed..."If I see one more chorizo stuffed duck, I shall start to quack". She scoffed at the entire menu, some people are just unimpressionable

Maybe it is time to make the suprises once moore Zoe.

Suprise comes...I feel from an amazing combination of textures and flavours.

Dissapointment for me comes from the play of foam and froth....which, even Heston

must be bored with by now.

His wife always cooked him a roast chicken on Sunday.
A really nicely roasted free range chic with a great stuffing and full compliment

of fresh vegies....the jus from the roasting pan and caramalised garlic gloves.


Thanks, Jo, I saw it just as I was leaving. We were late finishing in the apiary, and went out for dinner, came home, put the kettle on, and fell asleep before it had even boiled.

Barbara, it is increasingly hard to MAKE food that "surprises" people anymore. With all the chef programmes on television, and with all the inqiets into the food industry, some ordainary joe-soaps in France can have it quite wrong when it comes to where the food comes from.

Our chef makes all his desserts fresh, and all too often, one of his chocolate deserts is accused of being frozen and bought it, because it "looks" so neat and tidy. People will get up out of their seat, when claiming they "know a frozen desert when they see one"...,

My father in law is similar, he LOVES our bernaise sause, home-made, and fresh, but he once spoke to a Paris brasserie cook who told him when the sause looked tired, they added olive oil, so, now, everytrime they visit, and eat in the hotel, he starts into the same monologue about how "all" bernaise sause is brought back to life with olive oil. It is not true, the head chef has told him it is not true, but, you can't talk to the guy, he heard it from a guy in a greasy white apron, so it must be true.

Hey Zoe, here's what I did after you went out,

Just got back from Bergerac after buying goodies at Grand Fraise...???spelling wrong?

incidently I am not a fan of the bakery...

MOST people are.

Thought that I would reminde you all that in uk there is/was a branch of eateries

called The Slug and Lettuce.

Brian when I had my restaurant in London the rule of wine was unless it is vin maison at

low cost the wine should be tasted by the client and the waiter/tress attends for approval. If it is corked

it should be taken away immediately without question.The same rules were applied in all decent restaurants.

Where there is a sameliar and a truley decent wine is chosen...HE tastes the wine first.

Very old fashioned...but.

You just can not provide truly excellent food for peanuts!
Forget about the skill and labour ...think about the ingredients.

I am tired of being given stuff which coles out of freezers and tins and was cooked in a factory

5 years ago...It may be 3 COURSES at 14 euros BUT if I can not eat it what is the point.

I prefer to cook at home and then spend 40 euros or more for something decent.

The customer is sometimes right.

LOL ;-)

No they're a dull colour when cooked so I thought I'd show them all their living splendor. The hand gives an idea of scale as well. A couple of live ones would brighten up any salad.

Lots of bits of southern and east Africa. they don't look like that once they have been fried. I tend to think they taste like crunchy tea bags with yellow goo inside. I much prefer the crunchy little beetles eaten all over SE Asia.

Mopane worms (pronounced mo-pan-e) are very popular in South Africa. No decent hotel would be without them on the menu.

James, thanks, I am starting a new thread as I need to ask you something and Zoe wants to carry it on aswell it seems....

Comment by Jo Blick 49 minutes ago Delete Comment

I think complacency is the key word here in France with the food industry.

My son is an apprentice chef in Poitiers in his second year. The first year was fraught with trouble via his boss,***********. He had my boy working a 60-80hr week, for 335 euros a month -that is the minimum salary for an apprentice. His hours were both illegal re: working week maximums for apprentices, and for the timings -frequently after 22.30 at night. On top of this, he refused to pay my son officially, for ANY extra hours, over and above the legal hours of 35 per week. until I threatened him with court. A friend of my sons at the same Maison de Formation had all the above experiences, with another so-called "restauranteur" except with additional racism and kicking and punching him when he didn't do a good enough job.

My own son and his friend, are young and inexperienced, but they put up with this behaviour for a long time before agreeing to intervention by parents, because of the gallic shrug "ahhh, monsieur, this is how it is in the restaurant trade", which was a frequent plea from the other employees.

I would like to add my son's former employer, onto a list of restaurants to avoid, and my sons new restauranteurs, Caribou Cafe, to a list of good food places, where the food is freshly made, reasonably priced.

Re the caterpiller, all lettuce even well washed, may one day be prone to the odd caterpillar, should a chef be feeling a bit tired, which is a human error but would also put me off and I would expect an instant refund and a bottle of wine for finding one

it is something that has "bothered me" about this site for a while now, but today I have to get my act together to go to the beehives, when I get home, I doubt I'll be ready for a Zoe Vs entire SFN network type evening, but, some day, James, I will.

Jo, I deleted the comment entirely, that's why you can't see it.

Zoe, perhaps you can start a new thread if this subject interests you, it would be shame to continue with this discussion here as the thread was progressing nicely.



this is really odd, I can delete the last comment, the one about not being able to delete comments, but not the one that's worrying you! can you do it for me? and I'll repost a censored version?

But really, it is divine intervention, It's the god "la Justice" raining revenge down onto rotten restauranteurs!

Saying that mr X underpaid me, and asked me to work too many hours, would be truthful, and so, it would be up to Mr X, if he even found the post in a maze of posts, in a maze of threads,in am maze, within a maze of non-restaurant specific websites, would have his right to reply.

have a look on trip advisor, people slander the hell out of hotel staff and owners every day. The people mentioned have a right to reply, and no more. They don't have the right to have the comments removed.


The post that I deleted said that a named person was engaged in an illegal activity.

That is clearly defamation of character.

Saying you ate a slug in a restaurant is not.