Chef's search for the sauce ends in court

30 October 2002 by
Chef's search for the sauce ends in court

A former head chef was in court last week after breaking into a Dorset pub to prove his wife had been served HP sauce with her fish cakes in place of the advertised home-made sweet chilli sauce.

Maxwell James was spotted by a guest trying to break through the kitchen door of the Ilchester Arms in Abbotsbury on 10 October clad in army fatigues, a black balaclava and gloves. He used a hammer to split the frame around the door.

James, a former head chef at the Marsh Barn seafood restaurant in Bridport, Dorset, had earlier demanded to see the chef at the pub to protest that his wife had been served bottled brown sauce instead of a chilli sauce.

He was unconvinced when the head chef insisted there were no bottles of brown sauce on the premises and refused to taste the offending condiment because he was allergic to chilli sauce.

After storming out, James went on to another pub where he admitted he got "extremely drunk" and decided to return to the Ilchester Arms to look for a bottle of HP sauce to prove his case.

James admitted the charge of causing criminal damage at Weymouth magistrates' court. He was conditionally discharged for six months and ordered to pay £50 compensation to the pub and £25 in costs.

James said he regretted the incident and conceded that he should have returned the next day to sort out the dispute. However, he remained adamant that his wife had been served brown, not chilli, sauce.

Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 31 October - 6 November 2002

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