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Table talk

And he’s always so dapper and attractive

Gordon Ramsay, the chef who last year was shown in a television documentary series shouting and swearing at his staff, has upset women chefs by claiming that they should be kept out of professional kitchens. He told a daily newspaper that he did not want to employ females in his Chelsea restaurant because they take days off for morning sickness and women’s troubles. He also said that the sight of women in the kitchen could put him off sex. He told Scotland’s Daily Record: “Just the thought of them sticking their hands up a pigeon’s arse – it is not what would make your sex life fruitful.”

Thou shalt not double-cross the lord thy chef

While Ramsay may be the master at causing offence with the vigour of his views, he can’t yet match his friend and fellow chef Marco Pierre White in terms of giving an opinion with almost god-like authority. White expressed himself on staff loyalty as follows: “They must give loyalty, not breed loyalty. Those who breed loyalty demand it for themselves, and will end up betraying you.” Sounds like the Old Testament to me. I wonder what the punishment for betrayal is?

He’ll remember when he tries to run for a taxi

A GUEST staying at Heathrow Airport’s Le Méridien Excelsior hotel has given new meaning to the word “scatty”, according to the latest survey of unusual items left behind in hotels. The gentleman checked out of the hotel, forgetting his spare false leg in the process. Bemused staff were later told that it was his “jogging” leg, which he accidentally left in the hotel spa. The survey also reports cases of live frogs left croaking in a hotel bath, and a white rabbit cowering under a bed.

Just don’t ask about that shipment of twiglets

Gordon Gorman, executive assistant manager of the 700-bedroom Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza in Bangkok, Thailand, arrived at work the other day to find that his favourite tree, which stands outside the hotel, had been shorn of every branch during the night. Allegations suggest that a neighbouring Japanese restaurant, whose promotional sign was blocked by the tree, was behind the act. Gorman is now questioning taxi drivers and neighbours who may have seen Ninja-style bandits hacking the tree into chopsticks on the night in question.

Don’t worry – just catch ’em and sell ’em again

Restaurateur Martin Shanahan was stunned when an American tourist walked into his 40-seat Gourmet Store restaurant in Kinsale, County Cork, and asked if he could buy the 30-40 lobsters in his tank. He said: “I asked him if he was having a party or opening a restaurant, but he said he just wanted to set them free. We have had some unusual requests, but to spend £540 on lobsters and do that is crazy.”

We got a picture just like that at Woolworth’s

There have been some eerie goings-on at Gloucester’s oldest pub. Regulars at the New Inn on Northgate Street claim that a ghostly cavalier is peering at them from behind a painting on the wall. The painting, which shows a monk drinking from a pewter tankard, is said to look normal by day. But by night a Royalist cavalier can be glimpsed from within the canvas. General manager Paul Parkin said: “It’s quite spooky because it’s as if his face just appears. It looks just like an old cavalier with a plume in his hat, long hair and a big moustache.”

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