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Marco criticised for belittling waiters on ‘Hell's Kitchen'

20 April 2009 by
Marco criticised for belittling waiters on ‘Hell's Kitchen'

Marco Pierre White has been criticised by the Academy of Food and Wine after the celebrity chef "demoted" two contestants to front-of-house roles during Hell's Kitchen ]( week.

White threw Linda Evans and Adrian Edmondson out of the kitchen on the ITV1 reality show and ordered them to serve customers as "punishment" for poor performance.

"I have good reason to turn you into waiters, to push trolleys, to slice a bit of cake, to scoop ice cream," White told the pair.

Nick Scade, chairman of the Academy of Food and Wine, said it was "unfair" that the public has now been given the idea that a front-of-house role is less important than working in the kitchen

"To treat shortcomings in the kitchen by ‘punishing' his celebrities with a stint as a waiter I think rather belittles the essential role that front of house staff play in any restaurant eating out experience," he told Caterersearch.

"To state that waiting just involves ‘pushing trolleys…and slicing bits of cake' is firstly incorrect and secondly rather demeaning to those that regard front-of-house service as a proper career path."

Scade said he realised that the show was entertainment and that the punishment was probably White's answer to Sir Alan Sugar's "You're fired!" phrase from The Apprentice.

But, he added: "This sort of TV coverage really doesn't help the image of front-of-house as a career. It would be nice if a bit more emphasis was given to the importance of the front-of-house team rather than it being seen as the place where no-hopers are dumped."

Give front of house its due >>

Compass brings Junior Chefs Academy front-of-house >>

Hospitality operators must give waiters more credit >>

A showcase of how to survive, says Nick Scade >>

By Daniel Thomas

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