Updated: Pub chef's tweets go viral after sacking

16 December 2013 by
Updated: Pub chef's tweets go viral after sacking

An Oxfordshire chef who tweeted from his former employer's account that they had sacked him for asking for Christmas Day off has seen his tweets "go viral".

Jim Knight, formerly the head chef at the Plough Pub, Great Haseley, Oxfordshire, tweeted a series of sarcastic messages via , claiming to its followers that the pub had fired him because he had asked to have a weekend in December and Christmas Day off "for family commitments".

He tweeted: "We'd like inform you that we've just fired our head chef…we don't care that he has a 7 ½ month old baby daughter… Yeah, a week before Christmas…So anyway come on down and continue to pay a premium for Australian sirloins, New Zealand lamb and everything else that is bought from Asda."

The pub, which had just 250 Twitter followers before the incident, now has over 3,000.

The tweets came after Knight took to to ask if there was a chef forum "for naming and shaming bad employers". Another chef responded, saying: "I just like to use Twitter :)".

Soon after posting his initial tweets, Knight said: "Well, that escalated quickly." He confirmed that he hadn't "hacked" the pub's account, saying that he had set it up while still employed.

He wrote on his personal Twitter account that "he wouldn't miss" his daughter's first Christmas "for anything".

Knight's partner, Louise E Thompson, also tweeted her thanks for people's support on her own Twitter account. She confirmed: "I am Jim's other half…it's touching seeing everyone's support for our little family".

Things seem to have worked out well for Knight, however, who very recently tweeted: "I have very kindly been offered a serious job offer directly off the back of this twitter storm. More info to follow x".

The Plough Pub, in the village of Great Haseley, is also coincidentally minutes from Raymond Blanc's Oxfordshire restaurant, Le Manoir Aux Quat' Saisons.

It serves traditional pub food with a refined twist, including dishes such as locally-produced chorizo in red wine, home-cured salmon, roast sirloin of beef, and pies.

At the time of writing the tweets are still visible on the Plough Pub's account, although the pub was not available for comment.

UPDATE Monday 16 December 12:30pm: The Plough Pub has since issued a statement on the matter, confirming that Knight had been dismissed but denying the allegation that the pub's meat and produce came primarily from Asda.

Landlord Steve Potts said: "When Jim, as head chef, informed me that he would not be working on Christmas Day, and other Sundays in the near future, I was left with little choice but to end our arrangement. I had been quite clear with him when he started here that Sundays are our busiest days of the week, and that all our chefs have to work that day."

He added: "Our suppliers are transparent: our meat is fresh, never frozen, and comes from Booker's in High Wycombe and from a local farmer called Peter Vogt. Certain staples come from our nearest supermarket, which is Asda, but the implied suggestion that we are buying cheap meat and passing it off at a premium is, frankly, outrageous and untrue."

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