Saturday, 6 October 2007

Trevor White, consider this your first warning...

Mr Trevor White
someone please spill soup on him...


Manuel's gonna get you, gonna get you good....

When I heard this rent-a-fucking-quote I was shaking with anger. But now I am beyond anger. I have reached a new angry place, a level of anger that I never knew existed. Mr White was on Radio 5 plugging his book, "Kitchen Con", and made a snide remark about waiters, and how we take advantage of customers who have had too much to drink. He was making lots of snide and factually inaccurate remarks about the restaurant trade.

When he had finished his tirade of cynicism and I had cleaned my dinner off the radio I took the liberty of Goggling Mr Trevor White to see what he was all about. I came across his book's website. In the "Choice Cuts" section I discovered this nasty little paragraph,
"On Waiters. History teaches us that at some dim point in the past, humans regarded service as a noble calling. Today, in terms of the level of esteem that society affords it, working in a restaurant is just below clerking in a video store, and just above selling cocaine. The art of running a dining room is now practiced in the main by resting actors and middle class dropouts. Neither have much interest in other human beings, and both have reason to be deeply insecure."
Well, you can imagine my rage. You can imagine how I find that to be so deeply fucking offensive. I, like most waiters, work hard for the money, so hard for the money. I will not let that stand, not for one moment. But unlike Mr Trevor White I am a man of reason. I will buy his book, I will read it, and then I will comment. But Mr White, be warned, if I find more shite like that quoted above you can expect to hear from me.

Until then I implore all waiters who come into contact with this nasty, vindictive, little man to give him the treatment he so richly deserves. You know what I mean....

I'm not looking forward to reading his book after finding these two reviews on Amazon,
"I thought it was just me but after reading other user reviews from amazon.com and amazon.ca I realize I'm not the only one that dislikes this book. It is such a bore to read. There is nothing interesting being said and it is written so poorly. It has zero flow and it almost sounds as if a thesaurus was used extensively to mangle the hell out of sentence in order to make it sound intelligent and important. I am only a quarter of the way through but it's too painful to continue. I have better things to do/read."

&

"Read some of your favourite menus instead
After all, that is what our generation is all about, according to Trevor White. We read more menus than recipes. Although I somewhat agree with that blanket statement, it seems odd to hear such a criticism coming from a restaurant critic. Here is a person who eats out for a living, encourages people to dine out and admits he knows very little about cooking. Clearly his kitchen experience has not yet been extensive enough to hear that one about the pot and the kettle.
Overall, this book was fluff. Unlike what is promised on the cover there are no major revelations or shocking facts about the restaurant industry. Most of the time, the chapters consisted of unconnected anecdotes and I was unsure of what point he was trying to get across. His observations about celebrity chefs, guidebooks, famous restaurant critics and inflated prices at restaurants should be bloody obvious to any reasonably intelligent person. Without the book in my hand, I am having trouble picking out other topics to talk about. It really is forgettable stuff.

The fact that he is Irish and I am Canadian probably didn't help. I had never heard of most of the names dropped in this book. It is possible that my dislike of this book is simply a cultural thing. I doubt it.
The only bright point for me was when he advocated an end to tipping. I do agree that restaurants should pay their workers honest wages rather than customer subsidies.
The author also points out numerous times how the internet is changing restaurant reviewing by shifting power away from critics and into the hands of the even the lowliest diner. That's a good thing. Unfortunately for him, the internet has done the same for books."
Crikey that's got to dent the huge ego a little......

17 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

Anonymous Boxer said...

Wow, you wrote two really good reviews! Sneaky devil, you.

savannah said...

well done, sugar! but really put it to him..don't BUY the book..check it out from your local library.

Pat said...

His comments were ill-informed. How can you degrade jobs like this?

Waiting is a skill.

But it is looked down upon by some.

You could be in a dull, boring job - answering phones and that is OK.

But working is a restarant is looked down upon?

There is no logic.

When you serve food or drink - you are providing a service that requires many skills, teamwork, problem solving etc.

gayé said...

There is no such thing as a profession that, when done / performed properly, does not require skill. I can't believe he is so down on the profession. Maybe he tried his hand at being a waiter and sucked at it, then was humiliated among his peers for being such a lousy waiter and he decided to take revenge one day. Or he fell in love with the waitress at the restaurant he worked but he was a wanker so was rejected. I don't know he just sounds bitter and twisted somehow.

ellie said...

Someone once said ..... it is much easier to be critical than to be correct. How very true.

yoyo said...

I hate to think how that guy treats his waiters. He probably calls the male ones 'kid' and smacks the female ones on the arses and says "come back in minute darling, this is man talk" and generally acts like as much of a twat as he sounds.

Maybe we should..cook him.

Medbh said...

What a fucking douche bag. He is a lowly fame-fucker desperate to be a celebrity.
Don't buy his book, Manuel. he doesn't deserve your money.

Old Knudsen said...

I like the man, did you know that Hitler's brother Alois was a waiter?

Medbh said...

He's wearing a really ugly suit, btw.

peri said...

Trevor "the peanut" White is a lousy tipper and an even worse lay. That was 6 minutes of my life I will never get back.

Manuel said...

Boxer: ha!

Savannah: I know what you are saying, but I'd say the high lighter pen will be coming out and the librarians may not like that.....

Pat: If waiters/bar staff went on strike there would be more upset than if journalists went on strike.....

Gaye: Well said..

Ellie: I agree...

YoYo: I'd like to see how waiters treat him now......

Medbh: Fame-fucker, brilliant....

Old Knudsen: I knew you would....

Medbh: And has foppish hair....

Peri: Ouch....

Pat said...

While, I disagree with him - Many people hold this type of atitude.

Waiting needs to modernise itself. Too many Sir/Madams, bow ties etc.
plus letting the world know of the skills involved.

I am considering becoming a waiter - but I have got a negative reaction from friends.

It is not a bad job - so why the negative reaction??

Many think that waiters are subserviant. They should realise - waiters are only doing a job providing a service that requires skill.

It is a skilled job. But atitudes are slow to change. Many people would prefer to work answering phones 40 hours a week than working in restaurants.

Waiting is very under-valued.

Rua said...

He's a weenie, nobody listens to weenies except other weenies but thats ok because nobody cares about them-fucking weenies

Manuel said...

Pat: There are many styles to waiting tables, from the formal to the more casual. Service is a skill, it is just that though, service, not servitude....And if you do it right you can make shed loads of cash...

Rua: Welcome, very succinct....

Pat said...

This guy is only out for the controvesy - he should be ignored bigtime

Manuel said...

Bog with a bone syndrome Pat......

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