UK celeb chef bemoans screens in bars and eateries

September 5, 2008 by Dave Haynes

The RSS feed from Screens.TV is a little flaky, like today, so I thought I would just flag a piece in there about the comments of a UK celebrity chef and the increasing appearance of screens in restaurants.

Writing in the latest issue of Waitrose Food Illustrated – a magazine produced for and distributed by the upmarket grocer – Richard Corrigan recounts a recent dining experience: “As you try to converse with your companion, a screen hovering over your table distracts you. It appears to show the owner talking to some fishermen – I assume that they are his suppliers as this is a fish restaurant. I say ‘appears’ because the sound has been turned down. Which is actually even more irritating.”

Corrigan, whose restaurants include London’s Lindsay House and Bentley’s, continues: “I’ve just heard of a restaurant called The Pass, in the South Lodge hotel in West Sussex, that’s opening later this year. They plan to have TV screens in the dining room that beam live, yes live, footage from – wait for it – the kitchen. So your young couple will sit there, gawping aimlessly at the thrilling action on these screens. ‘Look, darling,’ one will say to the other, ‘there’s a chef chopping up the enoki mushrooms for my velouté of broccoli couscous.’”

Also under fire from Corrigan are bar screens showing music videos and horse racing. He doesn’t, however, explicitly mention in-store TV or advertising screens, although he appears unimpressed by the digitisation of outdoor advertising. “Do we need these TVs everywhere?” he asks. “It’s impossible to walk down a street these days without having stuff beamed at you.” 

OK, first case – bad execution, and all too common.

Second case, I’m not sure how seeing what’s happening in the kitchen is worth showing unless Gordon Ramsay is in there going thermonuclear on the staff.

Third case, yes Richard, you do. :-]

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