Two former My Kitchen Rules contestants have been sacked as restaurant critics for allegedly fabricating parts of a review into a Western Australian eatery.
Chloe James and Kelly Ramsay – finalists in the hit reality television cooking show in 2013 – were dumped after it was alleged that Ms James wasn’t present at the meal, despite the review claiming she was.
In a statement, editor of Western Australian News Corp paper The Sunday Times, Rod Savage, announced the pair had been sacked for not meeting “accuracy and transparency standards”.
After publication, the restaurant – West End Deli – took to Facebook to claim the review had “several inconsistencies”.
It claimed a comment purported to have been made by Ms James while leaving the restaurant was a “fabrication” because she had not been present.
The review, published in the STM lift out section, carried both of the women’s names on its byline.
It was this post by the West End Deli which began the furore, slamming the “scathing” review.
The review is no longer online, after being published throughout the News Corp network.
However Ms Ramsay wrote that the pair had left a lot of food on their plates because of the “poorly executed flavours, soggy cheese, overripe watermelon, bad tomatoes, burnt curry and stingy serve of scallops”.
Review a ‘cheap shot’
On Facebook, West End Deli made a series of allegations about inaccuracies in the review, which it claimed amounted to a “cheap shot”.
“Now, we are not adverse to some good old fashioned constructive criticism,” the post wrote.
“But there were several inconsistencies and facts left out of todays review, we feel it necessary we share our side.”
West End Deli claimed the review titled “Hipster deli should stick to brekkie” was flawed becuase:
– Ms James was not present for the review and that Ms Ramsay was actually accompanied by her fiance who “seems like a nice bloke”.
– A line in the review was false. It said: “On the walk home, Chloe sighed, ‘Shall we head to Leedy for dinner, take two?'”, but Ms James was not at the restaurant, that conversation couldn’t have occurred, West End Deli claimed.
– Ms Ramsay’s credit card was declined when paying the bill, and that it took “close to seven weeks” to receive payment.
– The plates cleaned from the couple’s table were spotless.
– The couple dined “months” before the review was published, meaning the food reviewed was not currently sold at the restaurant due to seasonal availability.
James, Ramsay suffered ‘personal attack’
The New Daily contacted Ms James and Ms Ramsay directly, as well as their management, for their response to the claims, but did not respond to enquiries.
The pair’s management released a confusing statement to address the allegations made by West End Deli.
It acknowledged Ms Ramsay and her fiance had dined at West End Deli on the night the review was written.
This was around October or November 2015.
It admitted Ms James was not present on the night of the review, but had “attended thereafter”.
The statement then explained both the women dined at West End Deli together in January 16.
“West End Deli failed to mention this,” it wrote. “‘Going for dinner take two′ isn’t a comment Chloe would have used considering she wasn’t there on the evening in question.”
It is unclear why this was included in the statement. It was possibly alleging the line was placed in the review by others, and not the pair.
According to the statement the bill was not settled on the night because Ms Ramsay did not have a work credit card with her.
It stated Ms James payed via credit card over the phone on November 16 and “assumed the lady who took the phone call had processed it”.
The statement finished: “This has been a personal attack on both ladies due to incorrect factual information, and given the majority of their reviews and good standing in their professional life, their business continues to flourish and they show respect and integrity within the industry.”