Author Topic: Being Famous and Pregnant Doesn't Get You as Far as It Used To  (Read 6840 times)

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jimithing

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http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/dailydish/2011/06/chef-gordon-ramsay-aghast-at-lady-victorias-treatment-at-gjelina.html

The British Chef, Gordan Ramsay, was at a popular restaurant, in Venice, CA, with Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham. Victoria is about 8 months pregnant. Beckham ordered smoked trout, and a salad that has several ingredients on it, like avocado, grapefruit, etc. Beckham asked for the salad to be made plain, with the dressing on the side.

The restaurant has a clear "No Substitutions" policy on their menu. For the record, the menu says, "Changes & modifications politely declined."

Ramsay was furious and said that she was the customer and should be accommodated. "The lady's pregnant!" Ramsay said. "No one is asking to be fussy.... I still think that's the customer's prerogative.... It was a sour note. I don't think customers should be treated that way. That might not be the way I choose to eat it, but that's what the customer wants."

I do find this a bit ironic coming from a Chef who is known for being a jerk, and will often tell off customers in his Hell's Kitchen restaurant.  Clearly, the restaurant has the right to make any policy they want. It probably is better customer service to accommodate customer requests, within reason, but they make the rules in their restaurant.

Is Ramsay rude to call them out? Is he a SS or is this just the cost of doing business and having a policy like that? Several of the commenters called the policy "arrogant and stubborn." If I were Posh, I also think I would be a bit embarrassed that my friend was blabbing to the media about this.

Sharnita

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Re: Being Famous and Pregnant Doesn't Get You as Far as It Used To
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2011, 09:59:43 PM »
Some of it depends on how plain she wanted it.  No meat and dressing on the side seems reasonable - I would think they add those things at the last minute so the salad is crisp and nothing gets soggy ot what have you.  SOme of the other ingrediants might ne tossed into the salad ahead of time so asking for it without tohse could cause a huge headache.  I guess I don't see leaving something off quite the same as a sunstituation and maybe not even an alteration so I don't know that I see it as asking them to violate their policy.

kareng57

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Re: Being Famous and Pregnant Doesn't Get You as Far as It Used To
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2011, 10:13:03 PM »
IMO it's up to the restaurant.

Sure, the policy seems ridiculous to me  - how hard is it to serve salad dressing on the side? - but, that's what they have decided upon and it certainly doesn't sound as though they're hurting for business.  I don't think an exception should be made simply because someone is (a) famous, (b) pregnant, or (c) friend of Gordon Ramsay.

lady_disdain

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Re: Being Famous and Pregnant Doesn't Get You as Far as It Used To
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2011, 10:42:24 PM »
I think he is being a SS. Blabbing about it to all and sundry is tacky, specially since the policy is clearly stated and it doesn't seem like they were badly treated, just that the request was turned down.

MrsJWine

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Re: Being Famous and Pregnant Doesn't Get You as Far as It Used To
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2011, 11:04:59 PM »
I don't get it.  Is she one of those lucky ladies who has morning sickness all through pregnancy?  Why would pregnancy give her an exception to the rules anyway?  If she has terrible food aversions (I completely understand this, as I subsisted on lettuce and watermelon through most of my second pregnancy), order something else. 

"She's pregnant!" just seems a weird non sequitur.

If he's protesting the policy itself, he's just confusing his argument by bringing her pregnancy into it.  I think it would be an irritating policy, period.


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PurpleFrog

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Re: Being Famous and Pregnant Doesn't Get You as Far as It Used To
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2011, 03:16:11 AM »
I think the 'she's pregnant' thing is a bit of a red herring in this case. It has been widely publicized the Victoria Beckham always orders dressings on this side as part of her calorie control. Also ordering all sauces on the side amongst other oddities.

I don't see the problem with the request ifor dressing on the  side, and though it would be good customer service to acquiesce, the restraunt is also able to say no. Ramsey's reaction is ott in my opinon and using pregnancy as an excuse for a request that she would make anyway has a touch of the SS about it.

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rose red

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Re: Being Famous and Pregnant Doesn't Get You as Far as It Used To
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2011, 01:01:12 PM »
The restaurant stated their policy.  If you don't agree, go somewhere else.  If they make an exception for her, who's to say all ladies won't start claiming they are pregnant?

I think Gordan Ramsay is making himself look worse than he usually looks.

mechtilde

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Re: Being Famous and Pregnant Doesn't Get You as Far as It Used To
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2011, 01:13:15 PM »
Their changes and substitutions policy could be pretty discriminatory- after all there are many people who have allergies and intolerances, who may be quite able to eat a particular dish if "Ingredient X" is left out.

As for Victoria Beckham- well some pregnant women do have some strong aversions in pregnancy, which can go right up to birth. I just couldn't eat fish, or drink tea, or tolerate cheese sauce in any form.

Yes, I can sort of understand where they are coming from, as it must be very frustrating for them to accomadate constant requests for changes, but for some people they really need to be allowed to make some changes.
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Rivaini

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Re: Being Famous and Pregnant Doesn't Get You as Far as It Used To
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2011, 02:49:56 PM »
Their changes and substitutions policy could be pretty discriminatory- after all there are many people who have allergies and intolerances, who may be quite able to eat a particular dish if "Ingredient X" is left out.

As for Victoria Beckham- well some pregnant women do have some strong aversions in pregnancy, which can go right up to birth. I just couldn't eat fish, or drink tea, or tolerate cheese sauce in any form.

Yes, I can sort of understand where they are coming from, as it must be very frustrating for them to accomadate constant requests for changes, but for some people they really need to be allowed to make some changes.

I actually don't think they do. Sure it would be nice, and make for a better customer experience, but they aren't obligated to accomodate anyone outside of what they offer on the menu.

If they can stay in business that way, more power to them. I can just as easily take my money and appetite somewhere else.
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Clara Bow

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Re: Being Famous and Pregnant Doesn't Get You as Far as It Used To
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2011, 04:26:47 PM »
I shudder to think what Ramsay would say if someone went to the media whining about one of his restraunt policies. I saw him publicly humiliate a customer who was trying to scam a comp meal.....
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Mikayla

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Re: Being Famous and Pregnant Doesn't Get You as Far as It Used To
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2011, 04:45:58 PM »
Their changes and substitutions policy could be pretty discriminatory- after all there are many people who have allergies and intolerances, who may be quite able to eat a particular dish if "Ingredient X" is left out.

As for Victoria Beckham- well some pregnant women do have some strong aversions in pregnancy, which can go right up to birth. I just couldn't eat fish, or drink tea, or tolerate cheese sauce in any form.

Yes, I can sort of understand where they are coming from, as it must be very frustrating for them to accomadate constant requests for changes, but for some people they really need to be allowed to make some changes.

I don't agree, especially with the bolded.  They may feel it adds to their "cachet" that all dishes are served the same.  And if someone doesn't like this policy, the solution is obvious.  GR's reaction was ludicrous, but the fact that he and Victoria were there in the first place would seem to indicate it's a successful, high end place.  Chances are what they're doing works for them quite well.


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Re: Being Famous and Pregnant Doesn't Get You as Far as It Used To
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2011, 04:56:18 PM »
Their changes and substitutions policy could be pretty discriminatory- after all there are many people who have allergies and intolerances, who may be quite able to eat a particular dish if "Ingredient X" is left out.

As for Victoria Beckham- well some pregnant women do have some strong aversions in pregnancy, which can go right up to birth. I just couldn't eat fish, or drink tea, or tolerate cheese sauce in any form.

Yes, I can sort of understand where they are coming from, as it must be very frustrating for them to accomadate constant requests for changes, but for some people they really need to be allowed to make some changes.

Why do you say this is discriminatory?  From the postings here, this is not an only choice - it is a choice.  And the patrons know that the restaurant has this policy. 

They may be super-busy, and have virtual assembly-line production with no time or inclination to track specific dishes, and therefore decline to accommodate requests, but that doesn't make them discriminatory. 

It just means that if you need changes, or want someone to be able to make changes, you take your dining dollars elsewhere. 
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MrsJWine

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Re: Being Famous and Pregnant Doesn't Get You as Far as It Used To
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2011, 05:20:47 PM »
As I said before, I had terrible food aversions, especially during my second pregnancy (let's put it this way:  8 pound baby born three weeks early, and I still only gained a total of 6 pounds).  I'm very sympathetic.  But this doesn't sound like a pregnancy thing to me.  This sounds like Victoria Beckham having a preference in how she's always ordered salad, and them not complying this time.  The pregnancy card doesn't really work here.  And even if it were about food aversions, why would she not order something else?


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Re: Being Famous and Pregnant Doesn't Get You as Far as It Used To
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2011, 09:35:32 PM »
I hope this doesn't derail the thread too much, especially since it sounds like the wording at this particular restaurant is very clear, but does "No Substitutions" always mean you can't/shouldn't ask for things to be left off your food? I always assumed that meant just what it said: that I could say, "No onions on that sandwich, please," but not "Could I get jalapeños instead of onions on that sandwich, please?" or behave like the scene in Get Shorty in which the movie star orders something completely unlike anything on the menu.
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kareng57

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Re: Being Famous and Pregnant Doesn't Get You as Far as It Used To
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2011, 09:49:42 PM »
I hope this doesn't derail the thread too much, especially since it sounds like the wording at this particular restaurant is very clear, but does "No Substitutions" always mean you can't/shouldn't ask for things to be left off your food? I always assumed that meant just what it said: that I could say, "No onions on that sandwich, please," but not "Could I get jalapeños instead of onions on that sandwich, please?" or behave like the scene in Get Shorty in which the movie star orders something completely unlike anything on the menu.



That's the impression that I'm getting - even asking for something to be left off is a no-no in this place.  Hey, I don't agree with it at all but if it's the restaurant's policy, it's obviously working for them.  And if they won't comply with a request from average-Joe (well, rich average-Joe) to have his dressing on the side, then they shouldn't be complying with it for Ms. Beckham, either.

I do realize that some pregnant women have food aversions - like Mrs. J Wine, I only gained about 12 pounds with baby #2.  Not from morning sickness, just that I had such horrible indigestion from almost anything.  I was cooking incredibly bland meals for Dh and DS #1, simply because I couldn't care less about what I was eating. :)  But that still doesn't give Ms. Beckham a license for special treatment.  She ought to have known the restaurant's policy before she got there.