Michelin-starred chef hits out at plans to include calorie counts on menus
A Michelin-starred chef has hit out at plans to include calorie counts on menus, warning diners to avoid his award winning restaurant if they want the information.
Derry Clarke said he would fight the plans and resist placing calories counts on his menus. However, he revealed that despite the fine dining, his eatery would not fare badly when it comes to calories levels.
“I’m going to fight it, I think it’s wrong in loads of ways. I think if should be a choice and you don’t have to go to restaurants that don’t have it. If you want calories on menus don’t come to me.
“But if I did do it there wouldn’t be a lot of calories on it. We don’t use much butter or cream in our starters or mains, only in the desserts,” he said.
Mr Clarke said he disagreed completely with the plans, which would see restaurants, cafes and takeaways all post calorie details beside the meals, insisting that the problem of obesity was down to society becoming “too lazy”.
“If they are serious about tackling obesity in Ireland then build gyms in schools, provide more bike stations and tax laptops and tvs and couches.
“We are all too lazy and the Government’s answer is to push it on to restaurants,” he said.
Mr Clarke, who opened the fourth annual Galway Food Festival, said that similar plans brought in in New York only applied to restaurants with 20 or more in the chain, while individual restaurants were exempt.
He said he believed the public did not want calories information for fine dining.
“None of us go out wanting to look at the calories, we are mothered enough all week by the Government, we all need one night off.
“Anyway I don’t have formulas or exact recipes for my dishes so it would be impossible to include a calorie count,” he said.
The celebrity chef said he was delighted to be in Galway, describing the festival as “of huge importance to the city”.
Over 70,000 people are expected to attend the food festival over the Easter bank holiday weekend. Over 100 food outlets and producers from across the city and county will take part in the event.
The event will include food tours, cookery demos and food talks along with dozens of stalls providing foodie feasts for those attending.
For more information go to www.galwayfoodfestival.com