'Drunk' chef attacked worker in kitchen after bad review
Published 16/08/2011 | 05:00
An "intoxicated" chef has admitted attacking a kitchen worker after the restaurant critic AA Gill told him that the food was "disgusting".
Charlie McCubbin (51), chef and owner of the River Cafe in the Brecon Beacons in Wales, admitted losing his temper after the influential 'Sunday Times' critic made the derogatory comment after his meal.
McCubbin snapped and swung a punch at kitchen worker Keith McVaigh before pushing him down the stairs and tussling with him.
The owner admitted assault and causing harassment, alarm or distress, in a court hearing.
Magistrates heard that McCubbin used "foul language" worthy of the television chef Gordon Ramsay. Prosecutor Helen Tench said McCubbin "appeared intoxicated".
She said: "He kept going in and out of the kitchen and said to Mr McVaigh, 'When you've finished that you can f*** off and not come back'. McCubbin then took a swing at Mr McVaigh, which did not connect, before pushing him down three steps.
"McCubbin walked over to another man and said, 'If you want to start I'll knock your f***ing head off'."
The chef blamed his violent outburst on the stress of working 17-hour days.
Bruce Gray, defending, told the court: "Shortly before the incident, AA Gill, the respected food critic, came in. At the end of his meal he was asked whether he enjoyed it and, in his rather flippant manner, his response was, 'Disgusting'."
The court heard McCubbin was "of clean character". Mr McVaigh (52) said he no longer wished to see McCubbin prosecuted. The chef was given an 18-month conditional discharge and told to pay £85 (€96) costs.