Restaurant boss says no to calorie count menus
Award winning Sligo restaurateur Anthony Gray doesn't want calorie counts on menus. Mr Gray claims plans by Minister for Health Simon Harris "will just destroy what we are trying to achieve in Ireland as a world class culinary destination."
"It will cable tie the hands of chefs in our industry all over Ireland", says Mr Gray. "I'm not one for bad news", he said, "but this is going to a tough year for the hospitality and tourism sector.
"We have already seen closures following the increase in VAT, and the reality of Brexit and sterling fluctuations is taking hold on border counties with tourism numbers dropping".
"Bearing all of this in mind, it is outrageous that the government now decide to add to the load on the hospitality industry, forcing the idea of calories on our menus. This is being done with no industry consultation whatsoever and seemingly with no consideration being taken as to the additional cost this will add to every restaurant - both financially and in time."
He also has serious concerns about the impact of calorie count requirements on the spontaneity of specials on menus, fearing it will result in less fresh and seasonal produce being used.
"How can restaurants like my own, who respond to seasonal availability of fresh ingredients, continue to change their menu regularly and feature special dishes with once off elements like freshly caught seafood? How can chefs be spontaneous and continue in the art of cooking?
"It's like telling an artist only to use certain paint colours - it's like cooking by numbers", he explains.