Dear old Heston: if it’s not one thing, it’s another. Just as he’s trying to bring the light of vac-pack to our domestic kitchens, he gets hauled back to the dark days of 2009 when his restaurant The Fat Duck was closed for two weeks in the curious case of the poisoned oysters.
You may have seen the latest in the saga in the headlines recently. To summarise, one not-at-all-avaricious ITV sports commentator has taken HB to court over the meal he unfortunately consumed last year at the height of the oyster debacle. He and his five companions were struck down and – to be fair – left incredibly ill by the jelly oysters that formed part of a tasting menu they were otherwise feasting from and for which they paid a not insubstantial £1346.33. HB has been no slow coach in compensating all the diners for their lost meals and indeed the party in question not only received a full refund for the cost of the meal, but also an additional £4653.67 for any inconvenience incurred (£1000 a head) as well as a free meal. Not a stingy amount of compensation for a highly-paid man of the media, we think you’ll agree.
But apparently this is a game of two halves and now HB is being taken back to court by said TV presenter who believes he paid for a meal that was of “negative nutritional value and none of the other ingredients were of benefit… The meal failed to deliver the benefits the claimant paid for. Nutritionally, it was as though they had paid for no meal at all.” Now, despite the fact that the diners have not only been fully compensated for their lack of nutrition at this meal and they have been offered another meal no doubt full of nutrition at a date of their choosing, the TV presenter believes he is entitled to more. And there we come to our topic of the fortnight: What’s your stand on compo?
Have you ever been made ill by a meal out and have you ever gone back to complain or even taken it further? Have you ever won your case and received a decent – or not – amount of compensation for your distress? Or did you just curl up and vow you would never darken their doors again and take great satisfaction in telling everyone you know about how bad it was? And – what’s your take on the story above? Do you agree HB should shell out more money to compensate, or do you think he’s done enough?