Restaurant That Banned Ketchup for Grown-Ups Didn't Go Far Enough

ketchupHey! Drop the ketchup and back away from the French fries, lady! That's what you'd likely hear at a Florida restaurant where the chef has banned ketchup for customers over the age of 10.

He doesn't even stock the stuff. Can you imagine?!

Chef Xavier Duclos of Mad Fresh Bistro in Fort Myers just wants you to taste his food. He wants you to actually taste it.

I think he's right. In fact, his ban doesn't go far enough. That nasty "red stuff" should be banned for all children, period.


Mad Fresh Bistro's website lays it all out:

We know, we know. People love their ketsup [sic]. But honestly, be ready. If you’re over 10 years old, ketsup will NOT be provided. Similarly, salt won’t be making an appearance next to your meal, either. We simply ask that you trust us. We know what we’re doing! Part of the MAD experience is to trust the chef, and not have preconceived notions of what your dish is going to need.

You see? You just need to trust Chef Duclos and be open to discovering what he's trying to help you taste. He doesn't say so, but he's also protecting you from one truly hideous condiment.

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Most brands of ketchup are too sweet. The stuff masks the flavor of whatever it's covering, rather than enhancing it. "A sliced tomato augments," says Vienna Sausage exec Bob Schwartz. "Ketchup detracts." He wrote a book titled Never Put Ketchup on a Hot Dog. A WHOLE BOOK! Doesn't that tell you how much America needs a wake-up call over its ketchup obsession? 

And honestly, it ruins your palate and tricks you into craving sugar in everything you eat.

In fact, some Chicago hot dog restaurants won't allow ketchup, either. Not to mention, remember what Clint Eastwood said in Sudden Impact? "Nobody, I mean nobody puts ketchup on a hot dog." The same should go for hamburgers and fries.

That's why I've banned the stuff at my own home. 

The truth is, we do keep a spare bottle for guests with a sad addiction to it. But I made a point of never serving it to my son. Guess what? He didn't miss a thing, he never wants it, and he actually knows that French fries are supposed to taste like potatoes. 

In fact, I think Duclos is showing a great example for parents. Don't start by catering to the worst of your kids' tastes. Encourage them to try a lot of new flavors. Get them to trust you, as a chef. And yeah, be a total hard-ass about forbidding foods you think are utter crap.

And if you don't like the chef's rules? Go make your own lunch. Eat somewhere else.

What do you think about this restaurant banning ketchup?


Image via © iStock/Floortje


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