Victoria "Posh" Beckham has quite a reputation for being an overly weight-conscious diva, so typically, I'd roll my eyes upon hearing that she was eating like a bird. Even while eight months pregnant with her fourth kiddo. But in the latest Posh vs. Food incident, I'm sticking up for the footballer's wife. In fact, lots of could stand to take a tip from her.
Here's how it went down ... Posh and MasterChef star chef Gordon Ramsay were out to eat recently in Venice, California at a restaurant called Gjelina. When Victoria placed an order for a smoked trout salad sans grapefruit, avocado, red onion, and lemon with dressing on the side (to make the dish milder, Ramsay implied), the request was rebuffed. Ramsay was outraged.
The lady's pregnant! No one is asking to be fussy. ... I still think that's the customer's prerogative. ... It was a sour note. I don't think customers should be treated that way.
Some might argue that a fancy, five-star meal isn't meant to be messed with or altered, but for the most part, that's something that, despite being a foodie, I tend to disagree with. I agree very much with Ramsay. Customers shouldn't be treated that way, and furthermore, good on Posh for sticking up for herself!
All too often I've seen friends and loved ones of mine fail to do that when dining out. They're counting calories, so they request dressing on the side, but when the salad shows up covered in oily vinaigrette, they refuse to send it back. Or their child is allergic to nuts, so they're extra careful about that, but the kitchen won't promise them that the sandwich they're ordering is safe. Or they're lactose intolerant and just want a pizza sans cheese -- or with soy cheese! These are all personal health concerns we should be confident expressing while eating out! Honestly, I bet some people are afraid of coming off sounding like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally! "I would like strawberry ice cream instead of vanilla if you have it, but if not, just whipped cream, but only if it's real and not out of a can."
It's crazy! Sometimes I think people who won't speak up feel sheepish or, worse yet, like they owe the restaurant or waiter the courtesy of just eating what they're offered. That's so wrong. The restaurant should appreciate your business enough to accommodate your request, so you'll be a pleased, healthy, happy, hopefully repeat customer. Duh.
And seriously -- most good restaurants are willing to help a patron out. My boyfriend's brother has celiac disease (he's allergic to gluten), and when we dined recently at Maggiano's (awesome Italian restaurant that has locations all over the country), the chef came out and personally explained their gluten-free cooking process and the gluten-free options. Wow! Of course, that was an exceptional circumstance, but all I'm sayin' is ... if he had never asked, he would have never known that he could enjoy the creme brulee for dessert!
Do you speak up for yourself or make special requests for health reasons when dining out?
Image via Tawny Rockerazzi/Flickr