What's Your Beef ? Dishful of Trouble: A Carpaccio of Beef Bravado: Gordon Ramsay Bon Viveur: Frank Bruni

Daily Mail (London), August 5, 2008 | Go to article overview

What's Your Beef ? Dishful of Trouble: A Carpaccio of Beef Bravado: Gordon Ramsay Bon Viveur: Frank Bruni


Byline: Toby McDonald

HE is one of the most feared food critics in the United States, famed for his ability to condemn any new venture to failure with a few choice words.

But a review of the fare on offer at one Scottish restaurant has left New York Times writer Frank Bruni red-faced.

The reason? He claimed that Scotland is a country not known for its 'fine beef'.

Bruni, 44, who famously panned Michelin-starred Gordon Ramsay when he opened his first restaurant in New York last year, took a culinary tour of the Highlands, dining at some of Scotland's finest restaurants.

The man feared by so many restaurateurs then wrote in his review: 'We had a beef carpaccio, though while lovely, you wondered why you are having it in Scotland, a country that is not particularly associated with fine beef.' Yesterday, his outpouring left a bad taste in the mouths of Scots food experts, who are well aware of the country's global reputation as a provider of quality beef. Quality

Meat Scotland, the organisation that works to maximise the potential of Scotland's red meat industry, said: 'Scotland is renowned for producing some of the world's finest beef and lamb.

'It's a reputation built on generations of experience in raising livestock.

'It is this experience that delivers that most important thing - taste.

Once tasted, never forgotten.' But Scotland's beef associations are apparently alien to Bruni.

His culinary tour took him to the 2 Quail Restaurant & Rooms, a 12- cover eatery with two AA rosettes at Dornoch in Sutherland, and on to the Summer Isles Hotel at Achiltibuie in Wester Ross, before he visited the Three Chimneys restaurant on the Isle of Skye.

He wrote: 'Scotland doesn't beckon visitors with the promise of superior cooking.

'Gourmands don't toss coins - heads, Parma; tails, Aberdeen. The dinner choices underscored precisely where, in its evolution toward finer dining, Scotland is. …

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