Customer service vs Calories

June 7, 2011 10:15:00 Posted at June 7, 2011 10:15:00
Lainey Posted by Lainey

You hear about this restaurant drama involving Gordon Ramsay and “Lady Victoria”? (That’s what he calls her.)

There’s a place called Gjelina in Venice. Angelina Jolie goes there, Lindsay Lohan, Kristen Stewart, a LOT of celebrities have been spotted there and this is where Ramsay took Victoria Beckham out for dinner the other night. Gjelina is very specific about its policy “Changes & modifications politely declined”.

So Posh goes in and wants a “smoked trout salad ....(which is) normally served with grapefruit, avocado, red onion and lemon”. The restaurant refused to accommodate her. Ramsay lost his sh-t and has gone nuclear in the press about it:

"I couldn’t believe it! 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. That might not be the way I choose to eat it, but that's what the customer wants. The place is great (but) I don't know, times are tough out there. You have to show a touch of sensitivity."

Here’s the thing – I order my dressing on the side often. Not always, but often. Depends on where I’m eating. If I’m eating at an upscaley place, probably not. If I’m at a chain, you know those places, I am definitely asking for my sh-t on the side because otherwise they drench it. Gjelina however is not an Olive Garden. If I were to order the smoked trout salad at Gjelina – which I wouldn’t because their pizzas look amazing – I would not ask for my dressing on the side.

I however am not Posh. And for Posh, please, it wasn’t so much the dressing as it was the F-CKING AVOCADO!!! She did not want the fat!

When Posh is not pregnant and she goes to a restaurant, I swear to you she orders steamed vegetables. She could be at El Bulli (which is closing next month!) and she’d order steamed vegetables. Now that she has a baby to worry about, she’ll eat half a steamed fish once in a while. But it has to be plain. That’s discipline. And that was the issue here. Fat (and taste) avoidance.

So...what’s your call?

See on one hand, service is service. The customer doesn’t want the goddamn avocado and dressing, let her not have the goddamn avocado and dressing. She doesn’t HAVE to come to your joint. Take the money, give her what she wants, and done. Right?

On the other hand, for places like Gjelina, where they’re all about flavour and culinary pleasure, it must be a pain in the ass to have to deal with these skinny bitches who want to be somewhere scene-y but don’t want to give up any calories. Like, if bland food is what you’re after, WHY are you going to Gjelina? And WHY are you making them waste their time – which is money – modifying their menu when it’s more efficient for them to be able to serve whatever they’ve promised to serve on their business plan which, again, is the MENU? Right?

I’m torn. Like, totally fence-sitting on this one. Every 5 minutes I change my mind. And then I wonder if I’m just biased because it’s Posh, and if it were someone else, I would totally be on their side with the steamed trout and hating on the avocado. Except I LOVE avocados and even if I were to go to a restaurant and make a special request – I would at least try – I would be ok if they turned me down because, after all, it’s THEIR house. But everyone has a right to want what they want too... non?

Help me work through this. Liveblog later, ok?

And also, with all due respect, please none of the “I’ve been to Gjelina and they were so rude to me and made me wait for an hour” because while that is indeed rude and they suck for that if it’s true, this is not the ISSUE. The Issue is: should we be able to ask for modifications of menus at places like Gjelina simply because we only like our sh-t plain and steamed and don’t want the fat?

Here’s Posh at the Simon Fuller Walk of Fame event a couple of weeks ago. You know who else was there? Jennifer Lopez. But they didn’t pose together? This is why I’m attaching old shots from 2008. Does that tingle your smut?

Photos from and Brad Barket/

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