A chef who flipped out and attacked a kitchen worker after food critic AA Gill branded a meal in his restaurant “disgusting” has said he makes Gordon Ramsey look “tame”.
Gill was visiting the The River Café in the Brecon Beacons when chef Charlie McCubbin lost the plot and attacked a kitchen worker, pushing him downstairs and threatening to “knock his fucking head off”.
The episode apparently occurred after Gill – who was reviewing the restaurant for the Sunday Times – said that the meal has not been up to scratch. McCubbin, who was said to be intoxicated, then took out his frustration at the slight on an employee.
Prosecutor Helen Tench said McCubbin repeatedly swore at kitchen worker Keith McVaigh before physically attacking him.
"He kept going in and out of the kitchen and said to Mr McVaigh, 'When you've finished that you can fuck off and not come back',” Tench said.
"McCubbin then took a swing at Mr McVaigh, which did not connect, before pushing him down three steps. McCubbin then walked over to another man and said, 'If you want to start I'll knock you're fucking head off. I will take you all on.'"
McCubbin, who owns the restaurant, admitted assault and causing harassment, alarm or distress. He blamed his outburst on working a 17-hour day during this year's Hay Festival.
Bruce Gray, defending, told the court:
"Shortly before the incident AA Gill, the respected food critic, came in.
"At the end of his meal he was asked whether he enjoyed it and in his rather flippant manner, his response was, 'Disgusting'.
"I say this to give you some idea of the stress of working in an environment where reputation is everything. Mr McCubbin feels he has to check and double check everything.
"The incident that led to this was that a cellar door had been left unsecured all that night and that was the straw that broke the camel's back.
"He is a man who has simply worked to exhaustion point and snapped."
McCubbin was given an 18-month conditional discharge and told to pay £85 costs.
After the hearing he said that comparisons to TV chef Gordon Ramsey were accurate.
“I've been compared to Gordon Ramsay but to be honest sometimes I make him look tame,” McCubbin said.
"Keith is a mate of mine. I've apologised and there are no hard feelings."
Despite his immediate reaction, AA Gill later awarded the restaurant a four out of five stars.