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Celebrity chef sparks controversy over festive freebie fiasco



MasterChef star faces backlash for rejecting customer’s ‘mental’ request

In a surprising turn of events, renowned MasterChef UK winner and owner of Manchester’s WOOD restaurant, Simon Wood, finds himself at the center of a social media storm after publicly criticizing a customer’s seemingly innocent request for complimentary goodies.

Wood, who gained fame for his culinary prowess, recently took to X to share a screenshot of an email exchange with a patron seeking special treatment for their first-anniversary celebration at WOOD.

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The customer politely inquired about securing a prime table with a scenic view and the possibility of receiving a complimentary dessert to mark the joyous occasion. The chef, however, expressed his disdain for the request in a now-viral post, stating, “Unbelievable… Free food for celebrations, that’s why we’re here after all….”

While some X users sided with Wood, dubbing the request ‘mental,’ a substantial number disagreed vehemently, accusing the chef of public shaming. Critics argued that the customer’s inquiry was made courteously and did not warrant such a public rebuke.

One user commented, “Publicly shaming a customer that asked for a complimentary dessert on their special day is so ghetto. Chef needs customer service training.”

Another defended the customer’s right to inquire, stating, “Regardless of your opinion on whether it’s justified or not, they only asked a question. People negotiate all the time from many different businesses.”

Responding to the criticism, Wood asserted, “Hospitality isn’t about giving profits away in the worst economic climate for decades.” He emphasized the challenges faced by the industry and questioned why restaurants are singled out for such requests.

Wood revealed that WOOD provides around 50-100 free meals per week for various food-related charities in the city but argued against the entitlement surrounding such requests, emphasizing the financial strain on businesses during these trying times.

As the debate rages on, it raises questions about customer expectations in the hospitality industry and the delicate balance between providing excellent service and sustaining a business in challenging economic times.


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