Belfast Telegraph

James Martin after ‘burger-gate’: I’m doing my best, I genuinely care

The TV chef apologised for a burger that was complained about, and has said that he is doing his very best to get it sorted.

James Martin has said that he “really does care” about his customers after he faced criticsm for a below-par burger that was served at one of his restaurants.

The TV chef has said he is currently working to resolve the issue, but that it “infuriates” him that people think he is not bothered.

Martin responded to Scottish TV presenter Ewen Cameron, who had tweeted him to complain about the burger that he bought at Glasgow Airport’s James Martin Kitchen.

Cameron shared a picture of the burger on Twitter and wrote to Martin: “This is your cheeseburger at your restaurant & priced at £9:50! I’m guessing you’ll be annoyed as you’re a man who prides himself on his food.”

Cameron said in another tweet that it was “truly awful”.

Martin replied with an apology and promised that he will “deal with it personally”, and Cameron later praised the chef for his handling of the situation after speaking with him privately.

Martin host told the Press Association: “I genuinely care, I’ve got three people flying up to Glasgow who are in there now trying to resolve this.

“I don’t know what the issue is at the moment, and the guy didn’t complain at the time, so all of a sudden it gets posted on social media and the first time I see it is when it’s all over social media.

“I’m doing my best, I’ve offered a refund… I really give a shit about my job. I’ve been in catering all my life and the customer is my number one.

“I get upset when people say I don’t care. I went into the kitchen at six years old with a chef’s jacket and a dream – that’s what infuriates me, I really do care.”

The 45-year-old chef admitted that he did find it amusing that the story had made headlines this week, as well as the controversy involving MasterChef judge Gregg Wallace.

Wallace faced backlash after he told a contestant on the show that her Malaysian chicken rendang dish was not “crispy” enough, with many remarking that a traditional rendang should never have crispy skin.

Even the Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak, waded into the row, tweeting: “Does anyone eat chicken rendang ‘crispy’?”

Martin joked: “There’s rendang-gate and now burger-gate!”

Martin, who is best known for previously hosting the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen as well as a number of other food shows on ITV, will be heading out on tour later this year.

“I have total admiration for people who do that for a living, bands and so on,” he said, adding that that after touring for the first time in 2016, he was surprised at the nerves he felt.

Martin will embark on his tour across the UK in October, combining his culinary expertise with his passion for the great outdoors and fast cars.

Each show his On The Road Again tour will be immersive and include cooking demonstrations, appearances from special guests and input from regional chefs in each area.

“It is pretty surreal, I can’t believe people come out and come to see my show – it’s amazing, but you kind of pinch yourself,” he said of the reaction to his first tour.

Martin will kick start the tour at the Grimsby Auditorium on October 3 and visit cities and towns including Hull, Preston, Manchester, Birmingham, Brighton and Cardiff, before ending in Harrogate on October 24.

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