Why Does Michael Winner Despise Sandy Lane’s Bajan Blue Restaurant?

Why Does Michael Winner Despise Sandy Lane’s Bajan Blue Restaurant?

Michael Winner, restaurant critic on Barbados

Michael Winner, who doesn't care for Bajan Blue Restaurant in Barbados. Gotta luv his sense of humor, though: here, in his former chubby self, he's having fun for his 2003 Christmas card (dressed as a fairy, in case you didn't notice).

Michael Winner’s critique in the online London Times on January 25 of chef Grant MacPherson of Sandy Lane is so full of vitriol that when I read it I judged the critic more than the chef.  I thought, Is this a review or a vendetta?

For those who don’t know, Mr Winner is a former movie-maker, now outspoken, upper-crust British restaurant critic and Sandy Lane is the see-and-be-seen luxury resort on Barbados’ west coast frequented by celebs and the very wealthy.

Of the music playing in Sandy Lane’s Bajan Blue beachside restaurant Mr Winner writes that he was, “assailed by the most ghastly, discordant jazz music.” He asked award-winning, world-renowned Sandy Lane chef Grant MacPherson,  ‘Why do you have this awful music? I know no place of quality that throws piped music at you.’”

Of the New Year’s Eve afternoon entertainment, a Cirque-de-Soleil type of entertainment planned by Mr MacPherson, Winner writes, “It was 20 minutes of the worst cabaret I’ve ever seen.”  He later remarked to Sandy Lane manager Robert Logan, “Who gives this man so much authority? I wouldn’t let him boil an egg.”

He ends the review saying that he gave Mr Logan the following advice, the “best advice I’ve ever given anyone,” he proclaims:  “Buy a cannon,” Mr Winner suggested. “Stuff Grant MacPherson in it. Light touchpaper. Stand back. Then watch him shoot out and drop over the horizon into the Caribbean Sea.”

Ouch, ouch, and ouch! Could the music have been that bad?  The entertainment that dismal?  Is the celebrated chef who created the 18 amazing restaurants for Steve Wynn’s Bellagio in Las Vegas truly unqualified to even boil eggs?

Or is Mr Winner’s not really food writing but entertainment writing?

I really don’t know.

Maybe I’m just too polite and offended by rudeness.  I’m an American, after all; we’re famous for our cheeriness and goodwill (when we’re not waging war, I mean).  Maybe Mr MacPherson offers the worst possible dining experience ever and Mr Winner is just telling the world the emperor of the kitchen is wearing no clothes.

Or maybe I’m just far too out of my league.  I mean, Mr Winner’s 21-day stay cost him over 93,000 pounds, he writes (4400+ pounds a day). What do I know about 4400-pound accommodations and the expectations of the people who rent them?  I winced when I paid $30Bds for an iced tea at Sandy Lane recently.

Or maybe I just don’t know enough about the British sensibility.  Or Michael Winner’s.  Mr Winner is just as over-the-top when he speaks about himself, calling his former less-svelte self “a big fat pig.”  Are the Brits hyperbolic to the extreme and I just never noticed?  I have dated a number of Brits … always loved their humor (uh, humour) – and, ummm, they were exquisitely good lovers besides ….

…. but I’m getting off track.

Maybe Michael Winner is just an arrogant twit.

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