Hello there. Hope you’re feeling well today.Regular readers of this blog will know that occasionally my brain will work from the most oddest of tangents and random thoughts just enter my head. Well you may remember that a few posts back I chatted about how Britain was in such a state of nervous breakdown now that if the government was stockpiling food in the event of a dark hard Brexit then I could seriously consider doing the same without being treated as alarmist. Also that in the event of a dark hard Brexit the most important writer would become Jack Monroe, as people would have to learn to cook with less choice available and probably at higher prices.
Now, as I said in that post, I don’t belive a long dark hard Brexit of the soul will happen (not saying things are going to be better than staying in the EU mind) if only because of the electoral disaster that would await the Conservatives should it occur. But given that it’s unquestionably a possibility and not that far away from a probability it’s not unreasonable to think of the consequences of food shortages across Britain.
It occurred to me that in the event of a dark hard Brexit the first group of writers who will suffer would be…..restaurant critics.
Stands to reason really. After all in the event of food shortages restaurants would be affected. A lot would close down and probably none would open. After all most people would be unable to afford the rising prices and those that could would probably be too scared of being targeted by the hungry masses to go.
In that scenario how can you judge a restaurant without an adequate and regular supply of ingredients? It would be like watching Julius Ceaser without Brutus and Mark Anthony. The shell would be there but important ingredients would be missing.
Thing is of course most people wouldn’t care. Partly because they would be too busy trying to survive themselves. But also because restaurant critics have the reputation of being London centric and elitist. I’ve no idea whether it’s true or not but that’s not the point. It’s the perception.
I’ve reviewed in this blog an e book by the Observer Restaurant Critic Jay Rayner and liked it. But the above point didn’t occur to me until now. I think the problem restaurant critics have is that unlike a movie or even a play the chances of most people being able to experience a particular place in London where you need a payday loan just for the starter would be extremely slim.
Possibly the best answer is that should there be no Brexit or at the very least a much softer one then papers and websites should consider a second critic, possibly in rotation. Perhaps people who would live in a town which for a Londoner would require a Satnav and a pack of huskies to visit. Who would chat about the local Italian or curry house. Who would look at the price and not necessarily the most expensive item on the menu. Who is not interested in the wine and would rather have cola without ice (why would I want diluted cola?).Who would wonder whether [insert food item here] goes with chips.
The number one critic goes for the headline establishments but this second group could go to places ordinary people could relate to.
But restaurants and restaurant critics will have to survive Brexit first.
Until the next time.