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James Corden: Fred Sirieix reflects on restaurant controversy
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Fred Sirieix, the French maître d’hôtel best known for his appearance on Channel 4’s First Dates, appeared on The One Show to promote his brand new book. But when asked by presenters Alex Jones and Ronan Keating what he made of the recent accusation made by Balthazar restaurant owner Keith McNally, Fred, 50, was quick to defend James, who has recently said he doesn’t think he did anything wrong.
“People complain or they make comments, but my philosophy is the guest is king,” Fred began.
“The guest pays the wages and it is because of the guest that you are here.
“I am not here to judge them, I do not have to like them. I am there to look after them and make sure they have a great experience and when they are finished and they leave, they will tell all their friends and family about a great restaurant and they will come back.”
Growing up in France, Fred trained and worked in a Michelin-starred restaurant before moving to London and working in La Tante Claire.
Up until 2019 he was also general manager of the Michelin-starred Galvin at Windows at the London Hilton.
With extensive experience in the service industry, Fred continued to tell presenters Alex and Ronan: “Sometimes people are having a bad day. You do not know what is going on inside their head.
“We all have bad days. I have bad days and I can be difficult at times.
“It is important to remember that and also to remember what hospitality is.”
Sticking by his philosophy ‘The guest is king’, Fred went one step further to say that he would not have done what restaurant owner Keith has done and post online about a customer.
“You have got to look after them and make sure they have a good time,” the Channel 4 star continued to say.
“I certainly would not have posted something on social media about a guest, whether they are famous or not.
“I would never do that.
“If there was a problem I would deal with it in private, I would tell them exactly what I feel and they would know straight away.”
Fred defending James comes shortly after the Gavin and Stacey star told the New York Times that he hasn’t done anything wrong.
The 44-year-old said that he feels “so zen about the whole thing” and called it “so silly” but admitted he might address it on air during the recording of his CBS show The Late Late Show .
He added: “I think I’m probably going to have to talk about it on Monday’s show. My feeling, often, is, never explain, never complain. But I’ll probably have to talk about it.”
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A post shared by Keith McNally (@keithmcnallynyc)
Following James’ remarks, Keith has hit back at the actor once more, not long after the restaurant owner said that he believed second chances after the actor “apologised profusely”.
Posting again on his social media page, which boasts 93,200 followers, Keith said that he has no intention of kicking a man when he is down.
He went on to write: “Especially one who’s worth $100 Million, but when James Corden said in yesterday’s NY Times that he hadn’t done ‘anything wrong, on any level,’ was he joking?
“Or was he denying being abusive to my servers? Whatever Corden meant, his implication was clear: he didn’t do it. Although I didn’t witness the incident, lots of my restaurant’s floor staff did.
“They had nothing to gain by lying. Corden did,” (sic) he continued boldly.
“I wish James Corden would live up to his Almighty initials and come clean.” (sic)
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