The dreaded Australian food critic is deleting his Instagram page where he taunts influencers – while an irate restaurant serves up coasters with a cheeky message after he made a rude comment about a waitress
- National food critic commented on a waitress’s outfit
- Italian restaurant banned John Lethlean over new coasters
A popular food critic who’s in trouble over rude comments he made about a waitress has deleted the Instagram page he used to taunt influencers — while an Italian restaurant joins the pile by promising never to let him in.
Critic John Lethlean, who made a name for himself as the national food critic for The Australian and for berating social media influencers seeking a free feed, was criticized after suggesting that he wear the dress of restaurant Shui’s maitre d’ in Perth in a review he wrote for food magazine Delicious in February.
“And the maitre d’/meet and greeter wears an outfit that threatens to expose more than just her inexperience as she stoops to set a table.” A new review on @deliciousaus from Perth newcomer @shuisubiaco,” Lethlean wrote on Instagram.
The internet erupted over his comment with restaurants and influencers swiping the critic.
However, the Melbourne restaurant 1800 Lasagne went further, going so far as to print joke coasters promising to ban the food critic if he ever tried to eat there.
John Lethlea (pictured left) was criticized after speaking about a waitress’s outfit in a recent review of the Perth restaurant Shui
Melbourne restaurant 1800 Lasagne responded by printing a few hundred coasters with a blunt message
The restaurant posted photos of its newly printed coasters with the caption, “Management reserves the right to refuse entry to John Lethlean.”
1800 Lasagna owner Joey Kellock said he and his staff had decided to take a stand against the critic, but they didn’t want to be part of an attack against him.
“I would protect my staff to death from anyone commenting on what they were wearing,” he told the The Sydney Morning Herald.
“He (Lethlean) wasn’t reading the room, he wasn’t in the room, he wasn’t even in the house where the room is, he’s out of touch so far.”
The Australian hospitality industry was quick to criticize Lethlea’s comments, with respected journalist and food writer Dani Valent labeling his Perth review as ‘disrespectful’.
“Bad enough to think it, problematic to write it, shame on your editors for letting it through,” she wrote on Instagram.
1800 Lasagna owner Joey Kellock said he and his staff had decided to take a stand against the critic but didn’t want to be part of a pileup against him
Despite the pileup, Lethlean doubled down on his remarks.
“I’m sorry to have caused offense, but I’m just not interested in the prevailing chatbot-esque restaurant industry sycophancy and regurgitated PR puff that pass as commentary these days,” he said.
“The review was seen, then published, by a Delicious editor – a woman – with no flags raised, and yet… context is everything.”
Kerrie McCallum is the editor-in-chief of Delicious.
Lethlean said he was merely “conveying what (he) observed” during his visit to the restaurant.
“I don’t write for the industry, I write for consumers, and if some of the so-called journalists in this space did the same, maybe they’d have long careers as well,” he said.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Lethlean magazine and Delicious for comment.