Vegans have found a new ally after a prominent chef banned non-meat eaters from his restaurant following a complaint.
Perth’s Hyde Park Hotel posted a friendly reminder on social media on Thursday that all diners were welcome to enjoy their services in the north of the city.
The hotel posted a photo that read ‘VEGANS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME’ under the caption ‘we thank you for your understanding Xx’, a clear reference to British celebrity chef John Mountain’s message to plant-based diners earlier this week.
Mr Mountain’s Fyre restaurant announced last Sunday it will no longer cater to vegans after a diner complaining about the meal served to it sparked a string of one-star reviews on its Google Reviews page.
Mr Mountain, a celebrity in the UK after appearing on the Great British Menu programme, responded to customer complaint about the restaurant’s vegan offerings by barring him from entering his establishment and shouting ‘F*** vegans ‘ to exclaim.
The Hyde Park Hotel in Perth posted a photo that read ‘VEGANS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME’ under the caption ‘we thank you for your understanding Xx’, a clear reference to British celebrity chef John Mountain’s message to plant-based diners earlier this week
John Mountain (pictured) has only doubled his vegan ban since Sunday, when the controversy erupted
Hundreds hailed the hotel’s move as a much-appreciated gesture after Mr. Mountain decided he no longer wanted to serve those who identified as vegan.
‘Thank you. The world needs more kindness, not hate. Will be visiting you soon, Hyde Park,” one wrote.
“Thank you for the love during such a difficult time,” added another.
“Thanx Hydey, it’s been a tough few days,” said a third.
A spokesperson for the venue’s owners, ALH Group, told Perth Now that the post “speak for itself” and would not add anything more.
Mr. Mountain has become a source of ridicule for vegans, who first tried to bomb Fyre to lower his online ratings before spamming him with fake online bookings to prevent others from reserving a table.
A leading vegan activist in Perth goes further and attacks Mr. Mountain’s character.
Tash Peterson told 7News that the chief was a discriminatory, insecure, guilty man who couldn’t deal with a valid complaint.
“An incident where this chef is clearly upset by a valid complaint, and then discriminates against an entire group of people, I don’t see as anything other than banning Muslims or women, it’s a blatant form of discrimination,” said Ms. Peterson. .
“I think he was triggered by veganism and I think it’s a defense mechanism against his own guilt.”
Despite the online activists sincerely trying to destroy his business, Mr. Mountain stands his ground.
During a radio interview, he fired Ms Peterson: ‘She’s clearly not a trained psychologist’ – saying that if protesters tried to set foot in Fyre he would have no problem getting physical.
“Call the police and the ambulance, have them on standby, because if they try to pull a stunt on me, good luck,” Mr. Berg Triple M told co-hosts Xav and Michelle on Wednesday.
“I am the licensee of that property, I spent almost half a million of my own hard-earned money. I have no investors, nothing. I will physically pick them up and throw them away.”
Since the first one-star review, his rating has fluctuated wildly online.
On Monday, Fyre sat at a measly 2.8 out of five, before bouncing back up to 4.4 on Tuesday – which is better than before Mr Mountain banned vegans.
The controversy started after a vegan diner left a one-star review discussing his “failures as a chef,” which he took personally, leading him to ban them all over Facebook.
Notorious vegan activist Tash Peterson (pictured) said the celebrity chef was insecure
He’d appeared on The Project later on Wednesday, where he made the point even clearer: “If you come after me, you’ll get the wrath.”
“I have nothing against anyone except those who want to harm my business,” he said.
“If you try to harm my business, you come after me, you will have the wrath of Johnny Chuffin Mountain against you.”
The ordeal began when Mr. Mountain received an email from the restaurant several weeks ago that finally gave him the poor review.
The meal she got was a $32 vegetable dish that her review described as “ok but not that filling.”
“I think it’s incredibly important these days that restaurants can accommodate everyone and that not being able to have real plant-based meals shows your shortcomings as a chef,” read the controversial review from the outraged restaurant.
It was the restaurant’s comments about his skills that motivated Mr. Mountain to take the step of banning self-identifying vegans from ever returning.
According to another Perth restaurant owner, the “minority,” as he describes them, has the ability to decimate livelihoods.
Mr Mountain said: ‘Sadly all vegans have now been banned from Fyre (for mental health reasons). We thank you for your understanding’
Two Dogs Laughing Cafe in Beaconsfield, south of the CBD, sees vegans as a growing customer base that businesses should keep an eye on, according to owner Elizabeth Peasley.
‘[They] can be a passionate group with the potential to destroy a business if they get their friends to join and post negative reviews online,” she told PerthNow.
‘And that hurts when you work 100 hours a week as a cook and put your heart and soul into what you do.’
John Mountain has somehow seemingly avoided this potential catastrophe and is getting on top of the vegans, boasting about how things are now booming.
He said Fyre’s website crashed three times on Tuesday as it struggled to keep up with the influx of reservations from eager guests.
While he’s now had to ask for a $30 deposit on all bookings to avoid bogus reservations, it hasn’t stopped people from coming.
Before the scandal, Mr Mountain said he would normally serve half a dozen people on a weeknight, but that number has now risen to around 35 bookings per night as of Wednesday.
The price of the deposit is deducted from the bill at the end of the night.
Mr Mountain lived in Australia for seven years after coming from Britain where he was a celebrity chef who shared an agent with kitchen superstar Jamie Oliver.
He has starred in cooking shows Great British Menu and Chef Race UK v US.
He has also worked with culinary pioneers Heston Blumenthal at the original famed Fat Duck restaurant in Berkshire, England, as well as brash Michelin three-star Marco Pierre White at London’s Mayfair.
Restaurant Fyre has been forced to collect booking fees after being raided by an army of online vegan trolls
Mr. Mountain says his business is booming from Wednesday and instead of getting half a dozen bookings per night, he now caters to more than 30 guests daily.