Top Scottish chef rages over fad diets and special request ‘f***witarians’

One of Scotland’s leading chefs has sparked a social media storm after lashing out at a rapid rise in diners claiming to have “special dietary requirements”.

Multiple award-winning chef Craig Millar has launched an outspoken attack on diners claiming to have fake allergies and following fad diets.

The owner of 16 West End in St Monans has had more than 13,000 views of a recent tweet branding fussy eaters “f***witarians.”

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The outspoken chef prompted a backlash from vegan and allergic diners, but has been strongly backed by other industry figures and loyal customers.

Skipper Michael Bruce with his langoustine catch, with prize winning seafood chefs Craig Millar, and Abbie Clunie.
Skipper Michael Bruce with his langoustine catch, with prize winning seafood chefs Craig Millar, and Abbie Clunie.

In the post, Millar said he had been stunned to complete a full service without any special dietary requests from customers.

“We actually just did a full service with no ‘dietaries’,” he said. “It was like the 90s all over again - when the words pescatarian, flexitarian and f***witarian didn’t exist and the only allergies were hay fever!

“I’m now going to petition to have 6th April made a national chefs’ holiday.”

Twitter user Mike Thomas hit back: “Thanks Craig. I know which restaurant to avoid in the future. Calling someone a f***wit for having food allergies is a great way to promite [sic] your business.”

Damedithe1st said: “As someone who has food intolerances (which I always alert restaurants about well in advance) may I say that your tweets make me feel less inclined to visit your establishment - I’m sure it is a pain for chefs to adapt dishes but I have found that most do so with good grace.”

Millar replied: “I do take food intolerances seriously. It’s when I get requests for specific diets – for example vegans – I prepare entire tasting menu then they decide to eat fish that night. Dairy free diet – prepare whole menu – then they order a cappuccino. Genuine food intolerances I don’t mind!”

The Fife-based chef has spoken out previously about his frustration in trying to meet the needs of diners who have jumped on the latest eating bandwagon.

He has said: “Politely turned down a vegan request. ‘I’ll go vegetarian then, just wanted to try out a plant based diet’. You wouldn’t go to McDonalds to try out a curry!!”

And he added: “Right, for the last time - if you eat fish you’re not a vegetarian. Would people that eat fish stop calling themselves vegetarians?”

Several other people working in the food industry expressed support for his stance and confirmed they had been experiencing the same frustration in recent years.

Paul Gunn said: “Brilliant Craig! You should really be involved in the Brexit negotiations.”

Chris MacLeod said: “I am told at regular intervals during every week that we have gluten free, dairy free, wheat free etc, customers in the restaurant and what can they have? We have a list of everything that is in each dish that is on the menu. They then choose a burger.”

Millar has two AA rosettes and is a former Seafood Restaurant Chef of the Year.