Former “My Kitchen Rules” contestants Chloe James and Kelly Ramsay have been dropped as restaurant critics by a Perth newspaper after negatively reviewing a local deli despite the fact James was not present during the meal.
The Sunday Times review, titled “Hipster deli should stick to brekkie”, about the West End Deli, was written by Ramsay and quotes James as saying “Shall we head to the Leedy for dinner, take 2?” after they left the restaurant. The review scored it 9 out of 20 – “consider takeaway pizza instead”.
When the West End Deli issued a detailed rebuttal via Facebook, accusing the pair of “fabrication”, it subsequently emerged that Ramsay dined there with her fiancé, not James, a number of months before the review appeared, and that the bill remained unpaid for a number of weeks after the meal.
The review was posted on News Ltd websites, including Perth Now, but was taken down a few hours later as details of the controversy began to emerge.
Yesterday, The Sunday Times editor Rod Savage issued a statement saying Ramsay and James had been dropped as restaurant critics because they did not meet the paper’s editorial standards “which demand accuracy and transparency”.
While the duo’s manager issued a statement on Tuesday, partly disputing the West End Deli’s version of events, it acknowledged that James was not present at the meal reviewed and that the bill was not paid at the time because Ramsay did not have “the work credit card”.
They claimed to have dined there together in January at the request of the paper and it “confirmed what they believed to be a true reflection of Kelly’s original experience”.
James and Ramsay appeared in the 2014 series of MKR, and were portrayed as the show’s villains, eventually losing in the grand final.
Here’s the full and only comment issued by the newspaper on the controversy.
THE Sunday Times has clear editorial standards which demand accuracy and transparency. Regrettably a recent food review by Chloe James and Kelly Ramsay did not meet those standards, so we will no longer be using them as contributors to our publications. We will not be commenting further on this matter.
The Sunday Times and PerthNow