EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Ritz chefs are accused of 'copycat' luxury dishes

EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Duck presses at dawn! Ritz chefs are accused of ‘copycat’ luxury dishes

A furious row is brewing in the genteel world of silver service dining. 

I hear that chefs at The Ritz have been accused of ‘copying’ veteran restaurateur Otto Tepasse’s signature dishes.

Tepasse — who worked at the famed La Tour D’Argent in Paris and Mirabelle in Mayfair before opening his restaurant, Otto’s, in Clerkenwell — was, for a time, the only chef serving pressed duck in London.

So he was shocked to discover that the new head chef at The Ritz, Spencer Metzger, who is currently starring on the BBC’s Great British Menu, unveiled his own duck press when he joined the team, alongside executive chef John Williams. 

I hear that chefs at The Ritz, in particular Spenzer Metzger (pictured, second right) have been accused of ‘copying’ veteran restaurateur Otto Tepasse’s signature dishes

Otto Tepasse was shocked to discover that the new head chef at The Ritz, Spencer Metzger, who is currently starring on the BBC’s Great British Menu, unveiled his own duck press when he joined the team, alongside executive chef John Williams (pictured)

Another dish that Tepasse claims has been swiped is the Anjou pigeon with roast figs and game sauce. 

‘They have copied my duck and now the pressed Anjou pigeon,’ he tells me. ‘They are bandwagon-jumping, I guess. John Williams wants to be in the forefront of gastronomy. Well, they are copycats.’

Otto’s dish costs £190 for three courses for two people, whereas at the Ritz one course with pressed duck sauce costs £104 a head.

Otto’s decadent duck dish comprises an entire bird, served as three courses, with fried breasts, confit legs, then the rest of the carcass is put into a solid silver press where it is crunched down into a rich sauce infused with brandy.

It’s a 19th-century art started in Rouen. This, since 2011, was Otto’s unique calling card and why people trekked to his dining room, which is a favourite haunt of restaurant critics.

A spokesman for The Ritz declined to comment.

Otto’s dish costs £190 for three courses for two people, whereas at the Ritz one course with pressed duck sauce costs £104 a head. A spokesman for The Ritz declined to comment

Homes 4u: tycoon’s offer to refugees

Ukrainian refugees could soon find themselves living at a £50 million Jacobean stately home.

Billionaire Phones 4u founder John Caudwell, 69, is offering to put up a displaced family at his Staffordshire estate, Broughton Hall. 

Calling the UK Government’s response to Russia’s invasion ‘embarrassing’, he says: ‘I’d like to host a Ukrainian family to live in the grounds of my estate. 

As Eastern Europe struggles to address the worsening crisis, I urge wealthy individuals to step up and offer shelter in their homes.’

Billionaire Phones 4u founder John Caudwell, 69, (pictured with his Lithuanian cyclist girlfriend Modesta Vzesniauskaite, 39) is offering to put up a displaced family at his Staffordshire estate, Broughton Hall 

I’m A Celebrity winner Georgia Toffolo clearly has a ‘flair’ for partying. 

The 27-year-old former Made in Chelsea star wore a pair of striking flares as she flitted between London events. 

First, she attended the launch party for Life Support, a book about the NHS, by her friend, former Tory treasurer Lord Ashcroft, at Banqueting House in Whitehall. 

There, she swapped I’m A Celebrity horror stories with ex-Tory MP Neil Hamilton’s wife, Christine, who competed in the first series. 

‘The challenges got worse by the time I was on it,’ claims Toff, who had to eat a bull’s penis among other revolting challenges on her way to victory in 2017. 

‘There was absolutely no privacy,’ she tells me. ‘The toilet was a hole in the floor with a transparent curtain in front of it.’ 

Happily, ‘Toff ’ now lives a life of luxury, and went on to 5 Hertford Street, the opulent Mayfair club where Prince Harry entertained Meghan. 

I’m A Celebrity winner Georgia Toffolo clearly has a ‘flair’ for partying. The 27-year-old former Made in Chelsea star wore a pair of striking flares as she flitted between London events

Get real, Emma tells photo-cheat selfie generation

Broadcaster Emma Forbes once declared she would never wear a bikini again because of her age. 

She has, however, happily slipped into a black swimming costume to take a stand against women choosing to use filters on social media.

‘The thing that annoys me most on Instagram are unrealistic photos with filters,’ declares the daughter of Bryan Forbes (who directed the 1975 film version of The Stepford Wives) and Nanette Newman.

‘It can only make one feel insecure — and at 56 your confidence is not what it was. 

‘I accept that everything takes longer and is harder to achieve post-55 and you just have to do your best, keep on top of health checks and use your gut instinct.’

Broadcaster Emma Forbes (pictured in January 2020) once declared she would never wear a bikini again because of her age. She has, however, happily slipped into a black swimming costume to take a stand against women choosing to use filters on social media

Celebrated cellist Julian Lloyd Webber has hit out at the opera houses and orchestras clamouring to ban Russian artists because of the Ukraine invasion. 

To make his point, the 70-year-old recalls watching Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich play Czech composer Antonin Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B minor at the BBC Proms the day Russian tanks rolled into the Czech capital, Prague, in 1968: ‘The extraordinary intensity of Rostropovich’s performance, together with the tears pouring down his cheeks as the concerto neared its end, spoke more than any number of words.’ 

Her father, the disgraced former junior defence minister Tony Lambton, served in the Hampshire Regiment during World War II. 

Now, Lady Isabella Naylor-Leyland is determined to do her bit in Europe’s latest conflict, at the age of 65.

Lady Isabella, whose baronet husband Sir Philip has an estimated fortune of £176 million, is going to Poland tomorrow to volunteer with the not-for-profit organisation World Central Kitchen and cook for Ukrainian refugees who have been forced to flee the Russian invasion. 

‘We’ll do whatever is needed,’ she says. She also plans to hire a people-carrier to transport refugees, if necessary.

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