Great British Menu chef describes food in Sunderland as 'horrific'

Michael O'Hare, pictured in 2015.
Michael O'Hare, pictured in 2015.

A top chef has described the food in Sunderland as 'horrific' - and demanded his quotes be removed from a story on our restaurants.

The Echo reported earlier today how Sunderland had been named as one of the UK's "most restauranty" city's in the UK, ranking 10th on the greatest density of restaurants per head of population.

Holden Media, which carried out the research, said the North of England's burgeoning dining scene was closing the gap on London's culinary offering.

Michael O’Hare, of Great British Menu fame and chef-patron of Michelin-starred The Man Behind The Curtain in Leeds, was among those quoted in a press release on the research.

But after seeing our story online, Mr O'Hare, originally from Teesside, tweeted our entertainments editor to demand his quote be removed - describing the food in Wearside as "horrific".

He said: "Please remove my quote, it's not relevant. The food in Sunderland is horrific."

Mr O'Hare's comment is likely to go down like a lead balloon in Sunderland, which has seen a string of new, popular eateries join its old favourites in its ever-growing dining scene.

Echo readers were quick to make their feelings known on the subject on our Facebook page.

Lynne Bostock said: "He could not be more wrong! There are some fantastic places to eat in Sunderland! I am proud to belong to a fantastic city with fantastic people!"

Lee Gavin Anderson said: "We have fantastic restaurants. He's obviously jealous our city has Egyptian, Greek, Turkish, Punjabi and Persian all within walking distance."

Heather Fagan said: "I would be interested to know where he has ate in Sunderland. We have some cracking places to eat in the city, maybe he picked the wrong places."

Angela Wind said: "He must have spent an awful lot of time in Sunderland to know that every restaurant is crap."

Rachel Addison said: "He'd do well to remember his roots. Nothing like slating your fellow northerners!"

The city is not a stranger to compliments on its culinary offerings.

Renowned dining supremo Russell Norman, owner of Polpo restaurant group in London, listed Elizabeth's in Sunderland as one of his favourite restaurants in the world.