Earlier in the year, Heston Blumenthal received flak for making sexist comments on the lines of – “heavy pots and pans” and the “biological clock” inhibit women in professional kitchens. Cut to now,the proprietor has been sued by a former pastry chef who was working for him at The Fat Duck after she suffered from repetitive strain surgery.
The suit is filed by Sharon Anderson, 28 who claims that she was made to perform tedious and repetitive tasks of a highly stressful nature at Blumenthal’s Michelin starred restaurant. According to her lawyer’s, the young woman was ‘pushed too hard’ and was asked to churn out several eccentric creations such as chocolate cards and whiskey wine gums within restrictive timelines.
A detailed brief on the case states that Anderson’s schedule required her to run from 7.a.m. — 6p.m. while making 550 whisky gums in two hours and packing 400 individual sweets into cellophane over four hours in the morning. This has left her depressed and anxious after she quit working for the restaurant 2015.
Commenting on her condition, her solicitor David Poole told the court: “In view of her condition, it’s quite difficult for her to find employment,” her solicitor David Poole told the court, adding: “she can’t work as a chef at the moment”. Blumenthal however has dismissed the claim stating that the type of work she did is common to the sort of patisserie practiced in other ‘fine dining restaurants.’ Guess we’ll just need to wait till the drama unfolds in the courtroom!