Francis Mallmann Is Mad As Hell And Isn't Gonna Take It Anymore

He's one of the most respected chefs in the world when it comes to playing with fire, but Argentinian chef Francis Mallmann apparently can get a little hot himself. This weekend, Mallmann was slated to host two dinners as special guest chef and honorary president of the annual Montreal En Lumière festival, but the director of the festival's food programming, Germaine Salois, allegedly criticized his plating of dishes, calling them disrespectful to guests.

Appalled, Mallmann walked out, packed his bags and left Montreal Sunday morning, returning to Argentina. Montreal En Lumiere, a two-week festival that runs through March 3, is featuring Buenos Aires as its "showcase city," and Mallmann, that city's most revered chef, was touted throughout the festival's website.

After the incident, Mallmann told Monreal's La Presse that he felt as though he'd been disrespected. Agents for the festival blamed the dust-up on a misunderstanding, with some insinuating that Mallmann didn't understand French well enough and took insult to a minor critique.

Mallmann's twitter feed over the weekend included a trilingual rant against Salois and her treatment of him just before his service was to begin Friday night. He wrote in English: "Very bad manners from President Montreal Lumiere telling me just before service 1 st night that my food presentation would insult the guests," and soon after added, in French, "Sadly, I'm leaving Montreal with my team. I can't take the insults. I'm sorry." By this morning, Mallmann was extending warm feelings to the Québecois on his feed, but the debate over what happened will surely rage on in the Montreal media, where officials remain stunned over the weekend's events.

Thanks to the blog Jazz and Fuzy Go Dining for the tip about this story.

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