Former MKR contestants Chloe James and Kelly Ramsay have been fired by their employer, The Sunday Times, after reportedly fabricating a negative review of a Perth restaurant.
A statement published to the Western Australian‘s website today states the pair failed to meet the paper’s editorial standards of accuracy and transparency in their review of Perth’s West End Deli.
“The Sunday Times has clear editorial standards which demand accuracy and transparency,” wrote Editor Rod Savage.
“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.”
Watch Chloe James and Kelly Ramsay on MKR. Post continues after video…
The review in question was titled “Hipster Deli Should Stick to Brekkie”, and was scathing of the locally loved eatery.
The pair awarded the restaurant a nine out of 20 (“consider pizza instead”) and owner Graeme Kelly was understandably not pleased.
The review was written by Ramsay, who despite the dual byline, was the only one present on that night. But it also included descriptions of James’s reactions to the food, and lists the restaurant’s faults in great detail, including descriptions of over and under-ripe produce, soggy cheese (is that possible?), burnt dishes and stingy servings.
The pair left much of the food on their plates, wrote Ramsay. “On the walk back to my place, Chloe sighed: ‘Shall we head to the Leedi for dinner, take two?'” Ramsay wrote.
But the most damning piece of information the restaurant shared was that Ramsay and her fiance, who they say was her actual dining companion that night, racked up a bill for food and wine totalling $260, then left without paying.
Finally the icing on this cake is the exchange that took place as the spotless plates were cleared and the bill was handed over to Kelly. Kelly’s credit card was declined. She was obviously quite embarrassed and promised to come back the next day and settle the $260 bill. That’s the last we heard of Kelly for close to 7 weeks. We rang, left voicemails and text Kelly numerous times but were ignored completely until late December. It was only when Chloe emailed in December that the bill was begrudgingly settled. We can’t help but feel that Kelly was looking for a free meal to enjoy with her fiancé when she dined with us in October.
The Facebook post said the restaurant’s proprietors contacted STM‘s editor with concerns about the fairness of the review, non-payment of the bill, and the fact that the meal took place back in October when the menu was completely different to the current one.
STM has a readership of 321,000 people, meaning that these two ex-reality telly home cooks have the power to damage the reputation of a family business with a few inaccurate, scathing taps on the keyboard. So all we can ask of you Perth, is that you make up your own mind on our offering.
A spokesperson for Ramsay and James said the pair were “used to negativity,” reports WA Today. Deborah Munson, from The Options Group, which manages the pair, said both girls had dined at the restaurant but admitted it had occurred on separate occasions. She said the bill had since been paid in full.
“This has been a personal attack on both ladies due to incorrect factual information and given the majority of their reviews and good standing in their professional life, their business continues to flourish and they show respect and integrity within the industry,” she said.