YEP Says, February 7: Coren’s barbs serve up some food for thought

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...and gang pays price for sick idea of fun

THERE are two ways of looking at the unsavoury comments made by food critic Giles Coren about the Leeds dining scene.

The first view – and probably the one most people in the city will take – is that this is yet another glaring example of southern snobbery coupled with breathtaking arrogance aimed in the North’s direction.

Has Coren dined at one of the city’s restaurants recently? Or does he get a nose bleed if he ventures north of the Watford Gap?

And after all, as a paid-up member of the wealthy metropolitan elite (Coren went to posh Westminster School, followed by Oxford and now writes for The Times) is it any wonder that he’s turning his nose up at the thought of a sitting down to dinner in Leeds?

Then there is the other view – the one that asks whether he might just have a point.

Outside of London, Yorkshire boasts the most Michelin-starred restaurants of any English county, but not one of them is in Leeds. The closest is The Box Tree in Ilkley.

So while the city’s dining scene has come on in leaps and bounds over the last decade or so – and boasts some very good eateries – is it time for it to up its game?

Securing that first Michelin star would present an ideal opportunity to invite Coren back to Leeds – and then enjoy the satisfaction of watching him tuck into a very large slice of humble pie.

Gang pays price for sick idea of fun

HAVING been pushed into the Rive Aire by a quartet of young thugs who stole his bike, Julian Walls could be forgiven for feeling a measure of revenge after they were locked up for a total of 10 years.

Instead he says that while he’s pleased they are being punished, he’s sad because they have thrown away years of their lives for what he describes as “essentially half-an-hour’s fun”.

Few would have similar compassion in his position, while the fact they probably thought it was fun shows what a warped view of the world they have. Let their punishment serve as warning to to others who have a similarly skewed idea of what passes for entertainment.