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Gluck comes under fire

Published:  18 January, 2007

Is Malcolm Gluck totally off his proverbial rocker? Once I had stopped shaking with hysterical laughter after reading his article in Harpers (21 October), I just had to comment on what he had written about Rick Stein and his French Odyssey TV series.

I wondered whether, in fact, he and I had been watching the same programme, which awoke a passion for locally sourced ingredients and had me rushing into the kitchen to produce some of the featured dishes. Contrary to Mr Gluck's contentions, in no way did Mr Stein ever claim to be a wine expert, and he visited only one winemaker during the entire series - a very good one, too.

Now that Mr Gluck has brought out his own book on wine and food matching, he obviously considers himself an expert on food as well as wine. Moreover, having tried out several of Mark Hix's recipes with Malcolm's suggested wine matches, I found that they were totally inappropriate and ruined a perfectly good dish.

I think Mr Gluck should stick to his wine writing and let the chefs get on with their jobs!

Yours faithfully,

Michele Platman (Mrs)

(a subscriber's wife)

and again

As a regular reader of Harpers, I have seldom read a more biased, vitriolic and downright rude diatribe as the 800 words by Gluck on Stein. Methinks Mr Gluck has been upset by

Mr Stein on an occasion other than that of the 'bearded mussels'!

In terms of a critique, what has Mr Stein's private life or education got to do with Gluck? Or is there an element of sour grapes in Gluck's rantings?

Yes, I do like Rick Stein's programmes; and yes, he does make mistakes, but the treatment meted out by Gluck was totally unjustified, and I am surprised at Harpers' editorial staff for passing the article.

'Gluckbites' with sulphuric acid will not be my favourite 'meal' in future.

Yours disgustedly,

Alan McCall

MD, McCall Consultancies Inc

and again

I normally enjoy Malcolm Gluck's tongue-in-cheek articles, but I must draw the line on his idiotic comments concerning Rick Stein.

The latter's canal trip made a fascinating TV programme, and he's forgotten more about the preparation of food than Gluck can ever hope to know. His comments on wine, which he made clear were distinctly amateurish, undoubtedly persuaded some viewers to purchase the odd bottle, which is not a bad thing for our trade.

Gluck goes on to tell us, completely out of context, that German Rieslings are arguably the world's greatest white wine. Who's talking codswallop now?

Yours faithfully,

Ken Butler

Lingfield, Surrey