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Celebrity chef wins libel case over ‘insipid risotto’

A famous Italian chef won a libel case against a food critic who criticized his dish

Italian celebrity chef Carlo Cracco sued a food critic for writing a scathing review of his exquisite meals and won. He was further offended when he was called a “falling star.” 

Cracco won two cases against the editor of La Cronaca di Verona, Achille Ottaviani, who was fined €11,000 ($12,435) this week and ordered to pay €20,000 ($22,620) in preliminary damages and €3,500 ($3,960) in legal fees. On top of that, the chef said he was considering filing a separate civil lawsuit seeking €50,000 ($56,570) in damages. 

The conflict erupted in 2016, when Ottaviani wrote a scathing review of the meals served by Cracco at a gala dinner that marked the 50th anniversary of Vinitaly, an annual wine festival in Verona. 

“Insipid risotto, tough meat, vegetables that don’t match, except in the folly of a non-existent culinary grandeur,” the critic wrote, adding that “everyone eventually left disappointed, a little hungry and tempted to go to kebab shops nearby.” 

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Cracco, whose restaurant was awarded two Michelin stars and who was a judge on the Italian version of Masterchef at the time, sued Ottaviani for libel, claiming that the bad review was damaging to his business. He was further offended by Ottaviani’s 2017 article, in which he compared the famous chef to a “falling star.” 

“I was there at the dinner. I don’t know if Mr. Ottaviani was present,” the chef said during the trial, as quoted by L’Arena. “I can’t say that [the meals] were impeccable because it would be presumptuous, but they were certainly the best we could do.” 

The Times quoted food journalist Dario De Marco as saying that since Ottaviani’s review was based on the responses of unnamed guests, it was neither an opinion nor a statement of fact, and was, therefore, not protected by Italian law.



https://ift.tt/3HePRZf 27, 2021 at 07:56PM
from RT – Daily news

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