There has been an outcry today over one Italian restaurant’s ‘ridiculous’ decision to provide customers with their own pepper mills, enabling them to season their food unassisted.
Bella Santa Maria, a popular restaurant in Northampton said that the initiative will start next weekend and that customers had ‘nervously welcomed the news’.
However, Simone Williamo, who has worked as a ‘fornitore di pepe’ for more than 20 years now, told us that allowing members of the public to use such specialist equipment was ‘madness’.
“I have worked at many restaurants and with many pepper mills, some ordinary, some unnecessarily large. Red ones, silver ones, even a rare dark blue one in the old days, and they all needed to be treated that little bit differently.
“To think that they could soon be in the hands of heathens breaks my heart.”
Despite his concerns, it seems that members of the public, although understandably wary, are quite excited by the news.
Sheila Heggarty, a housewife from Kingsthorpe, said that she will definitely be giving it a go.
She told us, “It’s just one of those things that you assume is either really complicated or dangerous, but maybe I’m wrong? When the pepper man comes over with his grinder he seems highly trained and serious. As long as there is somebody there to show me the basics the first time, I’m game to try.”
It is believed that the move could mean many restaurants make as many as six ‘fornitore di pepe’ positions redundant, many of whom have no other discernable skill. Yet it seems that the bad news may not end there.
Mario Conchello, the manager of Bella Santa Maria thinks that, should customers prove competent in their pepper distribution, Parmesan could be next.
“It’s more complex, but not impossible,” he told us today,“ the days of the ‘spruzzato di formaggio’ may also be numbered.