An Italian chef who kicked an argumentative diner out of his Christchurch restaurant says he is not New Zealand's answer to celebrity chef and famed foul-mouth Gordon Ramsay.
"Ramsay is only a boy," Georgio Cinderella said last night while back firing up Sunday pizzas at Piccolo Ristorante Italiano in Cashmere.
"I could most probably teach him to get food out quicker than he can."
Mr Cinderella admits telling the woman and her six companions to "f*** off" out of his restaurant after she complained loudly about an allegedly wrong order.
The 61-year-old also acknowledged becoming involved in a physical stoush with two men in the woman's party, but denies a claim by a female friend on the restaurant review website MenuMania that he pulled her long hair, reducing her to tears.
"I didn't pull woman's hair - I'm not a girl," he said.
"There were two men attacking me but the woman was only in the middle getting in the way. One guy was behind her so I grabbed his hand - I can't remember grabbing her hair."
The woman's friend, identified on the website as Lynley, said the altercation erupted after the kitchen kept getting her order wrong.
"The chef came out and slammed the plate of food in front of my friend, telling her that if she had [a] problem with his food she could just f*** off," she wrote.
"Things escalated with plates/wine smashed on the floor. My female friend was in tears as he pulled her long hair, not letting go. My mate tried to stop him but got punched in the face."
Another reviewer, Mark, said Mr Cinderella started swearing at everyone at the woman's table before grabbing their plates.
"Some smashed on the ground, a wine bottle smashed and spilled on the floor - it was terrible."
But a third diner described the woman and her companions as "a table of troublemakers" who couldn't handle their drink, a claim denied by Lynley.
Mr Cinderella said that after his blunt invitation to leave, the woman threw a salt shaker at him.
Then, as he picked up a plate from one of her male companions, the man pushed it up "and the food went all over me and the f***ing floor.
"I just grabbed him and said get out. Another guy came along and wanted a go so I let him go with a bit of a twist. He [the second man] tried to take a punch so I grabbed his hand and gave it a bit of a twist and he tried to kick me in the balls on the way out."
The restaurant's owner, accountant Peter Blacklaws, said he would view CCTV footage "in due course" but had not received any complaints.
"It sounds like there's probably fault on both sides - there's no doubt about it that he [Mr Cinderella] could have probably dealt with things better but I think there's a degree of provocation."By Mathew Dearnaley Email Mathew