British Chef Laura Goodman Resigns After Reportedly Posting Facebook Comments Claiming She "Spiked" A Vegan's Meal With Animal Products
On Jan. 3, British chef Laura Goodman resigned after reportedly posting Facebook comments claiming she included animal products in a vegan diner's meal. According to a restaurant rep quoted on Grub Street, Goodman — the chef and co-owner of Carlini, an Italian restaurant located in the UK's Shropshire county — has "tendered her resignation." Per the restaurant's statement, Goodman and her fiancé, Carlini co-owner Michael Gale, are now "considering their options" for her role moving forward. Additionally, Goodman released a statement to BBC regarding her decision to resign from the restaurant, saying, "I am really deeply sorry. There were no meat products added to the dishes." Bustle has reached out to Goodman for comment, but has not yet heard back.
Per The Guardian, in the early morning hours of Dec. 31, 2017, Goodman allegedly posted the following in a closed Facebook group:
Pious, judgmental vegan (who I spent all day cooking for) has gone to bed, still believing she's vegan.
Elsewhere in the same group (and in response to initial replies of shock to her original post, according to Grub Street), Goodman allegedly commented:
Spiked a vegan a few hours ago.
According to The Guardian, Goodman's alleged posts were shared outside of the closed group, and quickly spread throughout social media, inciting outrage from vegans and non-vegans alike. Goodman and her fiancé have reportedly received messages threatening legal action based on her alleged social media claims — and death threats — in the days since. Additionally, Carlini's TripAdvisor and Google pages were also suddenly flooded with negative reviews of the restaurant. As of publishing this article, TripAdvisor had posted a message on its Carlini page explaining that, "due to a recent event that has attracted media attention and has caused an influx of review submissions that do not describe a first-hand experience," new reviews of the restaurant have been temporarily suspended.
On Jan. 4, Carlini released a statement about Goodman's decision to resign, according to The Guardian:
Laura Goodman has today tendered her resignation from Carlini and the board of directors are currently considering their options. Whilst this process is being completed, Laura will not be working at either of the restaurants, which will reopen later this week. As part of a pre-planned recruitment drive, Carlini is also recruiting for an additional head chef to work across both its restaurants in Shropshire.
Goodman also issued her own apology to BBC, in which she said she was "deeply sorry" and stated that there were no meat products added to the dishes that had been served to the vegan table over the weekend. Vegan activist Hope Lye — who is part of the Telford Vegan Action Group that plans to picket Carlini on Jan. 6 — told The Guardian that she was concerned that Goodman had added dairy products to the meal she claimed to have "spiked." Since vegans eliminate both meat and dairy from their diets, meat products aren't the only ingredients that may have been problematic for the diners in question.
According to BBC, Goodman's fiancé and co-owner said in a previous statement that the word "spiked" was a "poorly chosen" one and that the chef hadn't "fully realized the consequences of what it meant." According to Grub Street, Goodman has also stressed that, regardless of the proper terminology, she apologizes for her social media posts and is "deeply distressed" by the angry backlash she's received in the days since. Together, these factors led to her decision to step down from the restaurant, at least for the time being.
The diners that were involved in the incident, per The Guardian, have yet to come forward, as local regulatory services begin to investigate the incident.