Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Controversial chef puts critic on top-10 hate list

  • Print

A local chef with an incendiary reputation has taken to Facebook to trash longtime Free Press restaurant critic Marion Warhaft.

"I tweeted it so now I'm gonna Facebook it," Scott Bagshaw wrote. "Marion retire you ignorant slut."

His comment ran on his Facebook page Dec. 30, the same day Warhaft's annual top-10 restaurant list ran in the Free Press. Bagshaw's revived restaurant, Deseo, wasn't on the list. It didn't get a nod the week following either, when Warhaft wrote a column on her favourite dishes from a variety of restaurants.

Bagshaw is the chef who was fired from popular eatery Pizzeria Gusto in 2010 after giving an interview detailing his drug- and booze-riddled exploits while living and working in Australia several years earlier.

Perhaps more seriously, Bagshaw boasted he and his sous chef would check out female customers at Pizzeria Gusto and discuss whether they'd sleep with them.

Bagshaw was canned. The rest of the staff walked out in protest. The restaurant reopened days later with a different tuque.

Bagshaw is a popular, relatively young chef. He cultivates a bad-boy reputation, the sort popularized by dyspeptic celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. The average patron doesn't care if he juggles knives or dandles orphans on his knee in his spare time. They just want a good meal.

I called Warhaft to find out whether she knew she'd been trash-talked by Bagshaw. She did. Were his comments justified? I asked. Would missing the top-10 list damage his professional reputation?

There was a sigh. Warhaft is a pro and she's been in this business for 25 years.

"There's only one reason he wasn't on the list," she said. "I haven't reviewed his new restaurant. If I haven't done a full review, I can't put it on my top-10 list."

Warhaft positively reviewed Bagshaw three times in the past. In August 2008, she gave four stars (out of five) to Pizzeria Gusto. When Bagshaw moved to Resto Gare, she reviewed the restaurant and awarded another four stars. Finally, when Deseo opened in the Royal Albert Arms in February, Bagshaw picked up another four stars.

That Deseo location closed permanently after a water-main break. Warhaft notified readers when Deseo reopened on Osborne Street in the fall.

She hasn't been there to critique the new digs, servers, ambience or menu. No full review, no top-10 mention.

"I regarded it as a new restaurant," she said. "I have a policy of giving new restaurants a few months to settle in before I review them."

Are there any hard feelings after his outburst?

"He's a good chef," she said of the man who called her a slut.

Warhaft has ticked off her share of chefs and restaurant owners. In the late '90s, the Manitoba Restaurant and Foodservices Association circulated a letter saying it was time for her to be fired. It claimed it had a petition signed by 60 restaurateurs.

Warhaft kept her job.

Winnipeg chefs know a positive review by Warhaft will boost reservations. It's not a guarantee of success, but it doesn't hurt. She takes the responsibilty seriously. She's had to deal with angry chefs before.

"I've had people swear at me," she said. "I answered the phone once at work and they said, 'f off' and hung up."

That's just one of the reasons she's seldom at the Free Press building.

Scott Bagshaw didn't respond to several interview requests left at Deseo. It's hard to know what prompted his unedited (and perhaps ill-informed) outburst on a public forum.

I asked Warhaft if she planned to review Deseo any time soon.

Yes, as it turns out, she does.

For those of you who think revenge is a dish best served cold, this veteran says his poor manners won't affect her review.

But it might affect the decisions of Winnipeggers who don't care for a fine-dining experience served with a side of bile.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 10, 2012 B1


Updated on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 12:02 PM CST: adds links

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Jets this week - Tim and Gary Game 2 review in Anaheim

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A water lily in full bloom is reflected in the pond at the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden Tuesday afternoon. Standup photo. Sept 11,  2012 (Ruth Bonneville/Winnipeg Free Press)
  • Jia Ping Lu practices tai chi in Assiniboine Park at the duck pond Thursday morning under the eye of a Canada goose  - See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge Day 13- May 17, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

About Lindor Reynolds

National Newspaper Award winner Lindor Reynolds began work at the Free Press as a 17-year-old proofreader. It was a rough introduction to the news business.

Many years later, armed with a university education and a portfolio of published work, she was hired as a Free Press columnist. During her 20-plus years on the job she wrote for every section in the paper, with the exception of Business -- though she joked she'd get around to them some day.

Sadly, that day will never come. Lindor died in October 2014 after a 15-month battle with brain cancer.

Lindor received considerable recognition for her writing. Her awards include the Will Rogers Humanitarian Award, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ general interest award and the North American Travel Journalists Association top prize.

Her work on Internet luring led to an amendment to the Criminal Code of Canada and her coverage of the child welfare system prompted a change to Manitoba Child and Family Services Act to make the safety of children paramount.

She earned three citations of merit for the Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service in Journalism and was awarded a Distinguished Alumni commendation from the University of Winnipeg. Lindor was also named a YMCA/YWCA  Woman of Distinction.

Reynolds was 56. She is survived by a husband, mother, a daughter and son-in-law and three stepdaughters.

The Free Press has published an ebook celebrating the best of Lindor's work. It's available in the Winnipeg Free Press Store; all proceeds will be donated through our Miracle on Mountain charity to the Christmas Cheer Board.


Do you agree with the sale of the Canadian Wheat Board to foreign companies?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google