Chefs come to the defence of garlic after it was banned in NYC

How to eat garlic without getting smelly breath! Top London chefs insist you should chew a little parsley or slow roast it – after posh restaurants in NYC BANNED the ingredient

  • Thomas Makkos, owner of restaurant Nello in NYC removed garlic from his menu 
  • Other Italian restaurants in New York have followed suit, claimed it ‘smells’ 
  • Greek-born Asimakis Chaniotis, the Executive Chef of the Michelin-starred Pied à Terre in Fitzrovia, branded garlic ‘essential’ and ‘the basis’ of many dishes 

Some of London’s top chefs have come to the defence of garlic after dozens of New York restaurants banned the vegetable because it leaves customers ‘smelly and gassy’.

Asimakis Chaniotis, the Executive Chef of the Michelin-starred Pied à Terre in Fitzrovia, branded garlic ‘essential’ and ‘the basis’ of many dishes while Jack Croft, Co-Owner and Chef Patron of Fallow – another restaurant in the Michelin Guide described garlic as a ‘staple’ of his kitchen.

The comments come as Thomas Makkos, the owner of Italian restaurant Nello on New York’s Upper East Side removed garlic from his menu.

‘People always complained that it was smelly and gassy. Finally, I made the decision to get rid of it all together, and my customers thanked me,’ he told the New York Post.

Celebrity hotspot Cipriani in New York has banned garlic – with the owner saying its ‘too overpowering’

Makkos told the newspaper he banned it in 2020 while customers were wearing facemasks and complaining about ‘breathing in their own bad breath’.

Other NYC Italian restaurants including Fasano and celebrity hotspot Cipriani have also removed the ingredient.

Nicola Fedeli, the executive chef of Fasano said that in Italy, garlic is use to perfume rather that ‘accentuate flavours’  and says that ‘mincing garlic’ is not authentic.   

‘It is used in an exaggerated way that takes away from the purpose of the dish and has left many unhappy about its presence in the process,’ he said. 

While Arrigo Cipriani said that ‘garlic has never been a part of Cipriani cuisine,’ because ‘nothing should be overpowering, and real flavours should not be covered by a strong taste that’s difficult to digest’.

But top London chefs have insisted they will never get rid of the ingredient, which they describe as ‘the back bone of cooking’… 

In defence of garlic! Chefs rally for maligned herb as NYC restaurants ban it for leaving customers with bad breath

Asimakis Chaniotis, Executive Chef of Pied à Terre

Asimakis Chaniotis, Executive Chef of Pied à Terre said garlic is ‘the most important ingredient’ in his kitchen

‘Onion, garlic and leeks, also wild garlic at this time of year, are one of the most important ingredients to give flavour in stocks and sauces. 

‘Omitting it from cooking would make a big difference and it’s not something I would do unless someone has an allergy of course. 

‘Blanching, or slow roasting garlic makes it sweet and takes away its aggressive smell and spiciness. 

‘When you cook it in the right way you win on both, using the ingredient to extract its flavour and avoiding the smell of, not bad, but garlic breath.’

Robin Gill, Chef Director of The Zebra Riding Club and Birch

‘We grow hardneck garlic at Birch and use it as a base for a huge amount of dishes. 

‘I would never think of omitting it from my cooking! 

‘My advice is, if you are worried about getting smelly breath, just eat some parsley. 

‘It’s a great cure for this problem. 

‘Wild garlic often has a milder garliccy taste so could perhaps try that instead. 

‘You can also pickle the wild garlic flowers and seeds to give a more mellow flavour.’


Robin Gill (left) said he would ‘never omit’ garlic from his cooking while Jack Croft (right) said garlic is a ‘staple’ of his kitchen

Jack Croft, Co-Owner and Chef Patron of Fallow

‘Garlic is a staple in our kitchen, we almost see it as a seasoning! 

‘We often use confit garlic that we make by cooking the cloves on a low flame for around three hours. 

‘This way they lose their sharp flavour, and acquire a gentle sweet taste.’

Will Bowlby, Chef Patron of Kricket, said he ‘wouldn’t dare’ leave garlic out of his cooking

Will Bowlby, Chef Patron of Kricket

‘I personally wouldn’t dare leave out garlic from my dishes as it’s delicious. 

‘However, in India, Jains, who consume pure vegetarian food, don’t include anything in their diet that comes from under the ground and disturbs creatures in the soil. 

‘This includes onion and garlic. 

‘In its place they use asafoetida or ‘hing’ that emulates the flavour of garlic. 

‘This ingredient is sulphuric and strange tasting in pure form, but once cooked out in a sauce for example, it can adds that savouriness and edge that you would otherwise get from garlic or ginger.

Helen Graham, Executive Chef of Bubala

‘Garlic is the backbone of so much of my cooking, I could never leave it out. 

‘Often the flavour is barely detectable on the palate as we use a small amount or confit it to make it sweeter. 

‘Garlic is so important to build depth in a dish.

Helen Graham, Executive Chef of Bubala said garlic is the ‘backbone’ of most of her cooking

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