Ilkay Gundogan's wife Sara Arfaoui blasts Manchester restaurants
‘Good taste and class is hardly synonymous with footballers’ wives’: Manchester restaurateurs blast Man City star Ilkay Gundogan’s Italian model wife for slamming city’s ‘horrible food’
- Sara Arfaoui says on Instagram that she is fed up of ‘horrible food’ in Manchester
- 27-year-old claims its restaurants are ‘focusing on making money with drinks’
- Model says that she cannot find ‘a real Italian or good sushi or just fresh food’
- But her response has not gone down well with local chefs and restaurateurs
Restauranteurs in Manchester today hit out at criticism of the local restaurant scene by the wife of Premier League footballer Ilkay Gundogan after she complained there are no good places to eat in the city.
Sara Arfaoui, whose husband earns £140,000 a week playing for Manchester City, said that she is fed up of ‘horrible food’ in the region, adding that its restaurants are ‘focusing on making money with drinks and shots’.
The 27-year-old model and TV presenter, who was born in France but moved to Italy as a child, added in an Instagram post that she could not find ‘a real Italian or good sushi or just fresh food… everything frozen’.
Ms Arfaoui, whose German husband plays as a midfielder, had been asked to name her favourite restaurant in Manchester – but her response has not gone down well with local chefs and industry champions.
Restauranteur Gary Usher, from Channel 4’s The Rebel Chef, said today: ‘We have two restaurants in Manchester and I’m genuinely delighted that footballers and their wives don’t come because I’d be questioning our offer if they did.
‘Good taste and class is hardly synonymous with footballers’ wives and their leopard print themed cinema rooms.’
Manchester City footballer Ilkay Gundogan, 31, with his wife Sara Arfaoui, 27
Sara Arfaoui was born in France but moved to Italy as a child and worked as a TV presenter
Sara Arfaoui said in an Instagram post that she is fed up of ‘horrible food’ in Manchester
TV chef Gary Usher said: ‘We have two restaurants in Manchester and I’m genuinely delighted that footballers and their wives don’t come because I’d be questioning our offer if they did’
Food critic Jay Rayner told The Sun: ‘This is a ludicrous point of view. Manchester’s packed full of brilliant, independent restaurants.
‘It’s an absolute gem of a place to eat and comments like this during difficult economic times are not helpful to businesses struggling to make ends meet.’
And Thom Hetherington, chief executive of the of Northern Restaurant and Bar event, told the Manchester Evening News: ‘Local restaurants need our support now more than ever.
‘And to be fair as a club Manchester City, its players and its management, have been supportive of hospitality in the city.
The model said she could not find ‘a real Italian or good sushi or just fresh food’
Ms Arfaoui is a model who was born in France, and worked as a TV presenter for Rai 1 in Italy
Ms Arfaoui met Gundogan early last year and they married in Italy in May this year
‘Indeed, some have opened their own places like Tast on King Street – and Ilkay himself launched a fantastic appeal to support Mancunian hospitality businesses during the pandemic.
‘I’d find it genuinely sad if people like Sara, who has lived and travelled all over the world, came to my home city, lived here for many years, had an awful time, at least gastronomically, and left feeling the city had a terrible food scene.’
In an Instagram post, Ms Arfaoui wrote: ‘Sorry, I’m sad to be honest but nothing. I tired [sic] so bad to find a good restaurant but horrible food everywhere.
‘Can’t find a real Italian or good sushi or just fresh food… everything frozen. Restaurants here are focus [sic] on making money with drinks and shot [sic] like nightclubs, not quality food. Maybe in London but in Manchester nothing. I’m sorry.’
Ilkay Gundogan and Sara Arfaoui announced their engagement in December last year
Ms Arfaoui met Gundogan early last year – and they announced their engagement in December
It comes after Jorgelina Cardoso, the wife of ex-Man United star Angel Di Maria, said in August that food in Britain is ‘disgusting’ and ‘the women look like porcelain’.
Among the well-known top restaurants in Manchester are Spanish eatery Tast, which is co-owned by City boss Pep Guardiola, and Mana, which in 2019 got a Michelin star.
Ms Arfaoui, who worked as a TV presenter for Rai 1 in Italy, met Gundogan early last year – and they announced their engagement in December.
The couple are thought to have married at a registry office in Denmark before holding a lavish wedding for friends at Lake Como in Italy in May.
Gundogan played for Manchester City in last night’s victory over FC Copenhagen at the Etihad
Jorgelina Cardoso, the wife of ex-Man United star Angel Di Maria (pictured together in May 2015), said in August that food in Britain is ‘disgusting’ and ‘the women look like porcelain’
Gundogan was manager Pep Guardiola’s first signing for Manchester City, when he moved in a £21million deal from Borussia Dortmund in 2016.
The Gelsenkirchen-born footballer has made 264 appearances for City since then, scoring 51 goals – including two strikes in 12 games so far this season.
He played in City’s 5-0 victory over FC Copenhagen 5-0 last night, with Ms Arfaoui posting pictures on Instagram of her at the Etihad Stadium in a corporate box.
Gundogan has made 62 appearances for the German national team, scoring 16 goals – including one against England in a Nations League match last week at Wembley.
From black pudding to parched peas and Eccles cakes: Some of the culinary delights of Manchester
There are 1,712 restaurants across Manchester according to TripAdvisor, with the best rated being The Laundrette in Chorlton which specialises in pizza.
Among the well-known high-end restaurants are Spanish eatery Tast, which is co-owned by Pep Guardiola, and Mana, which in 2019 got a Michelin star.
Celebrity chefs with restaurants in Manchester include Saturday Kitchen’s James Martin, whose restaurant is located at the casino Manchester235, and Adam Reid from BBC’s Great British Menu, at The French at The Midland Hotel.
Here are several of the local delicacies that the city and its surrounding towns are best known for:
The delicacy often found on full English breakfasts is a blood sausage typically associated with the town of Bury, just outside Manchester. The first Bury black pudding is thought to have been made at Casewell’s Pudding Shop in 1810.
MEAT AND POTATO PIES
Meat and potato pies originated in northern working class towns such as Manchester and Wigan during the Industrial Revolution. While they are now generally made for a single person to eat, originally a huge pie would have been made and eaten by the whole family.
Parched peas, also known in Lancashire as black peas, are a type of mushy pea which are traditionally served with vinegar and eaten around the time of Bonfire Night in the North West of England.
The pastry cakes are made with flaky and buttery layers with currants, sugar and spice inside. They were first sold commercially in 1793 by James Birch at his store in the town of Eccles, just west of central Manchester.
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