Update (3rd January, 3pm): Goodman has resigned following the scandal, the BBC reported this afternoon. Bosses at Carlini confirmed her resignation and said the restaurant's board of directors was "currently considering their options". Goodman's fiancé and co-owner Michael Gale said that Goodman "needs some time away from the business to clear her head and think about what happened".
Original story: A chef who claimed to have "spiked" a vegan's meal with animal products has received death threats and triggered backlash online.
Laura Goodman, co-owner of Italian restaurant Carlini in Shifnal, Shropshire, wrote on Facebook on Saturday night that she had "spiked" a "pious, judgemental vegan" a few hours prior – and the post didn't go unnoticed.
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Writing in a private Facebook group called "The Boring Group", Goodman claimed to have "spent all day" cooking vegan food for a group of guests, which they subsequently failed to order.
Instead, they ordered two dishes from the standard menu: a roasted cauliflower dish and a margherita pizza containing buffalo mozzarella cheese, The Telegraph reported.
Vegans and social media users rounded on Goodman, sending her death threats and leaving the restaurant angry one-star reviews online, triggering an investigation of Carlini by Shropshire Council. Carlini's overall rating on TripAdvisor has plummeted to one star.
One Facebook commenter described Goodman as a "vile woman" and urged people to "go and throw vegan egg substitute all over the building", while Facebook group Veganism Worldwide dubbed her "despicable" and called for her to be given jail time. Others online have used offensive language.
Local vegans and vegetarians threatened to protest outside the Italian restaurant and urged others to avoid it. Organiser Hope Lye, founder of Telford Vegan Action, told The Telegraph that she had been the victim of such "spiking" before and ended up in hospital. “When you are trying to live an ethical lifestyle this is a place where you expect the chef to get it right, so this is absolutely appalling," she added.
The restaurant denied that anything improper was added to the food and co-owner Michael Gale, who is also Goodman's fiancé, said she had been left feeling "almost suicidal" following the fierce backlash. They have even called the police to the restaurant on account of the death threats.
"[Goodman] came up with some recipe ideas so that they would have more choice than the two or three items on our standard menu," Gale told the Daily Mail. "So Laura went off and bought the ingredients for those dishes... on Saturday they showed up and, as is quite within their right, chose dishes off the regular menu. One of them ordered a margherita pizza which is not vegan-friendly."
He continued: "Laura said that if you were a vegan you'd know that mozzarella is not vegan. So, slightly disappointed that they hadn't chosen to have what she'd prepared for them, and amused at the thought that they had had that pizza, she made this flippant remark on Facebook."
Shropshire Council said it had received complaints and was currently investigating.
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