LAKE Macquarie restaurants La De Da's and Anacapri have hit back at celebrity chef Matt Moran after his stinging criticism of their menus on The Chopping Block last night.
In the end, the all-girl team at La De Da's in Swansea scored a 31/2-star rating on the popular Nine Network cook-off show, winning $20,000 prize money to keep their ailing business afloat.
"We had been having some real financial troubles and we just needed someone to show us where we were going wrong," La De Da's head chef Kim Davis said.
However, the road to victory was not smooth, with advice from the show's host, Moran, often leaving a bad taste in the mouths of staff at the rival eateries.
"Just the emotions that went on over those three days of filming were unbelievable I was just crying all the time," said Ms Davis, who was demoted to second chef for the duration of the program.
Co-owner of Toronto restaurant Anacapri, Terry Teagle, said Moran's advice was hard to swallow.
Chef Moran said the food served by Anacapri was the worst he had tasted, and criticised a serving of chicken schnitzel before throwing it into Lake Macquarie.
"It's a joke," Mr Teagle said yesterday. "It's the biggest seller I've got and since the show I have sold heaps of them. The whole snapper that he wanted us to serve is still sitting in the freezer."
Of TV stardom, Mr Teagle said: "I didn't take anything away from it at all."
Anacapri ended up with a three-star rating on the show.