What did James Corden say to restaurant staff? The drama explained as he clears the air

James Corden breaks his silence over that restaurant ban

What did James Corden say - James Corden head shot
(Image credit: Getty)

James Corden has broken his silence over claims he was 'extremely nasty' to staff at a New York restaurant which led to him being briefly barred.

The Late Late Show host addressed the reports on his show and admitted he was 'rude' and 'ungracious' to staff at Balthazar restaurant in Manhattan after he found a "hair" in his main meal and his wife Julia, with whom he has three children, was given "food which she was allergic to."

The Gavin and Stacey star, who fell victim to cancel culture, was forced to speak out after news of the outbursts spread on social media, and led to him being briefly barred from the eatery after the restaurant owner, Keith McNally, made the claims on Twitter.

What did James Corden say to restaurant staff?

James Corden admitted that he "made a rude comment" about "cooking it myself" that was "wrong", "unnecessary" and was "ungracious to the server" he admitted.

Addressing the incident during the latest episode of his talk show, The Late Late Show, James explained the whole incident, "Last week there were stories about me being banned from a restaurant and at the time I considered tweeting about it or instagramming about it, but whenever things like these come my way I like to adopt a British attitude of 'keep calm and carry on', things are going to get written about me, 'never complain, never explain' is very much my motto but as my dad pointed out to me, he said, "well son, you did complain, so you might need to explain."' 

"When you make a mistake you've gotta take responsibility and if it's okay I will share with you what happened," he admitted.

He explained, "A couple of weeks ago I was in New York with some friends and we went for breakfast at one of my absolute favourite restaurants, a place called Balthazar, and genuinely I love it there, I love the food, the vibe, the service, if I lived in New York I'd go every day, on the proviso they would let me in."

He continued, "So we sit down, we ordered and my wife explained that she has a serious food allergy, so when everybody's meals came my wife was given the food that she was allergic to but she hadn't taken a bite of it or anything so no worries, we sent it back. All was good. As her meal came wrong to the table the third time in the heat of the moment I made a sarcastic, rude comment, about cooking it myself and it is a comment I deeply regret.

He added, "I understand the difficulties of being a server, I've worked shifts at restaurants for years, I have such respect and I value anyone that does such a job and the team at that restaurant are so great that's why I love it there. The restaurant manager and the server were lovely, brought out four glasses of champagne as an apology, we were like that's not necessary, we don't need it, we had a great time, even for me it was too early to start drinking."

"But here's the truth of it, because I didn't shout or scream, I didn't get up out of my seat, I didn't call anyone names or use derogatory language, I've been walking around thinking that I haven't done anything wrong," he said on the CBS show.

"The truth is I have, I made a rude comment and it was wrong, it was an unnecessary comment, it was ungracious to the server."

The Gavin and Stacey star explained that after seeing Mr McNally's post, he "immediately" contacted him and they "had a good talk".

"He appreciated the call. I was happy that we got to clear the air. And I felt like we dealt with it privately... but by this point, the story was out there and more people were upset," he said.

After Mr McNally posted the story online, it sparked outrage on social media, with Corden showing his audience some of the scathing tweets that were written about him.

"I get it. I totally understand. I understand everybody getting upset, and I accept everybody's opinion," he said.

He added, "I hope I'm allowed back in there one day, when I'm in New York so I can apologise in person which is something that I will absolutely do."

What the restaurant claims James Corden said

Keith McNally, owner of New York restaurant Balthazar, shared on Instagram details of the incident which he claims James Corden "yelled like crazy to the staff" telling the server, "You can't do your job! You can't do your job! Maybe I should go into the kitchen and cook the omelette myself!"

He shared the details to his followers on Instagram, the claim in full reads, "James Corden is a Hugely gifted comedian, but a tiny Cretin of a man. And the most abusive customer to my Balthazar servers since the restaurant opened 25 years ago.
I don't often 86 a customer, to today I 86'd Corden. It did not make me laugh.
Here are two examples of the funny man's treatment of my staff.


'In June, James Corden was here on table 61. (Although this is diabolical, it happens Very occasionally in all restaurants.) After eating his main course, Corden showed the hair to Balthazar manager G. who was very apologetic. Corden was extremely nasty to G, and said:
“Get us another round of drinks this second. And also take care of all of our drinks so far. This way I write any nasty reviews in yelp or anything like that." '


'James Corden was at Balthazar with his wife on October 9th for brunch. He asked for a table outside. Brunch Maitre D' Allie Wolters took the party to table 301. Mr. Corden's wife ordered an egg yolk omelette with gruyere cheese and salad. A few minutes after they received the food, James called their server, M. K. and told her there was a little bit of egg white mixed with the egg yolk. M. K. informed the floor manager, G. The kitchen remade the dish but unfortunately sent it with home fries instead of salad. That's when James Corden began yelling like crazy to the server: "You can't do your job! You can't do your job! Maybe I should go into the kitchen and cook the omelette myself!" M.K. was very apologetic and brought G. over to the table. He returned the dish, and after that, everything was fine. He gave them promo Champagne glasses to smooth things out. G. said that Corden was pleasant to him but nasty to the server.' M.K. was very shaken, but professional that she is, continued to finish her shift.'

Is James Corden still banned from New York's Balthazar restaurant?

No, James Corden is no longer banned from New York's Balthazar restaurant after restaurant owner Keith McNally declared "all is forgiven", as he shared an update to the situation following James' on-air apology. 

Posting it to his instagram it reads, "James Corden just called me and apologized profusely. Having f**ked up myself more than most people, I strongly believe in second chances. So if James Corden lets me host his Late Late Show for 9 months, I’ll immediately rescind his ban from Balthazar. No, of course not. But....anyone magnanimous enough to apologise to a deadbeat layabout like me (and my staff) doesn’t deserve to be banned from anywhere. Especially Balthazar. So Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Corden, Jimmy Corden. All is Forgiven. xx

James Corden's last episode on The Late Late Show is in April 2023, after eight years on the show.

The Late Late Show airs in the U.S. from Monday to Friday nights at 12:37:28am ET/PT.

Selina Maycock
Senior Entertainment Writer

Selina is currently a Senior Entertainment Writer for Goodto.com, formerly Senior Entertainment writer for Woman&Home, and My Imperfect Life and has more than 16 years of experience in newspapers, magazines and online. She currently writes a mix of Entertainment news - including celebrity births, weddings and reality show line-ups including Strictly, Dancing On Ice and The Great British Bake Off, reporting the the latest news about the Royal kids Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet as well as Family news stories from baby names to store closures and product recall warnings. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.