Regulars at Alex Claridge’s restaurants have learnt to expect the unexpected from the cutting-edge chef.

But a social media post in which he posed with fake guns to promote his most recent venture has caused outrage - and sparked a public apology.

Alex runs the acclaimed Jewellery Quarter restaurant The Wilderness, where diners eat in an all-black dining room to a rock and roll soundtrack.

The chef recently announced he was planning a new extreme dining experience called Enigma later this month, with diner 'victims' having to sign disclaimer forms.

Alex Claridge after launching The Wilderness concept
Alex Claridge after launching The Wilderness concept

But a now deleted social media post promoting the event showed Alex and his Enigma business partner Robert Wood holding fake guns.

In the accompanying caption, Alex says: “This is one of the most ambitious and avant garde projects I’ve ever worked on and I can’t wait it to introduce it to our victims.”

Birmingham food photographer Jack Spicer Adams retweeted a screengrab of the post, questioning why the pair thought posing with guns was "a good idea in a city with so many gun problems."

He tweeted: "I can't believe they thought this was a good idea in a city that's got so many gun problems. Still no public apology from those involved?? @Nocturnalb2 @thewildernessb5 @InRobWeTrust”

Twitter followers also voiced their disbelief.

MidWorldMo said: “I agree with you Jack. It's in poor taste...”

Gherking‏ @oenstevenson responded: "Bizarre tone of voice. 'Victims' - how edgy."

 
The Wilderness and Nocturnal Animals chef owner Alex Claridge
The Wilderness and Nocturnal Animals chef owner Alex Claridge
 

Alex has now released an apology and said the photo was meant to be more "horror and cult movie trailer" rather than being influenced by gun crime in the city.

Twitter spat between Jack Spicer Adams and Enigma co founder Rob Wood
Twitter spat between Jack Spicer Adams and Enigma co founder Rob Wood

He said: "Enigma is an out there concept and hugely unique new project that I remain excited to share with Birmingham...

"It has been designed with the inspiration of film, theatre and magic which has run through the marketing to date; a trailer was produced, with inspiration taken from both horror films and cult directors such as Tarantino, that has excited and intrigued many of those who have seen it thus far.

"I responded to initial concerns to provide our context, and acknowledged their concerns before arranging for said content to be removed whilst we review, with sensitivity and respect, how we introduce the Enigma story to the public.  I can only apologise to anybody who has been affected or upset by this image.

"As soon as it became apparent that this image was causing upset and concern amongst a small group, this thread was pulled and our social media suspended... 

"I don’t share the mindset that the image in anyway relates to gun crime, but I know that we cannot control how the general public may choose to interpret anything that we do.

"As I think we all do, I consider the pointless loss of lives arising from knife and gun crime,  a tragedy."

Alex's Enigma drinks partner Robert Wood opened hidden away  18/81 cocktail bar at the back of Thorpe Street in June 2016 

He previously owned  Smultronställe bar  which is now closed.

Rob added: "Alex and myself reacted fast and had the post removed – listening to the feedback given – but those who have continued to share the image with no context or chance for any explanation aren’t seeking to address the issue of gun crime, rather just cause trouble."

Birmingham has seen a series of shootings so far this year.

The victim had been walking on Washwood Heath Road, close to the junction with St Margaret's Avenue
 

The latest saw a woman injured after she was was blasted with a gun in a horrific drive-by shooting.

The victim was walking along Washwood Heath Road, Ward End with her partner when she was gunned down last night (Monday, March 11).

She was rushed to hospital with a gunshot wound to the arm after the attack near St Margaret's Avenue.

The gunman , who fired from a passing car, then drove off from the scene.

The woman remains in hospital in a stable condition.

Police say it is believed to have been a targeted attack.