Contributing Monkie Sarah Backhouse
Published on December 22, 2008
Hot-tempered, foul-mouthed British chef Gordon Ramsay isn’t one to keep his opinions to himself especially when it comes to his beloved food. Although immensely entertaining, sadly, some of the comments to his aspiring chefs on reality TV show, Hell’s Kitchen, are a little too colorful to print. Now this bastion of British cooking turns his attention to his colleagues. (Hide behind your saucepans, lads.)
In an interview with the BBC last week, Ramsay lamented: “Chefs should be fined if they haven’t got ingredients in season on their menu. I don’t want to see asparagus on in the middle of December. I don’t want to see strawberries from Kenya in the middle of March. I want to see it home-grown.” The TV chef believes banning out-of-season produce would cut back on carbon emissions from food imports and improve levels of cooking domestically. “There should be stringent laws, licensing laws, to make sure produce is only used in season and season only,” he says.
Ramsay has even discussed the issue with Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
But the next day, it was Ramsay who was under attack with “foodie bloggers rushing to scrutinise the menus of his restaurant empire for any hint of hypocrisy.” And it appears they’ve found what they were looking for. A “ravioli of Italian winter squash” and “desserts based on tropical fruits” were just some of the findings at his various London restaurants. Then there were items outside of fruit and vegetables like “caviar, foie gras, Bresse poultry or French cheese” — and at Ramsay’s Maze Grill, steaks which are flown in from Japan and the U.S.
The response from the Ramsay camp: “Gordon Ramsay Holdings recognises the importance of sourcing ingredients which are both local and within season. Nevertheless, the overriding concern for all our chefs is they use the highest quality produce, and therefore in some cases, they source ingredients from further afield.”
So, is it a case of do as I say, not as I do? Perhaps Ramsay should give himself a stern talking to. A little self-abuse for the sake of the environment.