Gordon Ramsay takes on those lazy, non-seasonal chefs

by sophie on May 9, 2008 · 11 comments

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I have a sneaking admiration for Gordon Ramsey. Yes, there is a lot of swearing and macho posturing there, but anybody who trains for a marathon while running a multi-million pound business empire gets my vote.  Plus, I had a quick nosey at his new healthy eating book earlier in the week and it’s really pretty good.

Anyway, I had to chuckle into my pillow this morning (listening to the radio, still half asleep) upon hearing this news; Gordon apparently, has been having a chat with Prime Minister Gordon Brown about fining restaurants who use non-seasonal produce.

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.

Gordon Ramsay

Not just a slap on the wrist, but an actual fine.  Apparently this would kill two birds with one stone; raising “levels of inspiration”, while cutting carbon emissions.  

Anyways, obviously this isn’t about to happen, and I’m sure that in practice Gordon wouldn’t be that sold on the reality of not being able to use a single lemon across his kitchen empire all Winter.  But it’s all good stuff in my opinion.  It is a bit of a daft idea (not wholly thought through might be a kinder description), but has already sparked a whole heap of debate – the thread on the BBC Have Your Say forum is already up to 1055 comments.

So why did it make me laugh so much?  Obviously if Gordon really wanted to reduce carbon dioxide emissions he would be campaigning for all restaurants to become vegetarian.  Now that really would inject some inspiration!


Helen May 10, 2008 at 16:25

I know what you mean. Of course, I agree that eating seasonally is the way to go and it’s certainly my choice but I think fining restaurants may have been a bit of a silly idea! He’s brought the issue to the publics attention in a very short space of time though by being so dramatic which I think can only be a good thing.

Deb May 11, 2008 at 20:19

Good for Gordon! I like him, even though his “Hell’s Kitchen” shows are a bit much. But I have one of his cookbooks and look forward to this one! Fining restaurants may be a bit much also, but he is getting a good idea across!
Eat Local!

Trig May 12, 2008 at 10:01

I’m afraid the answer lies in “1055 comments”. The man is publicity mad. Incidentally, I’ve read a few of those comments and several of them ask which part of the UK the bananas, mangoes and guavas on his restaurant menus come from and whether they are in season. I suspect a closer examination of his menus would reveal some even more terrible truths. Or maybe I’m just a cynic.

Maninas May 12, 2008 at 17:33

i admire gordon, but he is running the risk of getting way too much.
i agree with you – he really should have thought this one through before uttering a sound!
btw, did you notice that someone else is listed as the author of the book, ie. it says written by X (didn’t catch the name).

zoe / puku May 14, 2008 at 02:26

hmm.. really, it is just producing some ‘food for thought’, I’m sure the fining restaurants is, as others have suggested, a way of getting extra attention, which comes in the end to the basic idea.. trying to keep the theme ingredients as locally and seasonally produced as possible. Which I think is an important idea!
I do like Ramsey (well, the “Ramsey” as presented, I’ve never met the man).. even when he’s crucifying chefs/managers/owners on Kitchen Nightmares (I find hell’s kitchen unbearable) he seems really passionate and engaged with them and making their business better, and he doesn’t insist they apply his own business/food model, he works with them to find something that works within their ethos, and does seem to genuinely care. obviously a man passionate about food!
thanks for bringing it to attention Sophie!

Sophie May 14, 2008 at 21:28

Thanks for the comments – I was intrigued to know what everyone else thought! It does all smack of soundbite rather but at least it’s in a good cause…
Maninas – no I didn’t spot that he hadn’t actually written the book! Now I’m intrigued to know who did – will have to take a look when I next see a copy!

Paul G May 15, 2008 at 16:58

He’s definitely got a point about eating seasonal food (says Paul having had English asparagus 3 times since Sunday…), and I do try to follow the seasons to an extent, but I think the modern palate would soon get bored of eating only root veg all through winter (okay I’m exaggerating), and sometimes I *want* raspberries in January, dammit!

kate May 19, 2008 at 21:48

There are times when i like him , and then there are time i think he’s a jerk …haha but i think i’ll get the new book. It does sound promising.

Sophie May 20, 2008 at 19:51

Paul, how could you? Raspberries in January! :-) You’re right though, this is the biggest stumbling block I have with eating seasonally in England. There’s basically no fruit all winter until, well, rhubarb…
I know what you mean Kate! He’s a bit of a love/hate personality
p.s if anybody is intrigued to know, as Maninas rightly pointed out, Gordon didn’t write (any of?) his Healthy Appetite book, it was actually written by Mark Sargeant and Emily Quah. Which is not to say that it’s no good – the recipes I looked at sounded great

nicole June 2, 2008 at 20:32

I enjoyed reading this!

Iris September 26, 2008 at 11:25

I do have a penchant for comments that make some sort of sense, but which are too outrageous to ever come to fruition :-) And hear hear! to Sophie’s point about vegetarian restaurants!

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