May 122008

How nice to see Gordon Ramsay turning into an environmentalist overnight. His call for local and seasonal produce (including the bizarre suggestion that chefs who do not serve seasonal produce should be fined – work out how even the most energetic red-tape bureaucrat would administer that) was hailed by sleepy journalists as a great call to action from the rent-a-quote culinary genius. Laced with an attack on Delia Smith, surely the timing of his publicity stunt (sorry, ‘call to action’) was purely coincidental given that his latest series is about to start on TV.From what I read over the weekend, it was left to The Independent (pretty much the only trustworthy newspaper these days in my opinion) to do any actual journalistic research into Ramsay’s latest rant. They ran a brilliant piece on the fact that Gordon’s luxury restaurant in Dubai boasts of little else other than the fact that all the food (and even the milk) is flown in from the UK, some 3,000 miles away. In fact, if you visit his glitzy emporium (not that I would) in the UAE, even the fish is flown in from the North Sea, that icon of rampant pillaging. Whilst the Gulf yields plenty of fresh, local, and more exotic species of seafood, Gordon brings it in from the most laughed at attempt at marine conservation anywhere in the world. Here in Britain, the way to puff your product is to show how local and seasonal it is. But for those who, for reasons best known to themselves, opt to holiday in Dubai, the way to haul the punters in is to emphasise just how far the food has travelled. Odd world, silly man.The F-word seems strangely apt as a response to this self-serving green grandstanding. 

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