Azara Blog: Gordon Ramsay doesn't like non-British food

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Date published: 2008/05/09

The BBC says:

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay says British restaurants should be fined if they serve fruit and vegetables which are not in season.

He told the BBC that fruit and vegetables should be locally-sourced and only on menus when in season.

Mr Ramsay said he had already spoken to Prime Minister Gordon Brown about outlawing out-of-season produce.

He says it would cut carbon emissions as less food would be imported and also lead to improved standards of cooking.

The TV chef said it was "fundamentally important" for chefs to provide locally-sourced food.

"Fruit and veg should be seasonal," he said. "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."

Ramsay, whose London restaurants include Petrus, The Savoy Grill and Maze, added that Britain had become a nation of lazy eaters, following trends and fads, rather than substance.

He also said chefs became "lazy" when excited by "frills", and making out-of-season produce illegal would raise "levels of inspiration".

"There should be stringent laws, licensing laws, to make sure produce is only used in season and season only," he said.

"If we don't restrict our movements within this industry of seasonal-produce only, then the whole thing will spiral out of control."

Following the chef's comments, Oxfam's head of research, Duncan Green, said he was sure "the million farmers in east Africa who rely on exporting their goods to scrape a living would see Gordon Ramsay's assertions as a recipe for disaster".

Presumably Ramsay has another book or television series to flog, so has to say something stupid to get some attention. He doesn't even seem to realise that importing food can actually mean that fewer emissions are generated when you look at the entire end-to-end accounting. And it would be interesting to see his tally of air miles, if he is allegedly so concerned about emissions.

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