An associate of Gordon Ramsay's says he is "not happy" about Wareing's outburst. He must be shocked – no F-word. But surely he's used to it by now. When his former mentor Marco Pierre White attended his wedding, Ramsay said: "You fat bastard. I've always wanted to call you that." Raymond Blanc was "a jumped-up little French twat". Gary Rhodes is "dreadful" and "awful". In 2005 he managed to dismiss several in one go: "I don't really think I'm a celebrity chef. There's a TV bracket and a serious-chef bracket." He said that Ainsley Harriott is "not a chef, he's a fucking comedian", called Brian Turner "a Teletubby" and Antony Worrall Thompson a "squashed Bee Gee [with] more chips on his shoulder than McDonald's". AWT responded by saying: "Did anyone see Gordon Ramsay's performance on 'Have I Got News for You?' He couldn't read and he didn't get the jokes. It was embarrassing."
Is there anyone Gordon Ramsay can't fall out with? Now it's his former protégé, Marcus Wareing. In an interview in 'Waitrose Food Illustrated', Wareing called him a "sad bastard" and said: "If I never speak to that guy again for the rest of my life, it wouldn't bother me one bit. Wouldn't give a fuck... Would I lose any sleep knowing he wouldn't be there? No chance..."
Antony Worrall Thompson, clearly stung by Ramsay, did hit back. And spread the misery by lashing out at Delia Smith. Having once called her the "Volvo of the kitchen", he was even more upset by her latest TV series, 'How to Cheat at Cooking'. "My blood ran cold when I saw her holding that tin of mince," he reported. "What she is doing is simply heresy." Delia thinks AWT is "the most repulsive man on television".
Delia, perversely, seems to take things out on Nigella Lawson. "I can't bear anybody putting anything into their mouths," she said. "I hate that. I think it is naff and awful." Jamie Oliver bragged, "The reality is I'm much more established than Nigella in America."
Worrall Thompson is not the only one to have had a go at Saint Delia. Her TV shows are "insulting", said Gary Rhodes. "I don't believe the majority of people cannot boil an egg." He's not the most popular chef either, however. Worrall Thompson, labelled a "fat bastard" by Rhodes, then said that Rhodes was a terrible chef and obviously didn't eat his food – he's too skinny.
Marco Pierre White is the mentor of Gordon Ramsay – and taught him everything he knows about cooking, civility and slanging matches. He told Jamie Oliver, "Go and win your first Michelin star, Jamie, then I will take you seriously." White reserves his fury for his former protégé Gordon Ramsay: "I decided I didn't want to talk to him any more," he said of their falling out in 2000. "When you cut, you cut." Ramsay countered: "I just want him to be the Marco that he was when I met him and I got my fucking arse kicked."
Some people still stand up for Delia, but while doing so, manage both to insult her looks and parboil the opposition. Jamie Oliver said: "[Delia] uses the sort of ingredients people have at home or will use for more than one recipe, which can't be said for the likes of Nigella. I don't really care whether Delia is sexy or charismatic; that doesn't help you feed the family seven days a week." Nor is Jamie keen on Marco Pierre White, whom he called a "psychological bully". Marco was not amused. "I'd like to see him call me that to my face," he challenged. "I'd rather be who I am than a fat chef with a drum kit."
Some responsibility for this latest outburst can perhaps be taken by 'Waitrose Food Illustrated', which has an illustrious history as a forum for chefs to slug it out. In 2005,
Terence Conran wrote to the magazine: "Stephen Bayley's ridiculous article about detesting soup is enough to make you detest Stephen Bayley. When Stephen ends up on the dole, he might find that soup's nourishing quality gives him back a zest for life. A new book, 'Soup Kitchen' ... celebrates soup in all its wonderful variety. Read it, Stephen, and lick your pompous lips."
Dylan has managed to get up the noses of most of the country's celebrity chefs. There was an almighty bust-up between himself and Kevin Dundon on 'Tubridy Tonight' when Kevin said of Dylan's fiery manner in the workplace: "To see what [he] was actually doing in the kitchen was appalling and in this day and age there is no need for that sort of behaviour." Kevin Thornton has no time for Dylan either, it would seem. The latter made a documentary, 'The Pressure Cooker', about his attempt to win his Michelin star before he
actually did get one. "Dylan contacts them and tells them he is making a documentary about getting a star and he gets a star," Kevin T complained. "The fact is you can organise a campaign now to get a star and I don't like that."
He doesn't mention him by name but it sounded very much as if Richard Corrigan was dissing Jamie when he said: "I'm not a celebrity chef. I'm just a chef that does some TV work and that's it. I'm just a working guy who makes my money from restaurants. I don't make my money from being a celebrity chef, selling pots and pans in supermarkets and my own label of tomato sauce on the shelves." Usually Richard isn't one to mince (get it?) his words. He famously fought with Kevin Thornton and threatened to break his legs after Thornton called him a 'Brit'. He called Dylan McGrath (of Michelin-starred Ranelagh restaurant Mint) "a muppet" after Dylan dared to describe the menu at Richard's latest venture, Bentleys, as "simple and nice".
Ainsley Harriott did not hit back at Gordon – maybe he didn't dare. But he hit out at everyone else. Gary Rhodes is "not my cup of tea", he sneered. "I don't want to reduce a sauce and have six pots on the go to make fish pie." His books, he boasted, receive fewer complaints about recipes that don't work than Delia's. And as for Nigella Lawson: "I think it took a long time for people to look at the food, they were so busy looking at her. Her recipes are very complicated and many ingredients are hard to find outside London."