Jamie Oliver says he regrets saying Gordon Ramsay is jealous of his success – because he doesn’t want to upset Ramsay’s kids.
While Oliver was busy ticking “performing at the Sydney Opera House” off his bucket list on Sunday, he made the comment about Ramsay being jealous.
The chef had been provoked by Ramsay’s recent jibe about how Oliver didn’t turn up to the launch of the Hong Kong branch of his restaurant chain, Jamie’s Italian.
“To be honest, I’m annoyed that I said anything because I did bite for a few years and it felt quite good but I don’t think it’s very responsible of me to take the piss again because I don’t want his kids to get upset because I’m slagging off their dad,” Oliver told AAP on Monday at the launch of his Ministry of Food cookery school in Stockland at Wetherill Park, Sydney.
And while he said that a reconciliation between the pair of celebrity chefs was a possibility, he still had a few choice observations to make about Ramsay.
“He’s just a ranter, he’s paid to rant. He’s paid to shower negativity and all his proteges don’t talk to him because he’s like that and it’s a shame,” he said.
“I got on with him once but he decided to slag me off at every opportunity. It’s kind of friendly banter, it’s no big deal but you never know: we might be friends again some time.”
While Oliver was happy to wax lyrical about his food feud, he was most loquacious while talking about his Good Food revolution.
The chef is trying to get at least two million signatures on a petition to make practical food education compulsory in every school. He plans to present the petition at the G20 summit at the end of the year.
“If we can’t get 10 per cent of the population to agree that every child deserves to have practical food education at school … then maybe it doesn’t deserve to happen, maybe I am wrong,” he said.
While some parents might quake at the thought of their little darlings picking up a knife or working with a gas stove, Oliver said the biggest killer is diet-related disease.
“It ain’t going to be a few nicks here and there,” he said.
But at least at school, the children would be supervised and trained, and there would be first aid kits at hand, he said.
“You’ve got to remember that about 70 per cent of 11- to 13-year-olds are latch door kids, they go home to an empty house at those ages,” he said.
“There’s no more risk than using a compass or a pair of scissors or art or physical education, none at all.”