x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Don't mess with Delia Smith

Delia Smith has responded to chef Gordon Ramsay's criticism of her cook book.

In the celebrity chef arena, Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver are pretty much the antithesis of each other.

Mr Oliver is all scruffy Essex charm, with a penchant for bunging ingredients in a pot, and embarking on crusades to improve public health. Ramsay, meanwhile, has numerous Michelin stars, and his restaurants serve exclusively fine-dining fare. He also has a notorious temper and is abundantly reckless in his admissions. This week he reignited a long smouldering feud with Jamie, by deeming him unworthy of the title of "chef" and dismissing him as "just a cook".

With his kamikaze approach to public relations, it comes as little surprise that Ramsay has had a fair few run-ins with his contemporaries. He has, in the past, dismissed Anthony Worrall Thompson as a "squashed Bee Gee", Ainsley Harriet as "a comedian not a chef and not a very good comedian at that", and blasted Delia Smith's How to Cheat book as "an insult to cooking".

But in the culinary world it's not just Ramsay who likes to throw the odd insult around. After Jamie Oliver labelled Marco Pierre White "a psychological bully", White retorted by claiming that Oliver was nothing but "a fat chef with a drum kit" .

Even the notoriously prim Delia Smith couldn't resist getting involved when Worrall Thompson described her as "the Volvo of the kitchen." Her acerbic response? "He is dreadful, just repulsive...I will never, ever know as long as I live, how the BBC or the general public can tolerate it". Touché. Don't mess with Delia.