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Michelin-starred chefs has denounced Gordon Ramsay

Herbert Berger, executive chef at London restaurant 1 Lombard Street, said many of his culinary colleagues are "spoilt divas" more interested in celebrity status than cooking.

Have your say: Are you put off by the bickering of celebrity chefs?
He spoke out in response to the latest spat to hot up the restaurant world, this time between Ramsay and his former protegee, Marcus Wareing, head chef at Petrus.

In an interview published last week, Wareing branded Ramsay a "sad b******" and said: "If I never speak to that guy again in my life it wouldn't bother me one bit."

Berger has now issued a public plea for Britain's chefs to shut up and concentrate on cooking.

He told The Daily Telegraph: "I am tired of hearing about bickering among the capital's chefs in order to raise their profile and celebrity status. It is time for the profession to return to the kitchen and decide between food or fame, or at least fame gained by cooking.

"A number of high profile chefs are behaving like spoilt divas who have lost sight of why they began to cook in the first place. Their behaviour detracts terribly from what they should be doing: concentrating on giving value for money to their customers, preparing the best food and training and looking after the young chefs.

"Petulant children do not ordinarily make the best chefs. We need positive role models, not attention seekers who manipulate the public's outlook.

"Let's return some dignity to what is - for some of us at least - a civilised profession."

Berger also castigated chefs who bully their staff. Ramsay regularly bawled out contestants on his reality show, Hell's Kitchen.

And another star of the London restaurant scene, Tom Aikens, was sacked from Pied a Terre after allegedly branding a trainee chef with a hot knife. He later admitted to behaving like an "idiotic lunatic" in the kitchen.

"We hear nightmare stories of terrible work conditions. It is even shown on TV and it is to my mind sadly glorified. The worse they treat their staff, the wider their smiles," Berger said.

"This is counter-productive behaviour and can only damage the chances of us finding the talent of the future, which the industry so badly needs. Scores of potential stars will be put off the prospect of entering this industry by the thought of being subjected to what is, in truth, farcical behaviour."


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