They are two of Britain’s most successful chefs, with nearly 100 restaurants between them.
So you might think Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver would have better things to do than squabble over the size of their families.
But the pair have become embroiled in an extraordinary row over how many children they have. Ramsay, 50, yesterday accused Oliver of ‘judging’ him for having four children, compared to Oliver’s five.
Jamie Oliver, left, and Gordon Ramsey have become embroiled in an extraordinary row over how many children they have
The row began in March when Ramsay presented ITV’s The Nightly Show for a week, in which he made numerous jibes about his 42-year-old rival including calling him ‘fat’ and criticising his cooking.
When Oliver, whose fifth child River Rocket was born last year, was asked about this by The Sun in August, he said: ‘I was doing TV years before him, so maybe five years ago it would have bothered me and I may have responded.
‘But he’s got four kids and I’ve got five kids, and I don’t want to be slagging off some kids’ dad on telly. It’s not nice.’
Father of four famous for foul-mouthed outbursts
WHO? Classically trained in French cuisine, famous for foul-mouthed outbursts. Has thrown people, including Joan Collins, out of his restaurants if they complain.
FAMILY Married to wife Tana, 42, for 21 years. They have four children: Megan, 19, twins Jack and Holly, 17, and Matilda, 15.
SUCCESSES Has 14 UK restaurants including flagship three-Michelin starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, and another 20 around the world. Has published 22 recipe books. Best known on TV for Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. Also has a cookware range and a line of Royal Doulton china.
FAILURES 15 of his restaurants internationally have closed in the last 15 years.
GOOD CAUSES Gordon and Tana Ramsay Foundation raises funds for sick children at Great Ormond Street Hospital. He and his wife run marathons for the cause.
SCANDALS Cautioned after exposing himself in a public toilet in 1993. Sarah Symonds claimed she had an affair with him, which he denied. Had a feud with his father-in-law, who was jailed earlier this year for hacking into the chef’s computer.
Yesterday Ramsay, whose wife Tana suffered a miscarriage at five months last year, said he interpreted the comments as a dig after what was ‘a s*** year’.
He told Radio Times that their feud – which began in 2009 when Oliver stuck up for a journalist whose physical appearance had been criticised by Ramsay – was ‘fun’ until Oliver made the comment.
He said: ‘Jamie turned round and said, “I’ve got five kids, he’s got four kids.” To judge someone else’s family on the amount of kids you have.’ Ramsay, who also ruptured his achilles tendon last year while his daughter suffered a collapsed lung, said he would not talk to Oliver again until he apologises to Tana. He said: ‘Boys will always fight and butt heads but Tana was mortified, I mean really mortified.’
He then went on to accuse Oliver of being too political, adding that ‘the only time he opens his mouth is when he’s got something to promote’.
He said: ‘It’s all very well to spout off now about sugar tax and supermarkets. None of that was spoken about when he was label-slapping with Sainsbury’s for ten years. And no disrespect, but we’re chefs, not politicians. When you breathe that stuff down the public’s throat and say, “I’m leaving if we have Brexit”, then, I’m sorry, the door stands open.’
Father of five who lectures us on healthy eating
WHO? Grammar-school boy from Essex, has been accused of putting on a ‘mockney’ accent to appear cooler. Has a throw-it-all-in approach to cooking simple food.
FAMILY Married to wife Jools for 17 years. Five children: Poppy Honey, 15, Daisy Boo, 14, Petal Blossom, eight, Buddy Bear, seven, and River Rocket, one.
SUCCESSES Has appeared in 29 TV series, most famously The Naked Chef, and published 22 cookbooks. His Jamie’s Italian restaurant chain has 36 UK branches and 28 overseas. Also has his own cookery school, a range of cookware and food items including pasta sauces.
FAILURES Had to close six Jamie’s Italian branches in January. His delicatessen venture Recipease and Union Jack restaurant chain both flopped. No Michelin stars.
GOOD CAUSES Campaigned
for healthier school dinners. His Fifteen restaurants (in London and Cornwall) give disadvantaged youngsters a chance to cook.
SCANDALS Criticised by animal rights campaigners in 2005 for killing a lamb on TV. Last year signed a deal with a Brazilian firm linked to unethical meat production.
Oliver blamed the ‘uncertain economy’ post-Brexit for the closure of six of his Jamie’s Italian restaurants in January, and in June last year he said he would leave the UK if Boris Johnson became prime minister after leading the Brexit campaign, which he claimed left Europe ‘fractured’.
Ramsay said Brexit would be good for the restaurant industry as it will be a ‘kick up the ass’ to British workers who have become ‘lazy’ while those from abroad ‘work twice as hard for less money’.
In the interview, he also said his father-in-law Chris Hutcheson, who was jailed for six months earlier this year for hacking into Ramsay’s computers, has apologised and that ‘we’ve all moved on’. A spokesman for Oliver did not comment.