Gordon Ramsay is on a mission.
He has a new ITV show – Gordon Ramsay on Cocaine – in which he investigates an apparent cocaine problem within the restaurant industry, which he calls the trade’s “dirty little secret”.
But Neil Rankin, a top chef who’s worked with Jamie Oliver and later launched meat-lover’s paradise Temper in Soho, hasn’t taken Ramsay’s mission well.
In a widely read Facebook post he said that if Ramsay is concerned about cocaine abuse by staff, he “might want to look at their rotas and give them a good night’s sleep”.
“It’s employers like you that made this industry unappealing and held it back for decades and created the long hours that only add to the drug problems,” he said.
“Things are looking up for chefs. We’re trying to treat them like adults, partners and employees for the first time in decades and give them a future beyond burning out at 30.”
He urged the Michelin-starred chef to “get on board” rather than “promoting this snipey out-of-date bullsh**.”
Rankin, who began his career as a chef in fine-dining kitchens under Michael Wignall and Nuno Mendes, signed off by calling Ramsay a “great chef” but a “terrible f***ing ambassador for our industry”.
He claimed Ramsay’s TV series’, including Kitchen Nightmares and Hell’s Kitchen, had “glorified” kitchen abuse.
Rankin’s post has been shared more than 2,000 times and received broad support from those who commented on it.
It caused such a stir in the industry that trade magazine Big Hospitality followed it up with an interview with Rankin, in which he stood by his comments.