Now I hold no brief for Ramsey, who was earlier advancing the barmy policy of fining restaurants that serve out-of-season produce, but the latest broadside from the fluffy bunny brigade is a little bizarre even by their standards:
Celebrity TV chef Gordon Ramsay has angered conservationists by trapping and cooking endangered eels. He was filmed trapping elvers - young eels - on the River Severn for his F Word show and then cooking them on a barbecue before serving them on toast.My God, from the breathless tone of the article, you’d think he’d whipped up a panda-haunch roast with a side order of snow leopard tongues. Various publicity-hungry quango spokesmen come out to point out the error of his ways:
Mark Salt, secretary of the National Anguilla Club (Ed - the what…?!), said Ramsay should be "ashamed" of cooking endangered eels which conservationists are trying to save.Well, there must be something to this then, if these people are so convinced…! Has Gordon broken the law? Are the Special Branch gearing up even now to slam him in the cooler for crimes against the environment?
He said: "With eels stocks at their lowest ever, Gordon Ramsay should be thoroughly ashamed of his exploits.
"For a chef who is supposedly responsible, preaching conservation and sustainable food sources, this sort of behaviour is deplorable."
Melissa Pritchard, fisheries policy officer for the Marine Conservation Society, said they recommended people not to eat elvers because of their dwindling numbers and said the celebrity chef had sent out the wrong message.
No, not quite:
An Environment Agency spokeswoman said: "Anyone wishing to fish for elvers must have a valid licence from the Environment Agency and the permission of the land and fishery owner. "We can confirm that Gordon Ramsay was licensed to fish for elvers."That’s how ‘threatened’ and ‘endangered’ elvers are, for all the bluff, bluster and outrage from the likes of Mark and Melissa. Not at all, according to the Environment Agency.
If you fancy some, you just need a license.
And a big net…