London - Food critic Michael Winner has launched a scathing attack on celebrity chefs, saying they should “shut up and stay in the kitchen”.
The 76-year-old food critic and film director said the current generation of culinary stars were “a joke”.
He questioned why they were celebrities and joked that there would soon be “celebrity plumbers and celebrity road sweepers”.
By contrast, Winner, who is famous for his searing restaurant reviews, said he admired chefs such as Fergus Henderson, who founded the St John restaurant in London.
He said of Mr Henderson, “you don’t see [him] shooting his mouth off everywhere”.
Speaking in an interview with Laurie Taylor on Sky Arts programme In Confidence, Winner said: “Oh, celebrity chefs are a joke, aren”t they? Why are they celebrities?
“[They] should shut up and stay in the kitchen. None of them say anything intelligent.”
But of acclaimed chef Mr Henderson, he said: “Well, I admire Fergus for his skill ... You don’t see Fergus on television selling Oxo cubes or whatever it is.
“You know, Fergus is a wonderful cook. Cook, never mind chef. Cook. And he teaches other cooks also how to be wonderful.”
Chef Marco Pierre White, a former star of ITV’s Hell’s Kitchen, appears in commericials for Knorr stock cubes.
Winner added that people were “treated with contempt in restaurants in this country” saying that “we are useless at hospitality”.
The director, who worked with Marlon Brando and Orson Welles, also spoke of his film career, suggesting he was taken less seriously because he enjoyed himself.
He added: “You have got to look like it is terribly serious and you have something to say.”
On his friendship with Brando, he said: “He was my dearest friend. We spoke almost every day till the day he died. He was the most marvellous man.” - Daily Mail