Marco Pierre White questions 'delusional' Jamie Oliver
Marco Pierre White has hit out at "delusional" Jamie Oliver for claiming Brexit was the reason his restaurant empire collapsed.
Chef Pierre White accused Oliver of using the "lamest excuse in the world" after he blamed Brexit for knocking customers’ confidence and causing dining habits to change.
Around 1 000 jobs were lost when 22 of Oliver’s restaurants were shut down overnight in May.
Pierre White, who was the first British chef to win three Michelin stars, said: "I have read Jamie is blaming his business failure on Brexit but I really don’t understand that at all. Wouldn’t that mean then all restaurants have gone bust, too?
"How can you blame everyone but yourself? Is he delusional?"
Oliver, 44, had discussed the collapse of his business in an interview on Radio 4 this week, saying: "The world changed, the high street changed. It started to become Uber-fied... throw a bit of Brexit in, confidence goes and people’s habits changed."
The TV chef also admitted in a magazine interview in July that there had been "no plan B in case it goes down the toilet".
The father of five, who lost £25-million in a failed attempt to prop up the doomed Jamie’s Italian high street chain, said: "The restaurants as such weren’t doing badly. We were having to close the restaurants that were taking the most cash.
"Rent, business rates and the cost of labour were our worst enemies. And then there was the high street decline and people ordering food by Uber."
But Pierre White, 57, who has more than 35 restaurants under five brand names, said the former Naked Chef should take responsibility for his business failings. "The one thing I don’t get is he 'did nothing wrong?'" he said. "Wouldn’t you be putting your hand up and saying, 'I f****d up'?
"Jamie’s blaming everybody, blaming the landlords. But when he took on the sites, he knew what the business rates on those sites were. That should have been factored into his model."
At the time of the closures, Oliver came under fire for spending an unknown sum renovating his £6-million Essex mansion while his restaurant staff were losing their livelihoods.Daily Mail