... Why I threw out A A Gill

Gordon Ramsay
Tuesday 13 October 1998 23:02 BST

I THINK food critics in this country are seriously influential individuals and that's fine, as long as they discuss what is on the plate rather than the person who is cooking it.

For three years I lived in France, where they don't have an abundance of food critics with celebrity status.

It's a very professional tight ship out there and the critics don't make vindictive, personal remarks. They don't get close to chefs in the way they do in this country.

Several food critics in this country are influenced by certain chefs. They are not looking through a professional lens when they do this. When they do this they are writing from their emotions and not from professionalism.

I stay at arm's length from food critics because all my customers are critics. I don't get involved with any of them for professional reasons. I can't be seen to be involved with any of them because it then becomes an unbalanced article.

AA Gill is a very witty writer and I don't want to be personally criticised by him for the next 10 years.

If it's a constructive point of view then I will accept what he writes but if it becomes personal I'll close my doors to that. Personal attacks and insulting my staff is something I'm not putting up with ... I have made it quite clear that he is not welcome at my restaurant.

I don't respect him as a food critic and I don't have to stand there and cook for him. Being rude to staff is something I object to.

My staff were deeply upset by the unprofessional behaviour from a respected food critic.

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