At the end of November, Gordon Ramsay drew heavy fire when he registered a trademark to use the name "The Spotted Pig" for a restaurant in the UK, despite the fact that April Bloomfield and Mario Batali co-own an acclaimed eatery with that name in New York. Jamie Oliver and Anthony Bourdain were the two most high-profile of several celebrity chefs who accused Ramsay of being spiteful and aggressive by registering the name.
But this week, in a big profile in the Daily Mail, Ramsay slammed accusations that he'd acted out of malice. The foul-mouthed British chef said:
This Mario Batali in the States -– I’ve never met the guy. We have a bit of banter, and I think it’s the same in sports. You know, whether it’s Man City and Man United or whether it’s boxers, you’ve got to keep up that competitive spirit. Is it malicious? No -– is it hell.
Ramsay also took the time to address Jamie Oliver, whose critique of the Spotted Pig move was indeed leveled on Twitter. Ramsay seems to see Oliver as generally high-handed and priggish. He said of his fellow Brit:
It grates me when Jamie keeps going on about, “Oh my God, he swears so much and it must be dreadful for his children.” Get over it. I don’t walk in the house and swear.
Jesus, if only you knew the kind of discipline there is in my house, and how cool and relaxed it is. So you can’t win. Either way you cannot win. You just have to button it and shut up.
(This was actually the second time in recent memory that Ramsay attacked Oliver. About a week ago, he told Alan Carr on the UK's Channel 4 that that "The Naked Chef" was "not in that best shape" and needed "a f***ing good wash.")
Ramsay also spoke a bit about his bromance with David Beckham in the wide-ranging interview with the Daily Mail, describing the soccer star as "quite a foodie." He did not comment on rumors that he was going to partner up with Beckham to open the restaurant he plans to call The Spotted Pig.
UPDATE: 12/28 11 a.m. -- The feud may be ending! Batali revealed in an interview with Eater Vegas that Ramsay was giving the UK trademark for the name The Spotted Pig to the owners of the New York gastropub.