Is a possible for a chef who has built a wildly successful career atop the premise of being an asshole—who once called an overweight person a "chunky monkey" on television, referred to a journalist as a "lesbian pig," and allegedly called Marcus Samuelsson a "fucking black bastard"—to go one step too far in the spewing of vitriol?
Twitter sure as hell seems to think so.
As we mentioned a few weeks ago, Ramsay has recently made it a habit to playfully troll any Twitter user foolish enough to send him a picture of a meal they cooked. In fact, he's encouraged it.
Ramsay's smart-ass routine seems to have gone wrong this Thursday when he rated an Indian man's photo of his medu vada—a traditional Indian fritter usually made in a doughnut shape that is a popular breakfast or snack throughout South Indian and Sri Lanka. A Twitter user named Rameez, who lives in Mumbai and is originally from Kolkata, innocuously asked Ramsay to "please rate my medu vada sambar and nariyal chutney."
Eleven minutes later, the celebrity chef responded to the tweet with the following: "I didn't know you can tweet from prison." Many consider Ramsay's response an affront to authentic Indian cuisine and Indian culture in general. Others argued that Ramsay was simply referring to the metal plate upon which the meal was served and that his comment therefore meant nothing (beyond the usual, obvious insult).
The thing is, that "metal plate" happens to be a thali, which literally means "plate" in Hindi and is widely used as dishware throughout India. Could a chef who is from a country that is the former colonizer of India, and is currently home to more 1.4 million British Indians, seriously not know that?
Who knows? Still, this sort of provocative behavior is exactly what Ramsay has built his empire on.
Hell, Ramsay once even prompted Australia's federal Parliament to call for a review of the nation's broadcasting code of conduct after an episode of Kitchen Nightmares aired—because in the episode the chef swore more than 80 times.
While many take umbrage at Ramsay's remark and have labelled it racist, Rameez himself seems to be pretty happy with how the interaction turned out. Two minutes after Ramsay sent his tweet, Rameez happily tweeted, "Mission Accomplished." Since then, Rameez told DNA India, "I was expecting it. Anyone who has spent enough time on the internet knows what they're in for when they send him a food picture. I wanted a hilarious response and I got it."
MUNCHIES has reached out to the Gordon Ramsay Group for comment, but has yet to hear back.
Will Ramsay's followers ever learn to expect the barrage of meanness that comes from the chef's mouth? Evidently not.