Gordon Ramsay has revealed he is going to try following a vegan diet.
While the three-Michelin-star chef has yet to explain his motivations for going plant-based, he made the low-key announcement in a tweet on Monday, writing: “Going to give this #vegan thing a try ... Yes guys you heard that right. Gx”.
The chef’s apparent newfound appreciation for veganism might come as a surprise to his fans, given Ramsay’s track record for mocking vegans and vegetarians.
In 2007, Ramsay teased former Girl’s Aloud star, Cheryl, when she appeared with her fellow bandmates on his TV show, The F Word, for following a strict vegetarian diet.
When the singer informed Ramsay of her dietary requirements, he joked: “Didn’t you get the message? Vegetarians aren’t welcome here.”
In an interview with the Daily Mirror that same year, Ramsay said that his kids going vegetarian would be his “biggest nightmare”, adding that he would “sit them on the fence and electrocute them” if one of them made the dietary change - a comment which caught the attention of longtime vegetarian Sir Paul McCartney, who said he’d be willing to talk to the chef about the advantages of vegetarianism.
"I'd be happier if everyone was vegetarian. The planet would be better off for it," he told Sainsbury's Magazine.
Ramsay added fuel to the fire in 2016, when the 51-year-old joked that he was allergic to vegans, responding to a tweet from a fan asking him if he had any allergies by simply writing, “Vegans”.
Despite garnering more than 40,000 retweets, The Hell’s Kitchen star‘s comment prompted a furore amongst animal rights activists, who accused Ramsay of making light of animal exploitation.
Ultimately, Ramsay responded to criticisms by writing in a subsequent tweet, “It’s a joke,” but only confused fans further by adding: “It’s not vegans it’s vegetarians”.
As recently as February this year, the outspoken chef sparked another debate amongst the online veggie and vegan community by responding to a fan's photograph of their vegan lasagne with: "I'm a member of PETA ! People eating tasty animals".
If Ramsay’s latest comments are to be taken in earnest, it seems like his days of vegan and vegetarian mockery might be behind him.
The Independent has contacted Ramsay for comment.