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Jan 6, 2011 09:07 AM

Gordon Ramsey Shark Bait?

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  1. Wow. That's scary stuff. Those "fishermen" sound like they operate the same way drug cartels do. Another good reason not to support that industry by buying their products.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Lotti

      Shark fin is such an easy target because its an Asian delicacy. But, if it was part of the Larousse Gastronomique repertoire, would Gordon care as much? With his platform, wouldn't it be more effective to highlight the endangered fishes his audience in the UK are eating rather than an Asian delicacy. Or, what about elevating fecund fishes that have healthy populations into a posh dish at his flagship restaurants?

      But, when looked up his flagship's restaurant menu, I see that he's serving foie gras and monkfish.

      Aren't there concerns about the sustainability of monkfish over in England?

      Or, if you're going to highlight the cruelty in the manner shark fins are harvested, what about foie gras?

      1. re: hobbess

        Holding people at gunpoint and soaking them in gasoline is not the way to protest anything. If these fishermen have a problem with Shark's fin being a target they should fine another way to make their point. The problem here was NOT with Gordon Ramsay, it was the fishermen acting like thugs.

        1. re: hobbess

          Shark finning is an inexcusably barbaric practice regardless of the cultures involved!!

          1. re: Withnail42

            how about steak? medium rare?
            its awsome right. its not barbaric ,right?

            1. re: Withnail42

              Of course, its about ignorance and un-appreciation about other culture's food. All you've got to do is read the comments about the bill about shark fin in the SF Gate comment section...

              Is shark finning barbaric? Yes.

              But, then again, people have argued about that too about foie gras and Ramsay has vociferously defended that practice.

              And, the practice of extracting shark fin isn't that different from extracting caviar but Ramsay loves to use that in his posh restaurants.

              Again, why does Ramsay care so much about shark fins and not about something where he could have had more influence?

              Was it sustainability? Not really- he had several endangered or unsustainable fish dishes at his restaurants.

              The cruelty in which shark fin is harvested? But, then how could he serve foie gras when others have made that same argument .

              Or, was it simply because shark fin was an easy target for him because it was something he didn't appreciate. He called shark fin 'tasteless', and didn't appreciate the gelatinous texture of it where texture plays a larger role in Chinese cuisine.

              In other words, if shark fin was 'tasty' like foie gras or the endangered fishes he served at his restaurants, would that be okay then?

            2. re: hobbess

              "Aren't there concerns about the sustainability of monkfish over in England?"

              There are indeed some concerns in the UK (not just England) but they are not major ones. The Marine Conservation Society does not have the fish on its "avoid" list and there are areas of our waters where stocks are growing.

              1. re: Harters

                But, eel is considered endangered and Jamie Oliver and Ramsay were both serving it at their restaurants after their special aired.

                Although, Ramsay is probably the bigger hypocrite because he's the one who enjoyed going out and hunting endangered sharks even if now lectures others about how bad it is to serve shark fin soup, something he'd never serve anyways.

                1. re: hobbess

                  Correct about eel (as per the MCS listing). I was not intending to particularly join in this discussion and was simply offering a response to your request for information.

                  1. re: Harters

                    Thanks for the the information, and that brings up an important point about the backlash against shark fins- the majority of shark species are not in danger and there are populations that are healthy and growing.

                    Let's stop finning and stop endangered sharks from being hunted, but let's not go overboard and try to stop all production of shark fin soup just because some shark species are endangered.

                    If we used that logic for everything we ate, we'd have to stop eating all tuna, all caviar, all cod, etc..

          2. I don't believe this story at all. If there was a camera crew around there would be footage either right before or after the incident and I'm willing to bet no footage will be shown. This is just another way for Gordo to get some publicity.

            I'm totally against finning but this story does not pass the smell test.

            1 Reply
            1. re: reatard

              It wouldn't be the first time Gordon Ramsay has exaggarated or flat out lied in order to grab headlines or ratings.

              Off the top of my head, there was the time he lied about his soccer background and skills, faked stealing his own reservations booklist so everybody would blame his mentor, claimed he was allergic to horses, etc... Heck, you could even make an argument that its misleading the way he portrays himself as this great businessman given his business problems where he almost went bankrupt.

              You're right that there's no footage that his life was ever threatened. I've seen footage of what happened and its laughable how much its been exagerrated.

              First of all, if you read the original article, you'd think what happened was in Costa Rica when it actually happened in Taiwan.

              And, there's no fishermen- its at a building where they're drying the shark fins. (There's also no footage of him diving under a boat to uncover a sack of shark fins that fishermen tried to hide from him- the fishermen seem pretty open to showing their catch).

              Instead, the only thing they have footage of is somebody on the roof top tosses some liquid that you could fit into a small bucket onto the ground. But, Ramsay doesn't get soaked; it doesn't seem like even a drop landed on him.

              Plus, I'm pretty sure it wasn't even gasoline that got dumped. Who keeps a small bucket of gasoline lying around on a roof top? The person probably reached for what was on hand and most conveneinet to shoo Ramsay away. So the liquid was water or most likely, probably something they use to prepare the shark fins.

              All we have Ramsay is claiming he was soaked by gasoline in a incresingly bizzare litany of paranoid ramblings.

              Around that building, he sees a black Mercedes pass by and Ramsay then freaks out, implying the driver must be some gangster or something instead of a businesssman driving by. There's never any footage of any cars trying to block Ramsay in or even Ramsay running away once that black Mercedes shows up.

              And, then Ramsay hears a unseen dog barking somewhere behind a fence and freaks out as if he's never heard a dog bark before. He says they have to leave because the Taiwanese have let the dogs out to chase after him but we never see any unleashed dogs even near him, much less chase him.

              Finally, there's no footage of any guns at all- nobody pointing rifles at him or making him line up against a wall. Instead, what we see is this:

              Ramsay trespasses into several buildings and gets onto the rooftop where shark fins are being dried and paws and fingers all these vaulable shark fins all the while shouting in English at these people who clearly don't understand English. In Gordon Ramsay's world, all those Taiwanese people must be guilty and hiding something because they don't anwer back in English. (One of my pet peeves is when tourists go overseas and get all upset because everybody else doesn't speak English).

              Finally, one of the woman on the rooftop calls somebody on the phone in Chinese. For all we know, she could have been calling the local police about this crazy foreigner who's trespassing and stealing. Instead, Gordon Ramsay freaks out it because in his feverish mind, she must be calling some gangster boss and they have to leave now "before they get shot".

              And, from this single incident, we get this wild-eyed tale of near death, of being soaked with gasoline and lined up against a wall with rifles pointed at him. If anything, I thought most of the people were actually pretty restrained towards Ramsay given the circumstances. When Ramsay claims the police advised him to leave the country to avoid getting shot, what this probably meant was that the police warned him they would have to arrest him if he kept breaking and entering into private businesses.

              Finally, Ramsay claimed that shark fin industry is completely unregulated. But, in Taiwan, we see scenes of whole sharks coming off the boats, not just shark fins.

              Ramsay makes a big deal that there are more fins than there are sharks on the boat, but here's a little secret- sharks have more than one fin...

            2. The original comment has been removed