Well, what’s not to like about the 40-something chef who’s recently released a cookbook dedicated entirely to vegetables and wrote a column for The Guardian titled, “The New Vegetarian” for four years?
Oh, yeah. He gave everybody permission to call themselves “vegetarian” when he said there were no boundaries anymore.
Since that comment generated a lot of bad publicity from the veg community, including the UK Vegetarian Society, he’s backed down. But he still doesn’t understand what he did wrong.
He recently sent out two Tweets apologizing and agreeing that vegetarians do not eat fish after all.
“@vegsoc you are right, vegetarians don’t eat fish. I can’t argue with that” was soon followed by “To all, fish eaters are NOT vegetarians!”
But he insists words are for the previous century and he’ll win more people over by giving them the self-empowerment to call themselves anything they want.
“It feels so wrong, all these definitions,” he said. “I don’t see the point unless you want to create a club that excludes people.”
“I think I can win more people to vegetables” he said. “I’m better for the cause.”
Ottolenghi probably should have left it at the apology. We’re guessing that last statement will generate the need to say “I’m sorry” once more.
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