Food critic Jonathan Meades slams cultural appropriation  

A critic has launched a staunch defence of cultural appropriation, arguing chefs should not become the targets of abuse when they put their own spin on dishes. 

Jonathan Meades has said chefs should not fear offending 'the guardians of authenticity,' arguing, 'without cultural appropriation there is only stagnation.'

His comments come in the wake of the increasingly problematic 'cancel culture' and a number of celebrity chefs including Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver coming under fire for their take on traditional recipes including carbonara and jerk chicken, respectively. 

Jonathan Meades has said chefs should not fear offending 'the guardians of authenticity,' arguing, 'without cultural appropriation there is only stagnation.'

Jonathan Meades has said chefs should not fear offending 'the guardians of authenticity,' arguing, 'without cultural appropriation there is only stagnation.'

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In 2019, Gordon Ramsay hit back at a critic after she accused him of cultural appropriation over his 'fake Chinese' restaurant Lucky Cat in Mayfair

In 2017 Nigella Lawson faced derision from Italian chefs when she unveiled her recipe for carbonara featuring cream instead of raw eggs.

In 2019, Gordon Ramsay hit back at a critic after she accused him of cultural appropriation over his 'fake Chinese' restaurant Lucky Cat in Mayfair. In 2017 Nigella Lawson faced derision from Italian chefs when she unveiled her recipe for carbonara featuring cream instead of raw eggs.

In 2018, Jamie Oliver was forced to defend his microwave bag 'punchy jerk rice'

In 2018, Jamie Oliver was forced to defend his microwave bag 'punchy jerk rice'

Mr Meades, a commentator and author, made the comments in an interview with the culture website Quietus as he promoted his new series of essays, Pedro and Ricky Come Again.

He was asked for his views on arguments around authenticity in the industry and perceptions of cultural appropriation.  

He told Quietus: 'Without cultural appropriation there is only stagnation. The subject is essentially frivolous. 

'A cassoulet made in London ought not to worry the guardians of authenticity because it is attempting the impossible. The authentic cassoulet is made in Auch. 

'No, it’s made in Toulouse. No, it comes from Carcassonne. Hang on, it comes from Le Trou Gascon in the 12ème arrondissement of Paris. 

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'And what about Chez Philippe near the Canal St Martin? Excellence is worth pursuing. Authenticity is a chimera.'

Mr Meades said in literature, the idea of cultural appropriation was 'an order to shut down the imagination.' 

In 2019, Gordon Ramsay hit back at a critic after she accused him of cultural appropriation over his 'fake Chinese' restaurant Lucky Cat in Mayfair.

The chef became embroiled in a row with food writer Angela Hui, accusing her of a 'slew of derogatory and offensive social media posts'.  

Writing for the London Eater website, she posted a scathing review calling his venture 'nothing if not a real life Ramsay kitchen nightmare', adding: 'I was the only east Asian person in a room full of 30-40 journalists and chefs.'

But Ramsay took exception at social media messages allegedly sent by Ms Hui in which she targeted the partner of executive chef Ben Orpwood, calling her a 'token Asian wife'. 

Ramsay said: 'The slew of derogatory and offensive social media posts that appeared on

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