Chef opens up can of worms
CELEBRITY chef Gordon Ramsay has taken aim at Britain’s jail system, insisting prisoners are given an ‘‘easy’’ life behind bars.
The cook’s latest British TV show, Gordon Ramsay Behind Bars, shows the chef setting up a kitchen in London’s Brixton prison to teach inmates domestic skills. T star admits he was stunned at the ‘‘comfort’’ in which the criminals live.
He tells Britain’s Guardian Weekend magazine: ‘‘What I wasn’t prepared for was how easy it was for them in there. I was astounded at the comfort zone they carve out for themselves.
‘‘Five meal choices a night – that was the one I really struggled with. I just thought it was a bit of a joke, to be honest,’’ he says.
‘‘Coupled with 24-hour television, Xbox, DVDs, gym. We can’t watch television until four o’clock in the morning. I’d like to have a gym (session) seven days a week, by the way.
‘‘(I was) angry, yes, clearly – but quite embarrassed, really. I thought we were a nation of grafters (workers); I thought we had the spirit of working harder than anyone.’’
Speaking about his experience in the prison system, he says: ‘‘From day one, just sat in that f--king waiting room, trying to get in, with no phone, and then being treated like a piece of shit.
‘‘Everything was going against me; the system was completely screwed, the governor was treating me like one of his bitches . I was banging my head against a brick wall.’’
The star was also less than impressed with the work ethic of some prisoners.
‘‘Why would they want to come and bust their arse for 10 hours a day when it was easy for them to do nothing? I find that hard to come to terms with,’’ he says.