A controversial celebrity chef has doubled down on his decision to ban vegans from his restaurant after he received threats that activists will stage a protest.
UK-born celebrity chef John Mountain was responding to comments from notorious vegan activist Tash Peterson and others online who suggested they might stage a protest at his Fyre restaurant at Connolly in Perth’s north.
‘Phone the police and the ambulance, have them on standby, because if they try pulling a stunt with me, good luck,’ Mr Mountain told Triple M co-hosts Xav and Michelle on Wednesday.
The controversy started after a vegan diner left a one-star review discussing his ‘shortcomings as a chef’ that Mr Mountain took personally, leading him to ban anyone who identified as vegan via Facebook.
‘Sadly all vegans are now banned from Fyre for mental health reasons. We thank you for your understanding. xx,’ he wrote on Tuesday.
UK-born celebrity chef John Mountain has doubled down on his vegan ban after activists tried to destroy his reputation: ‘F*** vegans’
UK-born celebrity chef John Mountain was responding to comments from notorious vegan activist Tash Peterson (pictured) and others online who suggested they might stage a protest at his Fyre restaurant at Connolly in Perth ‘s north
The Google review firestorm that Fyre subsequently received left its average score at 2.8, which was markedly down from the respectable 4.3 it had held before the incident.
‘I’m not against vegans in any way shape or form, I think they’re all beautiful people,’ Mr Mountain told the co-hosts.
‘It’s just when they behave like a**holes.’
Since the incident first occurred yesterday Ms Peterson, who has been known to stage protests inside diners before, said that the chef was guilty and insecure.
‘He’s obviously quite triggered by veganism and I think maybe it’s a defence mechanism for his own guilt,’ she told 7News.
When asked for a response to her comment and what might happen to protestors setting foot in his business, Mr Mountain said ambulances would need to be on standby.
‘She obviously is not a trained psychologist, is she,’ he said.
‘I’m the licensee of those premises, I’ve spent almost half a million of my own hard earned cash. I’ve got no investors, no nothing. I will physically pick them up and throw them out.’
Mr Mountain confirmed that threats of a physical protest had already been sent to him, which he responded to with ‘lol’ before blocking the senders on social media.
‘You’ll never please all the people all the time. And to be honest, I always have one vegetarian option and I always will,’ he continued.
‘Vegan, it’s a little different. I don’t know what you can make without butter.’
Listeners called in during the live segment, with many supporting the move while one vegan admitted it was a little disappointing that they weren’t able to dine there anymore.
‘I have his back on this one, there’s no need to act like a peanut and tarnish someone’s business over it,’ one listener said.
Less than 48 hours after the hailstorm began, Fyre restaurant is currently sitting on a 4.4 review score – which is better than it was before Mr Mountain banned vegans.
The chef says that the influx of online bookings has crashed his website three times in a day and has now declared that business is booming.
The controversy started after a vegan diner left a one-star review discussing his ‘shortcomings as a chef’ that he took personally, leading him to ban all of them via Facebook
Mr Mountain discussed the situation with Triple M co-hosts Xav and Michelle on Wednesday
The ordeal first started when Mr Mountain received an email several weeks ago from the diner who ended up giving him the poor review.
‘She got in contact with me a few weeks before… it’s like, how do you know there’s a vegan in your restaurant? Well, they’ve told you 17 times,’ he shared with the hosts.
‘She’d said, “what’s your alternatives, what do you have, I’m VEGAN” in capitals – because I can’t read lower case.’
After asking what her favourite foods were, she told him that gnocchi and risotto were among her top preferences.
‘I thought gosh, she’s well travelled,’ he said in a sarcastic tone.
The meal she got was a $32 vegetable dish which her review described as ‘ok but not that filling’.
‘I think it’s incredibly important nowadays that restaurants can accommodate everyone and to not be able to have actual plant-based meals shows your shortcomings as a chef,’ the aggrieved diner’s contentious review stated.
But it was the diner’s remarks about Mr Mountain’s skillset that motivated the chef to make the move to ban vegans from returning again.
‘The straw that broke the camel’s back, she was questioning my ability as a chef. Get flipped,’ he said during Wednesday’s radio appearance.
Mr Mountain has lived in Australia for seven years after arriving from Britain where he was a celebrity chef who shared an agent with kitchen superstar Jamie Oliver.
He starred in cooking shows the Great British Menu and Chef Race UK v US.
He has also worked with culinary trailblazers Heston Blumenthal at the original famed Fat Duck restaurant in Berkshire, England, as well as the brash Michelin three-starred Marco Pierre White at the Mayfair in London.