James Martin calls for ‘horrendous’ ingredient be banned from cooking

Marcus Wareing jokingly criticises James Martin's kitchen

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James Martin is a classically French-trained chef who taught himself to cook and is often known by fans for his love of butter. The chef has always been open about how much he loves the ingredient, so much so he even wrote a cookbook about it. However, James isn’t fond of rival ingredient margarine and has called for it to be banned. 

Believing there is no substitute ingredient for butter, he explained: “Margarine should be banned.

“It’s dreadful, dreadful stuff, it’s two elements away from plastic, it’s horrendous stuff.

“I’m a farmer’s kid. We’ve always had full-fat milk, butter, and cream. And that’s what we had. There wasn’t such a thing as semi-skimmed milk in our house.”

While people often debate about what is better, butter or margarine, James revealed: “It’s the ready-made food, it’s the packet food, the hidden salt, hidden fat.

“That’s the problem in this country. It’s not the butter in a butter block or butter you put on your toast. It’s the fact that not as many people cook in the UK as they do in France or Italy or Spain.”

James often tells the story of his mother letting him make his own packed lunches, which started his obsession with butter.

He told The Sunday Post: “I’d have buttered white sliced bread and mashed-up banana with a Cadbury Flake on it, press it down, wrap it in cling film.

“Then you get to lunchtime, and it would sort of look – when it was out the cling film – almost like a tennis ball.

“It would be all congealed together. But you managed to eat it. Nobody wanted to swap with me, but it was proper.”

During the pandemic, the restaurant business took a huge hit, with many suffering to regain the steady flow they once had.

However, James didn’t seem to have the same issue as he revealed he had been busier than ever and taking more bookings he has seen.

“Our job is to serve and help and provide a service for other people, for them to enjoy themselves. That’s what we do.

“That’s why we work the hours we work. Feeding people is a magical thing – and if there’s butter involved, all the better.”

 When James first released his book, Butter, he faced a lot of backlash, however, he took to Twitter to defend his decision.

In a short clip addressed to his fans, James said: “Hello guys, hello from the gardens at Chewton Glen.

“The garden is busy out here, it’s looking beautiful out here on a sunny September day, the cooking school is in full swing, Steve’s got a class.

“Just to let you know what we’ve had a delivery of these,” while holding up a newly printed copy of his book.

 “My brand new book, Butter, the publishers are really excited, we’ve had, actually, more people phone up for interview for this book than any book I’ve ever written.

“Which says a lot, doesn’t it really? In a world where people apparently don’t eat butter…” he sarcastically jibed at the camera.

“But give me a shout, we’re going to launch it this weekend, but hi from me before a busy lunch service and enjoy the book!”

James Martin’s Saturday Kitchen airs Saturdays from 9:30am on ITV. 

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