- Celebrity Chef John Mountain sparks controversy with a provocative image on Instagram, escalating a digital duel with vegan activist Tash Peterson.
- Mountain's Perth restaurant, Fyre, experiences a surprise surge in patronage after the chef bans vegans and stands his ground despite backlash.
- The conflict stirs up heated online debates, but the resulting media attention boosts the restaurant's turnover, tripling its profits since the incident.
When acclaimed chef John Mountain declared his restaurant a vegan-free zone, it was no surprise that this move stirred up quite a scene. After this controversial announcement, he found himself embroiled in a public spat with activist Tash Peterson, a scene which began when she and a group of protesters disrupted the serenity of his restaurant, Fyre, located in Perth.
Mountain's retort to Peterson's intrusion was as unique as it was provocative. He shared a digitally manipulated picture on his Instagram profile. The image showed him cradling a piglet with Peterson's face superimposed on the baby animal, an unusual method to show his displeasure. He captioned the picture with a taunting remark that hinted at his commitment to his culinary craft: "Once a cook, always a cook."
Peterson, not one to shy away from a digital duel, retorted on Instagram, indirectly labelling Mountain as an animal abuser and confidently predicting his eventual conversion to veganism. She was particularly incensed by Mountain's mockery of her cause and his insensitivity towards the murder of animals for food.
The chef had declared a ban on serving vegans at his restaurant earlier in June, citing 'mental health reasons'. This announcement was the aftermath of a less-than-pleasant encounter with a vegan diner, which contributed to the escalating tensions.
Despite the ongoing backlash, Mountain stood his ground, often resorting to quotes from notable personalities to underline his stance. He shared a quote from renowned chef and food provocateur Anthony Bourdain which called vegetarians and vegans "the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit". This move, along with the protest and the subsequent media attention, only seemed to help Mountain's business, claiming that the restaurant's turnover had tripled since the incident.
WOM Money Picks
Be a part of the winning team | 81% Success Rate.