Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
We don’t need to tell you that Jeremy Clarkson likes meat – after all, he made quite a reputation for himself when hankering for a steak.
But the former Top Gear host has proven once again how much of a dedicated carnivore he is by opening a restaurant without a veggie or vegan option whatsoever.
The 40-seat open-air eatery, named Diddly Squat, is based on his Cotswolds farm, and primarily serves beef and available produce, in an ever changing menu cooked and conceptualised by The Great British Menu‘s Pip Lacey.
And ‘diddly squat’ is exactly what vegetarians will get if they turn up. In fact, guests are welcomed by a sign that reads: “Yes, we have no vegetarian food.”
Clarkson has made his feelings about vegetarianism clear in the past, so the decision isn’t surprising, despite being rather controversial in this day and age.
He recently protested about a vegan-only food policy put in place by Oxfordshire County Council, which meant only plant-based food would be served on school menus.
Plus, he’s previously called vegans who disagreed with his farming practices “lunatics”.
Reacting to his decision to go veggie only, one person wrote: “What a hero pandering to majority demographics in an attempt to act edgy. Next thing you know there’ll be no gluten free cause he’s just so badass.”
Whilst another concurred: “I’m vegetarian most of my friends aren’t so we go to restaurants which serve meat and a vegetarian option so we can eat together. It’s his choice if he doesn’t want to serve anything other than meat, but it’s not just vegetarians who’ll not go. Desperate for publicity I think.”
A third commented: “I have no issues with farm restaurants only serving the meat from animals they rear but he’s just SO boring with his poor attempt to get notices through controversies. I can’t think of any veggies or vegans who’d care .”
There were some who were more supportive, though.
“He is selling food that he produces and as he does not farm veg why would he have it in his restaurant?,” questioned a Clarkson supporter.
As another pushed: “So basically you’re slamming a business for not selling everything for everyone all of the time. You don’t “shame” vegan/veggie restaurants for not selling meat, so what’s the issue with meat only?”
“I take it you [also] believe that vegetarian restaurants should be obliged to serve meat?,” stated someone else.
Speaking about the concept behind the restaurant, Clarkson previously told The Times: “I am told 1,000 people can eat from one cow and we have had one hanging for 29 days. Some people are going to get oxtail, some tongue and some will get fillet steak.”
Those attending have to agree to be filmed for Amazon Prime, and accept the rather “wet” and rustic conditions, which include a tractor ride to the toilet, should it be needed.
In a description online, diners are advised: “Before making your booking, you should know it’s small, mostly outdoors and very rustic. Ordering a beer or going to the lavatory isn’t as easy as in your local pub and we don’t cater to the faddy.
“We’ve done our best to keep you warm and dry, but this is England. On the upside, the view is enormous and almost everything you eat was grown or reared on our farm, so it’s fresh with minimal food miles.”