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Matt Tebbutt opens up of ‘uncertainty’ of restaurant trade ‘It’s been brutal’

Saturday Kitchen: Matt Tebbutt talks with Ronan Keating

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Matt Tebbutt is a familiar face to viewers as he presents his BBC cooking show Saturday Kitchen and Channel 4’s Food Unwrapped. Before that, the TV chef ran his own restaurant with his wife, Lisa, before giving it up for a career in TV. Despite no longer working in the restaurant trade, Matt has opened up about how tough it has been for his colleagues during the coronavirus pandemic.

In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, Matt addressed how “brutal” the pandemic has been on the restaurant industry.

He went on to emphasise how both Brexit and COVID-19 has had a huge impact on British farmers.

The TV chef, who has recently teamed up with UK and Ireland mushroom producers, explained how important it is for people to buy from British farmers.

He said it is more important than ever to eat sustainable produce during the festive period.

“We need to support British farmers because it’s a massively turbulent time at the moment,” Matt began.

“We’ve had the perfect storm of Brexit and the pandemic, let’s be truthful. 

“I think you know, now more than ever before, we need to be helping out British farmers. 

“And yes, you can scour the world for all sorts of products that are brilliant and some of them we grow here and some of them we don’t.

“So, why not swap out a few of your staples,” he added.

Matt went on to explain that it might be a good idea for people to swap their Turkey for a nut roast this Christmas as it would be more sustainable.

During the pandemic, a number of restaurants and bars have been forced to close as they have struggled to stay afloat.

Hundreds of people have also lost their jobs as a result of it.

The chef explained: “I’m in touch with all the guys in the hospitality trade week in week out, through the show from Saturday Kitchen.

“And it’s been brutal. There’s no denying it’s been crippling for these guys. 

“It was huge uncertainty. Nobody was sure whether they were going to be able to reopen.

“The landlords of all the buildings still want to rent but there’s no money coming in.”

 

Matt explained since restaurants have been able to open, they have been hitting record months, although the problem is a lot of places “have no staff”.

He added: “There’s no staff, everyone needs staff and a lot of them have gone home.

“A lot of staff has left the industry and because they’ve had so much time off, they’ve realised that you know, there is a life outside the kitchen or dining room.

“So, a lot of people have opened up and are working harder than ever.”

Saturday Kitchen airs on Saturdays at 10am on BBC One

 

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