Gordon Ramsay (left) and Mario Batali
Barry King/WireImage; HENRY McGEE/GLOBE
01/28/2009 at 06:00 PM EST
Gordon Ramsay isn't about to get into an all-out food fight with fellow chef Mario Batali – but that didn't stop the outspoken Hell's Kitchen
star from tossing a little mud at his rival on Wednesday.
"It's really sad. I have never met Mario Batali," Ramsay told reporters when asked about a supposed long-running feud between the two men.
On Tuesday, the New York Post
's Page Six
reported that Batali had banned Ramsay from eating at his restaurants – including Manhattan's Babbo and the Spotted Pig – after Ramsay made up an unflattering nickname for him.
"As far as I'm concerned I haven't been banned from his restaurants," Ramsay – whose new season of Hell's Kitchen
debuts Thursday on FOX – said about the ban. "But if we can't get on, what's the big deal. I haven't got any problem with Mario Batali."
While Ramsay called Batali "a very talented chef," he recounted an unpleasant experience at a Batali restaurant – and called the food "embarrassing." According to Ramsay, his dining partner's sea bass had to be sent back "because it was off."
But perhaps a truce is still possible. According to Page Six, Batali said if Ramsay "called me himself and said, 'Let's sit down for a drink.' I'm sure it would be fine. We'd be cool."