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Octopus hunting chef in F Word catastrophe

PUBLISHED: 13:53 04 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:43 16 August 2010

A CHEF who took Gordon Ramsey fishing has described the catastrophic moment gale force winds tipped the Michelin-starred cook overboard.

A CHEF who took Gordon Ramsey fishing has described the "catastrophic" moment gale force winds tipped the Michelin-starred cook overboard.

Enzo Oliveri, who owns El Patio restaurant in Masons Hill, Bromley, had been recruited by television producers to take the fiery food guru octopus hunting in Sicily as part of the Channel 4 programme The F Word.

But during the 10 days of filming, the crew were blighted by the country's worst storms for 40 years and Mr Oliveri feared they wouldn't catch any octopus at all.

He said: "It was like a film, you wouldn't believe it. We couldn't get any because the weather was so bad. We were filming and Gordon tried to spike one of the octopuses and he fell in. We had to go back to the hotel. All the crew were laughing, they said 'we saw you push him'.

"It was catastrophic because the weather was so bad. I was panicking because all the crew were waiting to catch one but we couldn't get the boat out. It was dangerous. We were out at sea but we had to come back. It was gale force eight winds. But finally we got one after four days and there was a big celebration. It was very dramatic."

Father-of-two Mr Oliveri was selected by the producers because he knows how to ensnare octopus and because he has done television work before. Filming finished last Wednesday and the episode was due to be aired on Tuesday night.

Mr Oliveri said: "I am good in front of the camera and I knew what I was doing. Everyone knows fishermen have a reputation for not being very nice people but because I know them all it was okay. It can be dangerous catching octopus if you don't know what you're doing. They are strong animals and if you go diving and they get hold of you they can hold you down underwater."

Speaking about what is was like working with Ramsey, Mr Oliveri, said: "He is a really nice guy. He should be famous because he deserves to be. He made everything easy, he was no problem.

"The children liked him, he was good with them. He was joking a lot and being a funny man. It was a really good experience.

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