In an interview with The New York Times, actor Sacha Baron Cohen has revealed he wanted to be a chef from a young age, only to have his dream swiftly ended by chef Raymond Blanc, for being "too tall."
The 49-year-old British comedian, writer and all-round prankster, famous for his irrepressible Ali G and Borat characters, said: “I finished high school and there was a chef called Raymond Blanc who got a Michelin star. I went over to his restaurant, called Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, and I asked to work there and he declined. He said I was too tall to work in the kitchen, and then I gave up my dream of becoming a chef."
At 191cm, almost 6ft 3, Baron Cohen's stats might fit in with the average NBA height profile, but should his height exclude him from the kitchen?
Journalist and food critic Richard Vines tweeted the quote, and received a good-humoured reply from Raymond Blanc, who said he doubted he "broke" Baron Cohen's dreams, but that he'd like to see him again and would welcome him for a trial in his kitchen.
Two-Michelin-starred chef Sat Bains from Nottingham has also chipped in with a quip:
Other tall chefs have replied that height hasn't been on their side in the kitchen, with one person pointing out that the late chef Anthony Bourdain was actually taller than Baron Cohen.
A self-confessed fan of "The Great British Baking Show" and keen home cook, Baron Cohen admits he did finally get his moment in the kitchen recently, when US chef Eric Ripert let him work in his Le Bernardin kitchen in New York, only to discover it was exhausting.
"It was amazing, because me and my brother spent three hours in the kitchen during their dinner service. It’s incredibly tiring and then we’re in the way. I felt very bad about it.” he told the New York Times.