“I think our immigrant friends are much stronger, much tougher. If we didn’t have any all of my restaurants would close tomorrow,” Oliver has said in an interview with Good Housekeeping magazine.

Oliver explains that he used to work up to 100 hours a week in his twenties when he was starting out as a chef but that the EU directive now caps that at 46 hours – and young British kids in his restaurants still complain about having to work even that.

“The young will be better at different things. Long hours in hot kitchens is not one of them.

“And they still whinge about it. British kids particularly. I have never seen anything so wet behind the ears.”

Oliver has more than 30 branches of Jamie’s Italian across the UK and is famed for his TV cookery shows and books.

His latest comments come only days after he sparked outrage for saying that he thought that some poorer families were choosing the most expensive ways to feed themselves such as ready meals and fast food.

“You might remember that scene in Ministry Of Food, with the mum and the kid eating chips and cheese out of Styrofoam containers, and behind them is a massive f***ing TV. It just didn’t weigh up,” said the TV chef.

Photo: Getty.