by Max Gosney Top pub chefs have hit back at Raymond Blanc after the Michelin-starred chef blasted British cooks for being 20 years behind their American colleagues. Food experts expressed anger following Blanc's attack that also accused British chefs of lacking understanding of real cuisine and being dominated by French ideas. Michael North, head chef at the Goose in Britwell Salome, Oxfordshire, said: "To say that we lag behind the Americans is simply incorrect. The UK has some excellent chefs, who offer a very high standard of cuisine." Blanc's criticism comes after the chef invited eight top American chefs to the UK for a debate over the future of the British culinary industry later this month. The event, dubbed the American Food Revolution, will be held at Blanc's La Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons restaurant in Great Milton, Oxfordshire. US cuisine, however, should not be considered flawless, warned Ian Martin, chef and licensee at the Red Cat in Crank, Merseyside. "The standard of food is excellent in places like New York but move out of the cities and some of the cuisine can be diabolical," he said. Blanc has failed to recognise the growing aptitude of UK chefs according to Craig Wilkinson, chef at the Bay Horse Inn at Forton, Lancashire. "We are influenced by the French but British chefs are including more local produce in their dishes and stepping out of the shadows of their Gallic cousins," he said.