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Don Cherry's seal burger comment shrugged off by chef Todd Perrin

02/09/2015 07:55 EST | Updated 04/11/2015 05:59 EDT
The chef who served Ron MacLean the seal burger that prompted fellow hockey commentator Don Cherry to make harsh remarks about people who eat seal meat says he could not care less about Cherry's opinions. 

- Don Cherry explains 'barbarian' comment, has 'no problem' with seal meat  

"I don't pay attention to the naysayers," said Todd Perrin, co-owner of Mallard Cottage, a restaurant in the Quidi Vidi neighbourhood in the east end of St. John's.

"There's lots of food issues in the world that need to be dealt with, and as far as I'm concerned, this one is way, way, way down the list."

Cherry sparked a social media firestorm during a Coach's Corner segment on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday night when he asked MacLean if he was a "barbarian" and a "savage" for eating a seal burger at Mallard Cottage.

Cherry later issued a series of tweets on Sunday that appeared to express regret for having hurt the feelings of people he admired.

He said he is actually not against eating seal.

Perrin has long been an advocate for the use of seal meat in recipes. In 2011, he was a contestant on TV competition Top Chef Canada, and used seal in one of the dishes that he presented to the judges.

In a humorous tweet on Sunday, Perrin joked that the controversy involving Cherry and MacLean is the only way he would appear on Hockey Night in Canada.

MacLean was in St. John's for the Rogers-sponsored Hometown Hockey event. Some of those who attended on Sunday were unhappy with Cherry. 

"I used to be a really big fan of Don Cherry," said Edwina Connors, adding the incident has changed the way she thinks about the famous former NHL coach.

"But no longer after what he said about the burger." 

But James Walsh, who was also at the rink on Sunday, said that while he does not agree with what Cherry said, but respects his right to free speech.

"I don't agree with his comment, but he's entitled to his opinion," he said.

"Just as I'm entitled to think he's a tool for saying it."

The condemnation of Cherry's comments isn't just coming from Newfoundland and Labrador

In Nunavut, Federal Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq said in a tweet on Sunday that Cherry's statement is 'insensitive' and asked for an apology. 

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