PAUL Pisasale went on a fruitless manhunt for celebrity chef Jamie Oliver in Melbourne the day before being stopped with $50,000 in cash, according to the former Ipswich mayor's friend.

It is the latest bizarre tale to explain why the former mayor was in Melbourne and what he was doing when he supposedly answered a mate's call to carry the money to Brisbane.

The explanation is now under scrutiny with a supposed meeting with Mr Oliver, there to promote his Ministry of Food, never taking place.

Former Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, left, searched for celebrity chef Jamie Oliver ahead of having $50,000 cash seized by police, according to his friend and barrister Sam Di Carlo. AAP

Mr Pisasale was stopped at Melbourne Airport on May 13 with $50,000 cash, which he was allegedly carrying as a favour for his friend, barrister Sam Di Carlo.

Mr Di Carlo on Thursday said the politician had told him the reason behind the trip was to present the plaque to Mr Oliver on May 12 but when he arrived late, due to a TV interview, he went from venue to venue trying to find the British chef.

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