By Calvin Palmer
A restaurant guide has dubbed several of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants as “overpriced” and “disappointing”, based on the reports of more than 8,000 diners.
One can imagine the choice expletives from Ramsay, star of BBC America’s Hell’s Kitchen, when he heard the news. His outburst probably lent a new meaning to cordon bleu.
The latest edition of Harden’s London Restaurants found that Ramsay’s flagship restaurant, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay on Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, had suffered an “unprecedented” slide in approval.
It had previously been unchallenged as and the top restaurant in London for more than a decade, where the seven course “menu prestige” costs £120 ($193) per head without wine.
Four Ramsay restaurants — the Chelsea restaurant; Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s; The Warrington pub in Maida Vale; and Maze in Mayfair – were included in the top 10 most disappointing for cooking.
The Chelsea restaurant, Claridge’s and Maze – were also among the top 10 which diners in the survey found were most overpriced.
The poor showing in the guide follows a torrid year for the celebrity chef whose image was tarnished by claims of an extramarital affair while his company was accused of serving up centrally prepared “ready meals”.
Last month it emerged that profits in his restaurant empire, Gordon Ramsay Holdings, had fallen by almost 90 percent, forcing Ramsay to inject £5 million ($8 million) of his family’s own money into the business and close a handful of overseas ventures.
The one glimmer of hope for Ramsay was his Italian-influenced Murano in Mayfair being named as the capital’s best new restaurant.
The guide praised Murano’s chef, Angela Hartnett, for “simple Italian dishes, beautifully executed”.
A spokeswoman for Gordon Ramsay Holdings said: “Gordon is aware of the contents of the latest Harden’s guide.”
Hartnett, however, thanked Ramsay for his support.
“Of course everything we have achieved at Murano wouldn’t have been possible without our fantastic team and, of course, Gordon, who has backed me all the way,” she said.
Richard Harden, co-editor of the guide, said the poor showing in the survey suggested Ramsay was suffering from “imperial overreach”.
“He wants to be almost an international film star and be accorded almost David Beckham levels of international fame and yet he wants to run this internationally recognized group of restaurants,” he said.
“There is a deep unwillingness to accept that you can’t have it all.”