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Ramsaywatch UK


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Some destination restaurants are more important to him than others. I think he's deadly serious about his ambition to have a 3* restaurant in London (so far so good), New York (2* already, expect a major push here, hence the US Hell's Kitchen to keep him on the publicity radar over there) and Paris (big plans for Versailles). He's talked about this quite a lot and I'd say it's not just about Ramsay the brand but also driven by Ramsay the ego. He likes to be the definitive best at whatever he does.

Does Versailles really mean that much to him? As far as French foodies are concerned (and I'm one of them), we're quite surprised he chose the suburbs instead of Paris. And surprised, also, he waited until 2008 (february?), to open a restaurant in France. What do you think?

Interesting you should mention this. I was surprised when I heard about Versailles too, but there's a good train service from central Paris and it is at least a 'suburb'. The destination in Ireland is in another county, up in the Wicklow hills with barely any public transport. It is a very expensive taxi ride for most people.

I mentioned the 3* hat trick because this is one of the things that competitive Gordo keeps reinforcing... but then, if we subscribe to the theory that the company could be going public... it makes even more sense to just keep talking and toque waving. Maybe it is just another bit of hotel catering.

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Some destination restaurants are more important to him than others. I think he's deadly serious about his ambition to have a 3* restaurant in London (so far so good), New York (2* already, expect a major push here, hence the US Hell's Kitchen to keep him on the publicity radar over there) and Paris (big plans for Versailles). He's talked about this quite a lot and I'd say it's not just about Ramsay the brand but also driven by Ramsay the ego. He likes to be the definitive best at whatever he does.

Does Versailles really mean that much to him? As far as French foodies are concerned (and I'm one of them), we're quite surprised he chose the suburbs instead of Paris. And surprised, also, he waited until 2008 (february?), to open a restaurant in France. What do you think?

Interesting you should mention this. I was surprised when I heard about Versailles too, but there's a good train service from central Paris and it is at least a 'suburb'. The destination in Ireland is in another county, up in the Wicklow hills with barely any public transport. It is a very expensive taxi ride for most people.

I mentioned the 3* hat trick because this is one of the things that competitive Gordo keeps reinforcing... but then, if we subscribe to the theory that the company could be going public... it makes even more sense to just keep talking and toque waving. Maybe it is just another bit of hotel catering.

True: there is a good train service, but no one (well, not that many people!) will take the train to have dinner in Versailles! Most of all because it's kind of far, but also because nobody's ever heard of Ramsay in France (yet?). And I think you're right: it looks like hotel carering. (From what I've heard, the brasserie will open first, and then, late february or early march, the GR restaurant).

"Mais moi non plus, j'ai pas faim! En v'là, une excuse!..."

(Jean-Pierre Marielle)

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The destination in Ireland is in another county, up in the Wicklow hills with barely any public transport. It is a very expensive taxi ride for most people.

This could be seen as a way to maintain a sense of exclusivity. Want to create a destination restaurant? Then make sure your visitors have to treat your restaurant as a destination. Lots of good restaurants make capital of their inaccessability -- from El Bulli to The Three Chimneys.

If Ramsay were to open on the Champs-Elysées, he'd be squaring off against every other kitchen in Paris. No matter how good, the level of local competition would mean that the place risked being anonymous. But by opening in the sticks, he's creating a venue for American and British tourists who want the safety of brand recognition, and are prepared to invest time and money that will guarantee them a "dining experience".

(My book, Ramsay and the Art of Chest-Hair Maintenence, is due in 2008.)

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The destination in Ireland is in another county, up in the Wicklow hills with barely any public transport. It is a very expensive taxi ride for most people.

This could be seen as a way to maintain a sense of exclusivity. Want to create a destination restaurant? Then make sure your visitors have to treat your restaurant as a destination. Lots of good restaurants make capital of their inaccessability -- from El Bulli to The Three Chimneys.

If Ramsay were to open on the Champs-Elysées, he'd be squaring off against every other kitchen in Paris. No matter how good, the level of local competition would mean that the place risked being anonymous. But by opening in the sticks, he's creating a venue for American and British tourists who want the safety of brand recognition, and are prepared to invest time and money that will guarantee them a "dining experience".

(My book, Ramsay and the Art of Chest-Hair Maintenence, is due in 2008.)

Buy can he succeed only with American and British tourists seeking a "dining experience" -- whatever that means?

"Mais moi non plus, j'ai pas faim! En v'là, une excuse!..."

(Jean-Pierre Marielle)

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I'd be astonished if Ramsay could compete at 3 star level in Paris.

My recollection is that the last time that Gault Millau included non French restaurants at the back of their French guide Ramsay got 16/20, roughly equivalent to a lower/middle ranking two star, not going anywhere fast.

Seems about right.

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If Ramsay were to open on the Champs-Elysées, he'd be squaring off against every other kitchen in Paris. No matter how good, the level of local competition would mean that the place risked being anonymous. But by opening in the sticks, he's creating a venue for American and British tourists who want the safety of brand recognition, and are prepared to invest time and money that will guarantee them a "dining experience".

(My book, Ramsay and the Art of Chest-Hair Maintenence, is due in 2008.)

naebody, I love your hammer... nail bang on the head again. In Ireland, the Ritz Carlton expects to attract 50% US customers, 25% UK and 25% Irish (to fill in on the Sundays and Mondays when no one else, including the staff, want to be there).

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Buy can he succeed only with American and British tourists seeking a "dining experience" -- whatever that means?

Sure. While Paris is the most-visited city in the world, it's also one of the most intimidating for holidaymakers to eat. All the menus are in foreign and all the waiters hate you. If you don't do the research, or are using last year's guidebook, each meal carries with it a better-than-average chance of feeling cheated, hungry, and lighter by several hundred euros.

You also have to remember that choosing an special occasion venue in most cities is easy. If you want the Officially Certified Best Restaurant in London, you go to RHR. When in New York, it's Per Se or Jean Georges. But Paris has ten three-star restaurants, and I doubt many people outside France could pick their names out of a phonebook.

That's where the appeal of a brand name like Ramsay comes in. It provides terrified foreigners a sense of security as well as of luxury. Think of it as the Marais branch of McDonalds, except with more marriage proposals.

naebody, I love your hammer.

I've waited decades for someone to say that. Where were you when I was 14?

Edited by naebody (log)
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Latest news is that Joel Robuchon has overtaken both Ducasse and Ramsay to become the chef with the world's most stars, following the publication of the first Michelin guide to Tokyo.

Robuchon won three stars for his flagship in the Japanese capital, two stars for L'Atelier and a single star for La Table. Ducasse's Benoit and Beige venues were awarded one star apiece, and Ramsay was snubbed for his restaurant at the Conrad Tokyo.

The six extra stars catapult Robuchon to the top of the table of chefs. He has 17, compared with 15 for Ducasse, 11 for Ramsay and seven for Thomas Keller. (Ramsay holds another star for the Angela Hartnett restaurant in London, which has closed down.)

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Latest news is that Joel Robuchon has overtaken both Ducasse and Ramsay to become the chef with the world's most stars, following the publication of the first Michelin guide to Tokyo.

Robuchon won three stars for his flagship in the Japanese capital, two stars for L'Atelier and a single star for La Table. Ducasse's Benoit and Beige venues were awarded one star apiece, and Ramsay was snubbed for his restaurant at the Conrad Tokyo.

The six extra stars catapult Robuchon to the top of the table of chefs. He has 17, compared with 15 for Ducasse, 11 for Ramsay and seven for Thomas Keller. (Ramsay holds another star for the Angela Hartnett restaurant in London, which has closed down.)

Here's a link to the column from which the above post has been "adapted" click here.

You may both be singing from the same press release - or in fact be the same person - but just in case, credit where its due don't you think?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I watched 'Kitchen F'ing Nightmares' last night for the first time in ages.

OK, I admit, I was arsholed, knackered and bored. But through it all, a strange, almost mystical revelation took place.

As I stared at that famous, crumpled brown face, so often compared to a scowling scrotum full of walnuts, it seemed that it was changing.

True, the deep tramlines at the corners of his manly lipline were as pronounced as ever but, was the drink confusing me or did it seem that the corrugations of his noble brow were somewhat lessened?

Where were the crows feet? Whence this strange plumping of the telltale crepey skin around the eyesockets?

Where once I'd beheld something that might not have looked out of place in the left cup of an extremely tanned granny's bra, there was the face of a young, vital man, brimming with youthful hydrolipisomes (or whatever the fuck it is that Jennifer Aniston puts in that stuff).

Sadly eG rules prevent me putting up before and after Gordo shots but I'd have to ask if the man looking a bit like 'Sting' in this picture is the same as, for example, this one..

Perhaps the damage to his testicles (posts passim) has engendered an enormous surge of hormonal activity? Perchance he's on the monkey glands or could it possibly be, whisper it low, that Gordo's had work done?

This is only a theory. I can't be sure. I was, after all, lying on a sofa as fucked up as a stabbed rat when I formulated this paranoid nonsense so I beg you, fellow Gordo-watchers, put my mind at ease. Watch next time he's on and tell me it ain't so.

Edited by Tim Hayward (log)

Tim Hayward

"Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from

similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like

'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?"

Nora Ephron

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Funnily enough, Tim, during the 16 seconds of the programme that I watched last night, I also thought his face had a new and improved, recently-ironed look. We can only assume that at this stage he can afford a painting in the attic to take all the flak.

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Funnily enough, Tim, during the 16 seconds of the programme that I watched last night, I also thought his face had a new and improved, recently-ironed look. We can only assume that at this stage he can afford a painting in the attic to take all the flak.

Jesus, what a possibility.

Dorian Grey was a guilded youth and his picture was unimaginably repellent. What hope is there for a man who appears to the public with a face that has not so much been 'hit by a bus' as held hard into side of one while it passed at speed.

Christ what must the picture look like?

On balance I reckon there's no magic and no surgery, just a mix of silicone bath sealant and Touche Eclat applied with a small spatula dipped in hot water.

Tim Hayward

"Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from

similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like

'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?"

Nora Ephron

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I really want to add something relevant and insightful to this ramsay debate that has been going on for a while but all i really want to add is that i just think the bloke is a twat, a hamy twat, a corny hamy twat. I have no constructive criticism, though i don't think the bloke is particularly innovative or imaginative, i just think he's a twat, and all the i'm not a celebrity chef b*llocks that he comes out with is tiresome.

Where's the smiley for that sums up pointing at a picture and saying "you sir are an arsepipe"?

No wonder my English Literature critical assesment exam went so poorly.

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I really want to add something relevant and insightful to this ramsay debate that has been going on for a while but all i really want to add is that i just think the bloke is a twat, a hamy twat, a corny hamy twat. I have no constructive criticism, though i don't think the bloke is particularly innovative or imaginative, i just think he's a twat, and all the i'm not a celebrity chef b*llocks that he comes out with is tiresome.

Where's the smiley for that sums up pointing at a picture and saying "you sir are an arsepipe"?

No wonder my English Literature critical assesment exam went so poorly.

:shock::shock::laugh::laugh::laugh:

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Where's the smiley for that sums up pointing at a picture and saying "you sir are an arsepipe"?

:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

I found it while I was looking for the one that said "I've just laughed myself into a rectal prolapse".

Tim Hayward

"Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from

similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like

'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?"

Nora Ephron

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  • 1 month later...

It seems that Ramsay is targeting a new niche in the market, the neighbourhood bistro. Jan Moir is not too impressed with Foxtrot Oscar

In short, perhaps this is just the latest concept from Ramsay, who may want to roll out a collection of local bistros in the same way he will roll out his line of public houses. His Narrow pub in Limehouse deservedly won a Bib Gourmand in the Michelin listings announced this week, but I fear Foxtrot Oscar has some way to go before anyone will pin a medal on its oddly formal little chest. The room is too small, the bill is too big and although the food may be better than it once was, this is a restaurant that has lost its soul in the refurbishment.

In catering terms it is a perfect example of how far we have come, how much we have lost and what is really important about dining out.

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well ive heard that tom aikens is looking 2 open up toms kitchens all over london , this could be one of the reasons behind ramseys new bistro type place, down scale restaurant right near the flag ship, ring any bells!!! have heard aikens is only going 2 open in london, 1 more should open this year!!

Edited by ben mcmayon (log)
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I think this is a one-off. Chance to buy a site that  has sentimental value.

That's the spin, certainly. But doesn't it all look a little too PR-caressed for an elephantine corporate beast like GRH?

It's instructive to take a quick look at what's in the Ramsay portfolio at the moment:

1- The "Ramsay At" brand (Ramsay at Claridges, at the London, at the Bastille, at Wynn Las Vegas before long I'd imagine). This is the A-grade international brand for holidaymakers and locals needing a special occasion. A cross between Nobu and Hard Rock Cafe.

2- Maze. The B-grade brand, with a slight edginess rather than a slight luxury. This does exactly the same job as as "Ramsay At" but for an audience that's 10 years younger. If Ramsay were Starwood Hotels, this'd be the W chain.

3- Boxwood. The C-grade brand for business lunches, dinners with parents, dates with people you don't fancy, etc. This is the one that's being rolled out under various names to airports and mid-ranking hotels in C-grade places like Prague. The pitch is: "it's not the best thing in the world, but it's the best thing you'll get here".

4- The gastropubs. This is the E-grade brand for Saturday lunch and evenings when suburbanites who can't be bothered cooking or travelling very far. Appearing in a local boozer near you soon.

It doesn't take a genius to work out that the group lacks a D-grade brand - a place on the high street to soak up after-work birthdays, weekday lunches with the man from head office, etc. Foxtrot Oscar looks to be his first stab towards the market currently ruled over by Carluccios, Balans etc. (Of course, by the time the brand reaches Slough High Street, it's unlikely that the chef making your Ceasar salad will have done two years at Guy Savoy.)

By the way, I think I was wrong further up the thread. I'd now guess that the business will be floated in its an entirity - posh restaurants as well as pleb ones. Foxtrot, assuming it works, is there to complete the Powerpoint slide titled "Group brands - A to E".

"Sentimental value"? You're kidding, right?

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"Sentimental value"? You're kidding, right?

it's a well worn path for rich chefs to buy the place they first started in paul bocuse, mark veyrat, does tante claire count? that's now RHR the basis of the empire. ok so i'm streching the point :wink: but having just read his latest book he does seem keen on ad hoc property purchases that form no part of the current empire, (he's in the camp that pensions are forever crap and property will fund everyone's retirement, yeah right.)

From what i've read of the reviews the site sounds compromised in terms of layout & location. the only advantage being an old haunt of ramsays and next to RHR.

If it is the first of a chain then i hope they pay careful to site selection for the further ones, the path to ruin as witnessed by the demise of the smaller quoted pub co's lies in a dash for growth.

I think it would be hard to float the entire ramsay empire, too many flaky unpredictable income streams but a mid-market, standardised offer may have legs. Depends how far he is prepared to compromise in return for lucre.

you don't win friends with salad

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