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Ramsay on the Ropes


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I wonder if the fat faux scottish chef of some repute and his companion who were sitting in front of me at ringside on Saturday at the Ricky Hatton/Eamonn McGee fight  have any relationionship to Gordon Ramsay and Marcus Wareing ( sp?)

I am sure that all those who went to RHR and GR's @ C's on Saturday were offered a huge discount by way of recompense for the person who trades with his name above the door "slumming it" with the boxing crowd instead of cooking for those who were paying upwards of £200 for the pleasure of having one of his Sous cook.

S

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Simon

I regularly see Ramsay and Wareing ringside at the major British fights and not just on Saturday nights.  I've commented to Sam on numerous occasions that they've been present at midweek events and I wonder who must be doing the cooking.  And isn't Petrus open Saturday nights  :confused:

BTW, did you see the Gomez/Lear fight.  Lear's from our village so there's always local interest when he fights and this was a massive step up on anything he's achieved before.  Unfortunately due to the Hatton and Farnell fights going the distance Sky only showed 2 mins of highlights  :angry:

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I did see the Lear fight in its full glory ( Ramsay of course, being a glory boy and no more a boxing fan that he is a decent restauranteur only showed for the main event )

Lear did well and worked hard behind the jab.  He deserved the win and did well to go over 6 rounds for the first time.

Gomez is very limited though, which in a pleasing circle, brings me back to Ramsay

S

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Wareing used to be quite involved in boxing:

-- Jay Rayner wrote in The Observer (July 15, 2001, People: ...and a bottle of Blue Nun, please: Jay Rayner meets  Marcus Wareing): "His background is not unlike Ramsay's. . . .Ramsay, famously, was a footballer. Wareing was a *boxer*, punching his way quite successfully around the amateur circuit in Liverpool."

-- Simon might find the below excerpt from The Scotsman particularly amusing (November 24, 2001, Call it Chemistry: Gordon Ramsay and Marcus Wareing): "[Ramsay] tells me he doesn't feel at all threatened by Marcus's success. 'I get off on it. For me to go down to number two and Marcus to go to number one, I'd be over the moon.' [hee, hee -- John, that was added by me] You get the impression he means it, too, perhaps because he sees Marcus as a mini Gordon. . . . After work, [the two] are often seen sloping off together for dinner. Apparently, they speak to each other 16 times a day on the phone too . . . . Perhaps Marcus is the brother [Gordon] wanted. His real one, Ronnie, is a heroin addict. When I told Marcus what Gordon had said about his early moustache, he laughed. 'He's [Gordon is] such an asshole. I spent from nine to 18 in the  *boxing ring* and we all had moustaches. . . . .' '*Boxing*  was the most fundamental part of my youth,' he admits. 'It's the same discipline that makes me stand on my feet 13 hours a day.' It's also something that bonded him to Gordon."  :wink:

As indicated before, I would not care whether Ramsay or Wareing is in the applicable kitchen, so long as the quality of the cuisine were appropriate. In my mind, Wareing needs to work on that a bit more than Ramsay (with respect to RHR).  :wink:

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Gary, point taken,but I don't think people are going there for Mark Askew, however good a chap he is ( NB coming from Skipton is NOT a good thing ) they are going there for the experience of the man whose name is above the door.  While I am sure none of us think they are slaving behind the stove, on a Saturday night it would be somehting to know that they might be in place to cast an occasional eye ( question, what is an occasional eye all the rest of the time?) over what comes out of their eponymous kitchen rather than ligging Ooop North

S

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RHR is closed on Saturdays :biggrin:

I always find this sort of discussion interesting especially with regard to Gordon Ramsay, I have eaten at his establishments several times (RHR, Claridges and previously Aubergine) and he has always been there (incuding Claridges), the same goes for Marcus Wareing at Petrus.

Obviously I have just been lucky but should we expect them to work everyday of the week? I can see both sides of the argument on this one but ultimately, whether the chef is there or not, he will bear the brunt of the publicity generated by bad reviews so he should (?) have total trust in whoever is left manning the stoves

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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RHR is closed on Saturdays :biggrin:

Matthew -- Note the context of my prior post. First, observations regarding Wareing's past as a boxer. Then, a final paragraph reading thus: "As indicated before [referring to some thread in the UK forum regarding Ramsay's being away in which I made the same point of not caring and further distancing the post from the particular night of boxing viewing in question], I would [note the conditional form] not care whether Ramsay or Wareing is in the applicable kitchen, so long as the quality of the cuisine [note reference to quality, to be relevant later] were appropriate. In my mind, Wareing needs to work on that [i.e., the quality of the cuisine, since I don't care whether either is in the kitchen] a bit more than Ramsay (with respect to RHR) [Note this refers to Marcus needing to working a bit on the quality of his cuisine, based on the relative qualities of the two chefs' cuisine]."  

The "that" on which Wareing needs to work is the quality of his cuisine. Note I am using Matthew's comment to illustrate I choose to be careful in wording a particular post; nothing other than ilustration is intended.  :raz: The reference to RHR is to clarify that Wareing's cuisine is far from being like that at RHR. I also happen to believe Wareing's cuisine is inferior to that at GR- Claridge's, but that was not intended to be conveyed in the post.

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For all you lots infomation, I will not be at my Bistro on the 22nd July 2002,as i'm off to watch Mr Paul Weller perform a few ditties in Plymouth.No discounts will be offered,or surcharges because you won't have to suffer my wit and charm. :raz: We may well open on Monday nights in a while , without my leadership.If it works .it works .if it don't we will stop. :biggrin:

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Simon,

It is certainly a difficult issue for chefs such as ramsay to manage. As to whether it spoils the experience is another matter, on one evening visit i thought the service was shaky and reckoned he wasn't there. A waiter said he was but he certainly wasn't around when i went into the kitchen. The next day for lunch he was, and things were definitely slicker. However the food remained consistently good. Personally i just wish i was able to dine at aubergine (or harveys for that matter) when you knew exactly who was cooking and they were really going for it, trying to set new standards.

you don't win friends with salad

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On Aubergine, when I visited about six months ago, the cuisine was better than I had expected it would be post-Gordon. The foie gras was still good, and the service was good as well. Do members have recent experience with Aubergine?  

I'm glad Wareing is well-regarded for Petrus, although my last meal there (written up but not linked) was oversalted and left significant room for improvement. I wonder if he is taking business away from the place from which he was fired -- is it L'Oranger or some similar name?  I might research this a bit later, but apparently Ramsay's departure from Aubergine might have somehow been at least expedited by the then unfortunate situation for Wareing.  :wink: I'm very uncertain about this.

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In view in part of my interest in mentoring relationships among chefs, I find the Ramsay/Wareing bond quite interesting. Here is additional background on their history:

-- Sunday Times, July 26, 1998 (Michelin man sees stars, by Stephen McGinty): "Last week, after a furious argument with his financial backers,  Ramsay left  Aubergine . . . .The chain of events that led to the candles going out in  Aubergine and L'Oranger [of which Wareing was head chef] can be traced back to market forces. . . . Senior management at A-Z were eager to reap the rewards of flotation and expand into a chain, an idea  Ramsay disliked . . . Golden handcuffs were offered, but  Ramsay  and Marcus  Wareing . . . refused to sign lucrative four-year contracts. Last week Wareing, at work in the kitchen of  L'Oranger, in Piccadilly, *was dismissed,* escorted from the premises by security and replaced by another chef. . . . Ramsay,  who had already resigned as a director of A-Z on Friday, was appalled and resigned as a consultant to the firm on Tuesday, *in protest* . . . ."

-- The Times, September 2, 2000 (What makes Gordon  Ramsay  run?): "*When Wareing was sacked* as head chef of  L'Oranger  by AtoZ Management, which also owned L'Aubergine,  Ramsay's then legendary restaurant, an *outraged* Ramsay gave the company a week's notice. Practically his entire staff went with him. . . ."

-- The Herald (Glasgow), May 12, 2000 (Ramsay's  L1m legal battle settled out of court): "Gordon  Ramsay's  L1m legal battle with his former employers has been settled out of court. . . . The chefs took most of the staff of the two restaurants with them, forcing them to close for several weeks in 1998. A-Z demanded compensation for earnings lost during those weeks and alleged damage to electrical equipment at  L'Oranger. They also claimed pages were torn from the reservations book and those on it were urged to eat at Ramsay's  restaurant in Chelsea.  . . . Ramsay has claimed he *quit in protest over the sacking of Wareing* who had refused to sign a four-year contract."  :wink:

Wareing owes much of what he has to Ramsay. For example, Ramsay's father-in-law was active in the financing of Petrus and Ramsay's reputation was significant to that restaurant as well. Even simple things are telling. GR-Claridge's voice recordings (when customers calling to make reservations are put on hold) suggests (or at least used to suggest) that guests consider RHR and Petrus as alternatives. Based on my recollection, the two alternatives were given equal prominence, even though Ramsay's financial stake in Petrus is lower. Of course, RHR is not in need of customers  :wink:

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big feature on Ramsay and Angela Hartnett in the saturday telegraph, weekend section. (would give the link if i had the necessary technical expertise!) Does indeed look like it's going to be italian (as she is, in part). Looks like the connaught is in for a shock but Ramsay seems to be very confident. I guess it will keep this board humming for a few months post opening!

you don't win friends with salad

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Gary -- Did the article mention whether Ramsay has experience with Italian cuisine or how he intends to supervise the new restaurant?  His bio would suggest Ramsay has not worked meaningfully with Italian cuisine.  :wink:

I don't disagree with Ramsay's decision to choose a non-French cuisine for the Connaught. It certainly reduces the risk of cannibalization of RHR, Claridge's and Petrus.  :wink:

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Hi Cabrales

it sounds like the menu is all angela hartnett's recipes and ideas, he seems to have given her free reign on most issues from what i have read in this article and elsewhere. She's worked mainly with ramsay but also had a spell with locatelli at zafferano but not for long i think. i'll dig out the article tonight. There was also a story that it was going to be an all female brigade but i've not had that confirmed....

you don't win friends with salad

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Gary -- TimeOut provided a relatively early (in hindsight, correct) update on the Italian cuisine and AH. I might have posted on that somewhere in this forum.

Interestingly, when I was at locanda locatelli during 1Q 2002, Ramsay was chatting with Locatelli.

Interestingly, when I arrived, Ramsay was sitting there chatting in an animated manner with Locatelli.
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I think it's a real shame that the cuisine at The Connaught couldn't have a preservation order slapped on it. It was utterly unique in modern London and represented a throwback to the grand cuisine of the belle epoque which you just cannot get anywhere else.All right I know we have to move with the times and so on but Ramsey or whoever could have modernised a notch or two while still sticking  to the basic culinary values that the Connaught has always espoused.He could have re-marketed the cuisine as a post-modern concept a little like Embassy has tried to do but on a grander and more luxurious scale.

As it is-another high end Italian in London. I mean I like Italian food (doesn't everybody?) but it hardly fits with the ambience and history of The Connaught does it?

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originally ramsay did say he would keep some of the classic french dishes, it would seem that has now passed conclusively! I've never eaten at the connaught but from what i hear, i'd like it and agree with much of your sentiment re culinary history but do we need another ramsay 'lite'?

It seems this will be a much bigger challenge for ramsay than claridges and i wouldn't bet against him, if they do pull it off then hopefully the cooking will be pretty spectacular, however i'd be content with going to locatelli before i worry about the connaught!

you don't win friends with salad

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