Ramsay expands culinary empire to Asia and Europe
Gordon Ramsay's plans for culinary world domination are proceeding apace with expansion in Asia and the opening of his first restaurants in mainland Europe.
Britain's most ambitious chef will launch eateries in Paris, Prague and Amsterdam next year and is considering a move into Ireland.
At the same time he is expanding far beyond Europe with a planned restaurant in Singapore and a new business in Australia. The expansion will create a truly global empire for the former footballer, whose television career is thriving in Britain and the US.
At present the 40-year-old regularly flies to the US, where he is awaiting the first review of his restaurant in Manhattan by the New York Times critic Frank Bruni.
His American business will be strengthened by restaurant openings in Florida and Los Angeles next year. Ramsay believes he has limited room to open any new restaurants in London where his nine existing ones have a total of seven Michelin stars. Instead, he has taken over two pubs in London, the Warrington Hotel in Maida Vale and the Narrow Street Pub in Limehouse.
Revealing the continental expansion, Chris Hutcheson, chief executive of Gordon Ramsay Holdings, said the new restaurants would be in hotels owned by the Blackstone private equity group with whom his son-in-law has a close relationship.
"Prague is certainly on as is Versailles and Amsterdam. They are all for next year, late summer-early autumn," he said.
The restaurants will be in the Pulitzer Hotel, in Amsterdam, the Renaissance Hotel in Prague and Trianon Palace and Spa outside Versailles, near Paris.
Opening in France could be sweet revenge for Ramsay's rough treatment by chefs in Paris during his training in his twenties.
He was left for months doing menial tasks such as cleaning fruit and vegetables despite having worked in one of the best restaurants in London, Harveys, under Marco Pierre White.
Ramsay said this week that in his new French restaurant "the French will prepare the food, but the Brits are going to cook it".
"I'm fed up with the French telling us we don't know how to cook," he said.
A spokeswoman for the Blackstone Group said the close relationship between Ramsay and its managing director John Ceriale was likely to lead to Ramsay taking over further restaurants.
"We brought him into Claridge's years ago and it's been a fruitful relationship," she said. "Gordon is an astute businessman and one of the first chefs to put in his own lump sum." Mr Hutcheson, who helped mastermind the global expansion, said the European restaurants were of great importance. "It means 2007 will hit £100m in turnover which is double what we are doing. It's huge," he said.
If a consortium wins the contract, Ramsay will be installed as one of the celebrity chefs at the Atlantis Sentosa resort in Singapore in 2010. A major deal is expected in Australia in the next few weeks.
Gordon Ramsay is now worth around £67m, according to The Independent's chef rich list.
Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Chelsea (Opened 1998)
Petrus, Knightsbridge (1999)
Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's (2001)
Angela Hartnett at the Connaught Hotel (2002)
The Boxwood Cafe at the Berkeley Hotel (2003)
The Savoy Grill, The Strand (2003)
Banquette at the Savoy Grill, The Strand (2003)
Maze, Grosvenor Square (2005)
La Noisette, Knightsbridge (2006)
Warrington Hotel, Maida Vale (2006)
Narrow Street Pub, Limehouse (2006)
Heathrow Terminal 5 (Planned for 2008)
Verre at Hilton Dubai Creek (2001 - Not owned by Ramsay)
Gordon Ramsay at Conrad Tokyo (2005 - Not owned by Ramsay)
The London Hotel, New York (2006)
Boca Raton, Florida (Planned for 2007)
Los Angeles (Planned for 2007)
Hotel Renaissance Prague (Planned for 2007)
Trianon Palace, Versailles, Paris (Planned for 2007)
Pulitzer Hotel Amsterdam (Planned for 2007)
Atlantis Sentosa Resort (Planned for 2010)
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