Ramsay turns pub landlord with plan to open chain of hostelries

His rough language should be an asset at closing time. Even so, the world of haute cuisine may be surprised to learn that Britain's most acclaimed chef is planning to become a publican.

For now, Gordon Ramsay has decided against increasing his haul of seven Michelin stars by opening any new restaurants in Britain - instead he wants to open a chain of pubs.

His business managers are drawing up plans to acquire a substantial number of country inns to organise a "dramatic" entry to the licensed trade. Although the pubs would sell beer and spirits, their primary role would be to serve food and they would sit in the Ramsay empire alongside such names as Claridge's and The Savoy Grill.

Ramsay's move into pubs is a sign of the former footballer's ambition and also shows how modern television cooks are finding new ways of making money.

Delia Smith's popular website hosts advertising from BP and Marks & Spencer; Gary Rhodes promotes the world's largest sugar refiner Tate & Lyle while Jamie Oliver has turned inventor with the Flavour Shaker, a modern version of the pestle and mortar.

Today The Independent publishes The Chef Rich List showing how 10 of the country's leading chefs have amassed a total of £237m from a combination of restaurants, broadcasting, writing, branded cookware and corporate entertainment.

Ramsay, whose company has doubled annual profits to almost £8m, tops of the list with £67m. He is followed by Oliver whose television shows, recipe books and cookware reaped £58m.

Rick Stein's interests are valued at £36m, followed by Smith and Antony Worrall Thompson, on £25m and £21m respectively.

Ramsay is not only the richest; his empire is expanding at breakneck speed. The presenter of Channel 4's The F-Word is to open restaurants in New York and Florida in October and Los Angeles early next year, and is looking at setting up shop in Amsterdam, Prague and Ireland.

Revealing the licensing push, Chris Hutcheson, chief executive of Gordon Ramsay Holdings (and Ramsay's father-in-law), said: "What we are looking at now is a move into pubs that serve food. I don't mean gastro-pubs - I mean good food."

Ramsay believes there is no room for him to open a 10th restaurant in London and is wary of opening more anywhere else because of the cost of prime property in cities. He had to close his loss-making restaurant Amaryllis in 2004 because Glasgow's diners were reluctant to pay £70 for a meal on weekdays. "People will travel to pubs if the food is good," Mr Hutcheson said.

Joe Warwick, editor of the Restaurant trade magazine, commented: "Celebrity chefs have got incredible power over consumers and that's why all these commercial partners want to get involved with them," he said.

The food writer Joanna Blythman said: "Being a chef is a very hard job. When you get to 40, you don't want to be in the kitchen doing back-to-back shifts ... so you become a businessman."

The French chef Raymond Blanc said that leading British chefs had helped to raise the standard of restaurants here to French and Italian standards. But he doubted that the standard of cooking homes had improved as a result of their programmes and recipe books.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Bid Writer

    £25000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in Manchester, Lon...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor - OTE £20,000 Uncapped

    £15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Guru Careers: Membership Administrator

    £23K: Guru Careers: We're seeking an experienced Membership Administrator, to ...

    Day In a Page

    Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

    ‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

    Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
    Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

    Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

    But if a real smoking gun is found, that might change things, says Tom Peck
    Twenty two years later Jurassic Park series faces questions over accuracy of the fictional dinosaurs in it

    Tyrannosaurus wrecked?

    Twenty two years on, Jurassic Park faces questions over accuracy
    The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

    The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

    ... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
    Genes greatly influence when and how many babies a woman will have, study finds

    Mother’s genes play key role in decision to start a family

    Study's findings suggest that human fertility is still evolving
    12 best olive oils

    Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

    Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
    Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

    Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

    There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
    England can win the Ashes – and Elvis Presley will present the urn

    England can win the Ashes – and Elvis will present the urn

    In their last five Test, they have lost two and drawn two and defeated an India side last summer who thought that turning up was competing, says Stephen Brenkley
    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)