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.

Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleFormer Newsnight presenter is being touted for a brand new role
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012
voicesAnd nobody from Ukip said babies born to migrants should be classed as migrants, says Nigel Farage
Arts and Entertainment
Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
filmJames Cameron is excited
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
The Magna Carta
archaeologyContemporary account of historic signing discovered
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
Arts and Entertainment
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
Benjamin Stambouli celebrates his goal for Tottenham last night
Life and Style
Dishing it out: the head chef in ‘Ratatouille’
food + drinkShould UK restaurants follow suit?
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: Service Receptionist / Warranty Administrator

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion the Largest Independent Motor...

    h2 Recruit Ltd: Sales Manager - Holiday Homes - £100,000 OTE

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + £100,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: Birmingham, Derby, L...

    Investigo: Finance Manager - Global Leisure Business

    £55000 - £65000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in their fiel...

    Investigo: Senior Finance Analyst - Global Leisure Business

    £45000 - £52000 per annum + bonus+bens : Investigo: My client, a global leader...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

    Christmas Appeal

    Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
    Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

    Is it always right to try to prolong life?

    Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

    What does it take for women to get to the top?

    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
    Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

    Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

    Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
    French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

    French chefs campaign against bullying

    A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

    Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
    Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

    Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

    Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
    Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

    Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

    Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
    Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

    Paul Scholes column

    I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
    Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game