Ramsay can dine out, after his restaurants make a £4m profit

For Gordon Ramsay, 2004 was not just about swearing at C-list celebrities and ranting at inadequate provincial chefs on the television. His Michelin-starred restaurants also did rather well.

For Gordon Ramsay, 2004 was not just about swearing at C-list celebrities and ranting at inadequate provincial chefs on the television. His Michelin-starred restaurants also did rather well.

Ramsay's portfolio of restaurants, which includes his eponymous establishment in Chelsea and his dining rooms at Claridge's hotel, returned a pre-tax profit of £3.8m last year, compared with a loss of £1m in 2003. Also included in his group are the prestigious restaurants run by his protégés, Marcus Wareing at the Savoy Grill and Petrus, and Angela Hartnett at the Connaught.

According to returns filed with Companies House, the group had a healthy turnover of about £30m last year, almost £10m more than the previous year.

The biggest single contribution is believed to come from the Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's restaurant, which returned a pre-tax profit of £1.4m, more than double that of the previous year. Ramsay paid himself a salary of just under £300,000, according to the figures.

A large chunk of the profits is also believed to come from his lucrative sideline in private dining - all the restaurants have one or more special rooms for parties and receptions. The group has a total of seven Michelin stars - three at the small flagship Chelsea restaurant and one each at Claridge's, the Connaught, the Savoy Grill and Petrus - more than any other restaurant group. A meal for two with wine at the Chelsea restaurant will cost about £180, possibly slightly less at the other establishments.

The profits will be the envy of the restaurant business, where even top-rated chefs struggle to make ends meet.

On top of his success in the kitchens, Ramsay is now a sought-after television personality, after appearing in Hell's Kitchen , where celebrities learnt to cook under his withering gaze, and on Channel 4, where he toured less successful establishments, abusing inadequate chefs. He has ruled out another series of Hell's Kitchen , but is expected to return to Channel 4.

Richard Harden, of Harden's Guide to London Restaurants , said: "There is no doubt that Ramsay is the most capable chef of the moment and his recognition of his abilities by Michelin demonstrates that. ''

* Ramsay did not feature in the 2005 Tatler Restaurant Awards, which were announced yesterday. The Restaurant of the Year was Zuma, the Knightsbridge Japanese venue. The best kitchen was at The Square and the Best Room at Cipriani.

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