Gordon Ramsay and the great restaurant table-booking nightmare

The saboteur is is clearly a very naughty, grudge-fuelled indomitable mischief-maker

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The Independent Online

I am keen to find the name of the industrious master fraudster who sabotaged the opening night of Gordon Ramsay’s new restaurant. Ramsay’s claims – on the Jonathan Ross Show – that 100 no-shows on the launch night of the Heddon Street Kitchen have more than piqued my interest. My sideline as a restaurant critic requires me on a daily basis to sweet-talk my way into snooty restaurants in their opening weeks. It’s a headbangingly tedious affair.

First, a mega exclusive phone-line must be braved at the precise moment it “goes live”. Think ‘Kate Bush tickets doled out by French people who hate you for sounding like you’d not recognise a consomme spoon. Alternatively an e-mail must be dispatched dropping a name which impresses the team. Try “Nigella”. Clearly this throws up the dilemma that one will have to kidnap Nigella Lawson and drag her to dinner with you, but seriously, how much do you want to eat dinner there? Get lively. 

Booking with a nom de plume - or more bluntly booking as “a nobody” -  and securing oneself a prime table sounds as likely, to me, as hearing that the man who picks his nose over the chestnut stall at Marble Arch has won a Michelin Star. But apparently someone, or a group of people, managed this feat a whopping 100 times.

And what about all the dreaded, tedious on-the-day “confirmation” calls’? My voicemail is littered with passive-aggressive demands from restaurants telling me to call and re-confirm my initial confirmation. Did Ramsay’s nemesis simply ignore these calls - which presumably were dialled to 100 different phone numbers, or surely alarm bells would have gone off somewhere – but still secured ALL of the tables?

Whoever this person is is clearly a very naughty, grudge-fuelled indomitable mischief-maker… but if they’re looking for freelance employment as a personal assistant I pay competitive rates, plus travel (must make good tea and tolerate dogs).

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