Joined: Wed Feb 28 2007, 12:14am
Location: Under Your Mom's Meat Flaps!
I put it here and not in Hell's Kitchen ... ... for now
RAMSAY'S GOOSE GETTING COOKED CELEB CHEF'S EMPIRE IN FREE FALL
He's hellfire in the kitchen, but salty celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay may not be able to stand the heat himself as he faces a crumbling restaurant empire, the tax man and saucy allegations of infidelity.
The pugnacious TV star of "Kitchen Nightmares," "Hell's Kitchen" and "The F Word" is in a pinch.
His flagship London restaurant, Foxtrot Oscar, has shuttered for two days a week. Reports have also surfaced that two other London restaurants, Ramsay's Sloane Street and The Devonshire Pub, are for sale - a claim he denies - and documents show he allegedly owes back taxes.
And he was replaced at London's prestigious Connaught Hotel restaurant by French chef Helene Darroze.
His kitchen nightmares extend to the bedroom, too, with recent embarrassing headline-grabbing accounts that the married Scotsman had a seven-year affair.
To make matters worse, Ramsay, 42, just fired his p.r. guru, Garry Farrow, the man heralded with helping him become the top celebrity chef in the world, not to mention the richest, with a personal fortune of $83 million.
Farrow also managed to suppress the roar of the British media, which skewered Ramsay after his alleged mistress, Sarah Symonds, unleashed bombshell allegations complete with titillating details about his penchant for the sex drug amyl nitrate.
Farrow's company went into overdrive as more women came forward claiming to have had flings with the foul-mouthed food icon.
With 25 restaurants around the world and a business that has expanded so fast - its $52 million take in 2006 has since topped $138 million per year - there is growing disquiet about the health of Ramsay's hastily constructed empire.
"This is an operation which started off with the talents of a great chef, but has become an empire where food is less important than the brand," said culinary writer James Steen.
And for a man who regularly uses his family to promote books and TV programs, the allegations about his personal life are potentially extremely costly.
Even though he's slated to open a restaurant at the Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia, next year, documents show that eight months ago, his company was extended $14 million by the Royal Bank of Scotland. He also allegedly owes two years' back taxes.
New York-based Blackstone Group, a private equity firm that helped bankroll the international expansion of Gordon Ramsay Holdings, is also wrapped up in the mess.
The culinary world is abuzz with rumors that Ramsay's restaurants are asking for extended time to pay suppliers - in some cases, as long as six to eight months, though the chef's reps strongly deny this.
As Ramsay gears up for the season premiere of "Hell's Kitchen" Thursday on Fox, the unpleasant task of restructuring has been left in the hands of Chris Hutcheson, his father-in-law and the chief executive of Gordon Ramsay Holdings.
Establishing the precise impact of the credit crunch on Ramsay's business empire is no easy task. Figures for 2007 should have been filed months ago, but the company often sends in late returns, which has prompted legal warnings that prosecution is imminent.
Well-placed figures concede that the company is "finding life pretty tough at the moment," as evidenced by the fact that there is a newspaper promotion offering dinner at Gordon Ramsay restaurants for just $21 a head. With The Daily Mail
I can't wait to see Gordon Ramsay get knocked down a few pegs. The man's a pig and an asshole who makes his living bringing others down and thinks he's the hottest shit in cooking. Reading that article just made me smile.
Anyone basing their judgement on Ramsay solely on the Hell's Kitchen show might want to remember that it's a FOX-produced reality tv show. It's where I first heard about him, but have since discovered the various Kitchen Nightmares shows and The F Word. I like him a lot, he actually seems like a pretty decent guy, just not one I'd want to work for. I don't particularly care how he does financially, but I'd miss the aforementioned shows if they went off the air.