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Gordon Ramsay: victim of his own success?

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pj26 Apr 21, 2009 01:55 AM

Reading in the news this morning the results of the San Pellegrino Restaurant Awards 2009, Gordon Ramsay didnt even manage to keep in the top 100 restaurants in the world. It's not been a good week for him - first the 'boil in the bag' story (which I frankly think is a non-story and people need to get off their high horse...) and then this. The backlash has certainly begun - but how will it end?

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    FoodyGirly RE: pj26 Apr 22, 2009 12:52 PM

    Yes, I have to say I'm a bit disappointed in all this bad news for him. I have a real soft spot for him. I'm very familiar with the Brit world so I "get him" moreso than I think people who haven't been exposed to it as much. He's a pretty typical British bloke.

    It's hard to know what his next move will be. He's too big and has too many restaurants to always be there, and it's not like he's Mario Batali who can in essence hit all his spots in one night. Ramsay's are all over the world, so it makes it harder. I guess he sort of picked his lane in that doing the TV show, product line, etc., he knew he was going to be away from the stoves as much as possible. I've eaten at most of his restaurants and although I've had some fantastic meals, it wasn't really mind-blowing or anything; just fresh, well-executed continental style food.

    I do hope he gets it together because I absolutely LOVE watching him and I hope he doesn't go away anytime soon. My options of Eastenders and Corrie St. are not enough.

    15 Replies
    1. re: FoodyGirly
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      KTinNYC RE: FoodyGirly Apr 22, 2009 01:50 PM

      Batali has restaurants in NYC, Portchester, LA and, Las Vegas. Not easy to "hit all his spots in one night."

      1. re: KTinNYC
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        FoodyGirly RE: KTinNYC Apr 22, 2009 07:02 PM

        OK, I see you're a stickler for facts. That's fine. Let's get those facts down straight: Batali is in partnerships with ALL his restaurants. And the MAJORITY of his restaurants are located where he can "hit all his spots in one night", thus making it easier to have some sort of control (or fear) that an owner/partner may stop by. In NYC, he has NINE restaurants, versus TWO in L.A., and THREE in Vegas.

        Gordon Ramsay is pretty much an INTERNATIONAL CELEBRITY CHEF, much much more spotlight and pressure on him than say a Batali (whom I also enjoy, although moreso for his food than anything else). Ramsay has restaurants in UK, U.S., Middle Easte, Far East, Africa, etc. He's a worldwide brand that needs some tender loving care right now to bring it all back home. I have full confidence he will.

        1. re: FoodyGirly
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          KTinNYC RE: FoodyGirly Apr 22, 2009 08:01 PM

          Yes, I am a stickler for facts, I was simply correcting your contention that Batali could visit all his restaurants in one night (btw, the 9th restaurant in NY is in Portchester which is not NYC).

          The best comparison to Ramsay I can think of is Vongerichten. I'm pretty sure JG has a comparable number of restaurants spread all over the globe.

          GR has had a bad few months, the selling of the LA restaurant, the pre-made food in a bag controversy, and the the circling of the vultures over the London NYC.

          1. re: KTinNYC
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            FoodyGirly RE: KTinNYC Apr 23, 2009 06:33 AM

            Actually, I don't believe that's a comparable comparison at all. How do you figure? JG doesn't have several hit TV shows, cookware, best-selling books, NOR the type of brand that Gordon Ramsay does. (And yes, correct on the NINTH Batali restaurant).

            Being a worldwide brand takes much more than just having restaurants all over the globe. It's about being a personality, and while JG is a real chef's chef, his business model does not compare with Ramsay's.

            1. re: FoodyGirly
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              KTinNYC RE: FoodyGirly Apr 23, 2009 08:23 AM

              JG does have best selling cookbooks and is a brand. I have no idea if he sells cookware or not but if he doesn't it's probably not because he hasn't had the opportunity.

              At least JG has yet been accused of serving precooked food from outside his restaurant. Maybe if Ramsay spent less time on TV he could have better QC in his restaurants.

              1. re: KTinNYC
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                Blueicus RE: KTinNYC Apr 23, 2009 08:28 AM

                I agree, when you start outsourcing much of a place's food to another location (it doesn't matter if it's from another kitchen you own or if it's from sysco...) you're basically slowly moving towards a chain-style setup. If he's happy with that arrangement then more power to him.

                1. re: KTinNYC
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                  FoodyGirly RE: KTinNYC Apr 23, 2009 08:29 AM

                  No, sorry I was using "best-selling" as in you're in the top 10 or 20. I don't remember any of his books being on that list, but please KTinNYC, please do show me otherwise if you have the evidence.

                  So, it's very obvious you're not a fan of Gordon Ramsay. That's OK. Some of us are, some of us aren't. I just know that I don't usually go onto threads to talk at length about someone I don't like, but yet I DO on threads when I enjoy the person. Guess I just don't see the merits in bashing people for the sake of bashing them because I personally don't like them.

                  And I hope that Ramsay does NOT do as you suggest and spend less time on TV. There's less and less to watch on there and he's one of my tops! And quality control is hard in ALL restaurants, trust me JG has trouble with that too. I've had great meals there, but not always as mind-blowing as you'd think.

                  1. re: FoodyGirly
                    nanette RE: FoodyGirly Apr 23, 2009 09:02 AM

                    I don't think anyone here has some profound hate of Gordon Ramsay, nor is anyone out to bash him. This post (and one I made) were about news stories related to him and his business practices.

                    No one as yet has written anything inflamatory, bashing, or hateful about the man himself, simply that we are disappointed and don't agree with some of his practices. Others were drawing fairly innocent comparisons or clarifying points. It seems those who responded were simply defending their posts and beliefs, just as you were.

                    I have no issue with Ramsay, but I do have issue with some of his practices.

                    1. re: FoodyGirly
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                      hobbess RE: FoodyGirly Dec 27, 2010 09:26 PM

                      I'm not KTinNYC, but if you go look up Amazon's best selling cookbooks, Jean Georges' cookbook is 18 spots higher than Ramsay's book... And, neither were of them were in the top 10 or 20.

                      As to the future of Ramsay's empire, its certainly in much better shape than it was just a year or two ago where it was on the verge of bankruptcy.

                      But, the problem with a far flung empire like this is that it depends so much on a strong team with excellent lieutenants who can carry out the leader's vision and who can man those different outposts.

                      When Ramsay was flying high, look at the stable of talented chefs he had working for him. But, now, how many of them are still with him?

                      Marcus Waering, his former best mate, left him in a public bitter spat to open his own eponymous place that bested Ramsay's restaurant in the Harden's guide.

                      Mark Sargeant of Claridge left. Jason Atherton of Maze is gone. Neil Ferguson, who was one of his trusted protegees, was sacked unceremoniously. . And, Angela Hartnett is leaving too.

                      Who's the next generation of chefs who will replace those talented chefs? The chefs who left were the ones who had learned from and worked alongside Ramsay when he was still in the kitchen a lot more.

                      With Ramsay absent, will the new chefs learn and develop as much as those who had personally worked with Ramsay? And, will up and coming chefs choose to work in Ramsay's empire if they aren't going to work and learn from Ramsay rather than in another kitchen where they can work alongside like Thomas Keller?

                      And, alongside all that culinary talent that's gone, maybe even more importantly, there's the departures of the people who were responsible for the business side of GRH. There's Gillian Thomson, the head of operations, who left for another group. And, then Ramsay fired his father-in-law, who built GRH, and was seen as the business brains behind GRH.

                    2. re: KTinNYC
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                      FoodyGirly RE: KTinNYC Apr 23, 2009 09:43 AM

                      Sorry, I've never seen any JG books become best sellers.

                      You cannot compare JG and Gordon Ramsay because Ramsay is an internationally known TV celebrity chef and JG is not.

                      I hope Ramsay does not go away from TV, his shows are brilliant.

                      1. re: FoodyGirly
                        Withnail42 RE: FoodyGirly Apr 23, 2009 01:05 PM

                        I get the feeling that if you aren't on TV that it doesn't count for you. What you see of Ramsay is a persona. A character that he has built up for viewers like yourself. Vongerichten is certainly a personality just not one who appears in front of you, acting like a clown, on your TV all the time. JG is not a shameless self promoter.

                        You are awfully hard on JG for the simple reason that he doesn’t have a TV show. He has been one of the most respected chef in of the toughest restaurant cities. He has taken that and gone nationally and internationally. I am certain that if JG wanted a TV show he would get one. If anything he has lead the way for others like Ramsay to follow.

                        As for the books. I don’t know the numbers for either of them. Perhaps you can provide them as you seem very certain of you ‘point’. I don’t think he is as prolific as Ramsay when he come to books, or even restaurants for that matter.

                        They have simply opted for different routes to get where they are.

                        1. re: Withnail42
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                          FoodyGirly RE: Withnail42 Apr 23, 2009 01:22 PM

                          Perhaps it is you that is not understanding this.

                          Because you are comparing the two, I will also use them as examples. JG and Ramsay couldn't be further apart. They are different brands. It seems as though you are too anti-TV. I eat in more restaurants with non-TV chefs than I do at restaurants that DO have have their chefs on TV, so what conclusion can you make of that?

                          Read back before you post. I was not at all hard on JG, I enjoy what he does; someone ELSE compared him to Ramsay and I said that it wasn't a fair comparison because Ramsay is a WORLDWIDE BRAND. JG is NOT.

                          I already know that Ramsay has sold more books than JG, but why does that matter? Or are you only interested in chefs that have best selling cookbooks?

                          And I am VERY CERTAIN that if JG even WANTED a TV show he would NEVER get one: one, for simple reason no one would be able to understand him; have you ever had him tableside for a chat? I have. Wasn't easy to follow him, He talks very fast with a VERY heavy French accent. second, he just doesn't have the lively personality needed for TV.

                          1. re: FoodyGirly
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                            KTinNYC RE: FoodyGirly Apr 23, 2009 01:33 PM

                            How is JG not a world wide brand?

            2. re: FoodyGirly
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              jk1002 RE: FoodyGirly Apr 22, 2009 06:07 PM

              I had a very nice and very well executed meal in the London NYC Hotel at his Maze restaurant as well.

              Expensive, but that was just because we had booze. Food price was in line with quality and service.

              http://www.the-feedbag.com/gastrodamu...

              Now that might be closing. Bummer.

              1. re: jk1002
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                Blueicus RE: jk1002 Apr 22, 2009 06:19 PM

                Ramsay certainly owes much of his success at maintaining a restaurant empire due to a number of his trusted and competent lieutenants. Unfortunately, it is still very possible to stretch one's self too thinly.

            3. Withnail42 RE: pj26 Apr 23, 2009 06:11 AM

              The boil in the bag story is very much a story. Ramsay has made a point of preaching from on high about fresh ingredients. He has made it the point of several of his shows to talk about the importance of cooking. He has bashed chefs who bring things in. Suddenly he is having prepared meals delivered doing what he has publicly bashed others for doing. Can you imagine what he would have said to a chef on Kitchen Nightmares who reason for using prepared food was that the kitchen was too small? He dug this particular hole himself.

              It certainly does seem symptomatic of someone/an organization that has spread itself too thin. Corporate convenience has over taken core values. It’s a shame.

              I hope he is able to get things worked out. I have dined at RHR and The London. Both were exceptional meals.

              23 Replies
              1. re: Withnail42
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                FoodyGirly RE: Withnail42 Apr 23, 2009 06:50 AM

                Yes, it's a real story because it was printed, but is what we're debating is if there's anything wrong with the premise. I say no.

                Some FACTS for those who didn't read it or didn't understand it:

                -this is for his PUBS, not his restaurants

                -the "central kitchen" is HIS KITCHEN - his chefs are pre-packaging things like coq au vin, pork belly, braised pig cheeks. No one ever disputed that these weren't PREMIUM products.

                -NO fresh products or produce are pre-packaged

                -If you don't understand "sous-vide", it's in the simplest form, "boil in bag" and ALL the top restaurants ALL OVER THE WORLD USE THIS METHOD, in some form.

                To Withnail: Because it seems like you don't understand the concept of 'sous-vide', let me explain further: you still must SEASON and COOK what's in the bag! It's still COOKING. So your argument that he preached fresh cooking everywhere doesn't hold since IT IS REAL COOKING!

                1. re: FoodyGirly
                  nanette RE: FoodyGirly Apr 23, 2009 08:50 AM

                  Well I say it has premise. However, I'm not sure I agree that what he is doing is wrong, but I do think it is misleading given that he frequently berates people on his shows for employing similar techniques.

                  Jay Rayner who wrote in a recent editorial in the Guardian that what Ramsay is doing is legitimising the operation for those further down the chain. I would agree with that. If Gordon is doing that, why not another operation? I think it further hurts the reputation of gastro pubs as being yet another factory of mass produced food. Lord knows the UK has more than its share of the stuff.

                  Personally I find it sad that a man who has built his image and reputation around "poper cooking" has resorted to outsourcing pork belly, fish cakes, tarts, and terrines. I don't go to a pub that charges £15 for a main course and think it is going to be something mass produced off site, Ramsay operated or not. It contradicts everything stands for, especially given his recent pronouncement in Olive of "My food hell is any ready meal. It’s so easy to prepare a quick dish using fresh produce, such as a simple stir-fry, but people still resort to ready meals that all taste exactly the same."

                  1. re: nanette
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                    FoodyGirly RE: nanette Apr 23, 2009 09:11 AM

                    Nanette, good post.

                    I understand your point of view and sure, we would all prefer a la minute cooking at all times when we go to restaurants and pubs. Something that no one has mentioned in any detail is the fact that this was a purely business decision. It has nothing to do with freshness, food technique, or premium ingredients. But the fact of the matter is that the ingredients he is using are in fact premium ingredients simply because of what they are. Also, you say "outsourcing' which I always think of as someone else's kitchen. It's not. It's his own kitchen. It just happens to be his catering kitchen.

                    This is a very smart business decision he made. Why not streamline operations and save money where possible? He is a good businessman, but he also knows good food. I've eaten at his pubs and I was not disappointed. I think the above quote about him disliking 'ready meals' is in reference to store-bought, almost TV dinner-like products. Those DO use inferior, cheap products and it tastes like that.

                    I think if he the real story here would be if he employed this technique and used inferior products to make them. Otherwise, I don't see the outrage.

                    1. re: FoodyGirly
                      nanette RE: FoodyGirly Apr 23, 2009 09:30 AM

                      While I could argue the merits fo ready meals in the UK, this isn't the place. I will say, that certainly not all of them are inferior or cheap, or even TV dinner-like.

                      Now, business decision or not, it doesn't make it right. I will be making my own business decision and will spend my money elsewhere where someone will invest more time and care into the meal. I have no desire to pay for or eat engineered meals. They can season all they like in the pub, that doesn't change the fact that it was commercially produced. For a man who champions honest cooking this is disappointing.

                      No one is arguing about the quality of the food (M&S does really good ready meals), but rather the principle behind it.

                      1. re: nanette
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                        FoodyGirly RE: nanette Apr 23, 2009 09:39 AM

                        Actually Waitrose and M & S can do a decent ready made meal. The others do not.

                        Sorry but this this food being manufactured is NOT being 'commercially' produced. Actually, I don't even know what that means? It's being put together in HIS OWN kitchen. I don't get the problem or issue with that?

                        Oh sure why not, take a hit of a couple thousand pounds (dollars) a week just so you can say you make everything on premise? You'd be surprised how many do this.

                        What is the principle behind this? It's high quality, fresh food. I don't see the problem. Is this purely because of the location it's being made?

                        And actually EVERY chef opens up restaurants as a BUSINESS, and yes, horror of horrors, they do actually make BUSINESS DECISIONS from time to time.

                      2. re: FoodyGirly
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                        KTinNYC RE: FoodyGirly Apr 23, 2009 09:46 AM

                        "This is a very smart business decision he made. Why not streamline operations and save money where possible?"

                        If this is such a great business decision then why have you staff lie to patrons about where the food comes from? Let's take it one step further, why doesn't GR just sell the pre-made food directly to the consumer in markets? Stop paying rent and staff and sell to a much larger customer base.

                        1. re: KTinNYC
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                          FoodyGirly RE: KTinNYC Apr 23, 2009 09:48 AM

                          Oh, they lied to customers now? That statement if not able to be backed up is a slight bit slanderous.

                          I think it would be a FANTASTIC idea for him to sell to grocery stores. I hope that his next move. It would be a smart one.

                          1. re: FoodyGirly
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                            KTinNYC RE: FoodyGirly Apr 23, 2009 09:52 AM

                            http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/...

                            'After ordering fishcakes we asked the assistant manager: "So the chefs are here, everything is cooked here and it’s all freshly made?" He replied: "Yes it’s freshly made, definitely. Gordon wants this — he’s very fixed about this."He added Ramsay "very often" visited the bistro.

                            At the Narrow, Sun reporter Gary O’Shea was assured by a waiter the salmon and haddock fishcakes were freshly-made.

                            Bizarrely, he later said the "slow roasted pork belly" took 20 minutes to cook.'

                            1. re: KTinNYC
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                              FoodyGirly RE: KTinNYC Apr 23, 2009 09:57 AM

                              Hahahahahhahhahahhhaha. And LOL, LOL, LOL.

                              Oh yes, The Sun! The authority in legitimate news. This is akin to if linking to TMZ or The National Enquirer. This is not where I go to for 'honest' reporting. They have been sued numerous times for being factually WRONG.

                              And, it IS freshly made.

                              1. re: KTinNYC
                                PhilD RE: KTinNYC Apr 23, 2009 12:40 PM

                                You assume the fish cakes are not freshly made. Why? The prep kitchen is only a few miles down the road and is situated within easy reach of all of pubs/restaurants. I expect they are made each day and sent out for finishing at the pubs - that is why the staff say they are freshly cooked. If you look at the dishes the GR Logistics chef mentions they are all dishes that are prepped before service at all restaurants. When ordered they are taken out of the fridge and assembled. No kitchen cooks these from scratch when ordered.

                                The Sun seems to have a vendetta against Ramsay at the moment, as FoodyGirl says it is the UK equivalent of the National Enquirer. To me the real surprise is the number of people who understand food who think this is a story.

                                Remember when GR was served a boil in the bag lambshank and he refused to eat it? Do you also remember that it had a un-refrigerated shelf life of 18 months. I would guess it's was developed in a lab by a food chemist, rather than by a chef in a prep kitchen owned by the chef. I bet the GR Logistics lamb shanks have a shelf life equivalent to a freshly prepped one. A totally different proposition.

                                .

                                1. re: PhilD
                                  k
                                  KTinNYC RE: PhilD Apr 23, 2009 12:48 PM

                                  What about the part where the Assistant Manager is asked "So the chefs are here, everything is cooked here and it’s all freshly made?" Shouldn't the answer be, "No they are made off site and brought in house but they are made fresh daily". Wouldn't that be a more honest answer?

                                  1. re: KTinNYC
                                    PhilD RE: KTinNYC Apr 24, 2009 12:10 AM

                                    But there are chefs in every one of these pubs and restaurants. Some components are pre-prepped in the prep kitchen and then are cooked to order, and finished by the on-site chef and team before being served. To me that is food being freshly made. It is very different from long life, factory produced products that many pubs/restaurants in the UK use.

                                    I think the quote is quite interesting for what it doesn't say i.e. he doesn't mention where the chefs are in his answer, he simply confirms it is fresh:

                                    "After ordering fishcakes we asked the assistant manager: “So the chefs are here, everything is cooked here and it’s all freshly made?” He replied: “Yes it’s freshly made, definitely. Gordon wants this — he’s very fixed about this.” He added Ramsay “very often” visited the bistro."

                                    In one media interview this week (about dropping out of the top 50 restaurant list) Ramsay said the only critics he listened too were the diners in his restaurants. From my experience of eating in a few they are still flocking through the doors....even to these despicable pubs that don't cook everything to order...!

                                    1. re: PhilD
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                                      KTinNYC RE: PhilD Apr 24, 2009 08:46 AM

                                      "Everything is cooked here", is the important part of the question. It is clear that everything is not cooked on premises and in theory I have no issue with that. If it taste good it taste good, just don't lie to the customer. I'd wager that many of the people who go to these pubs don't even really care about the food they just want the Gordon Ramsay experience. The part I find distasteful is the lie and the hypocrisy.

                                      I have nothing against GR. I hope the London NYC does well and keeps many people employed. But I think GR has overextended himself. His restaurant in LA has closed and London NYC opened to poor reviews and GR sacked his trusted Lieutenant Neil Ferguson and it has had trouble gaining traction ever since. The reports are that the food is good but for whatever reason there are rumors of it's eminent demise.

                                      1. re: KTinNYC
                                        PhilD RE: KTinNYC Apr 24, 2009 10:20 AM

                                        Are restaurants closing? Or is he restructuring his business. Many of his "hotel" restaurants were direct investments, my understanding is that he is now exiting the ownership part but staying with the branding, consultancy approach. I understood that the "ownership" model was quite unusual and the revised model is more along the lines of other chefs with in hotel operations. Again I think the media are taking a couple of facts, misunderstanding them and spinning them into wild speculation. He is due to open new restaurants in South Africa and Melbourne in Australia this year and they are on schedule (as far as I know), maybe he will close a few. He has done so in the past when they fail to make profit targets i.e. Amaryllis in Glasgow which I think gained a star before he closed it.

                                        Re the "lie", is not answering the question a lie? The journalist asked two questions, the manager only answered one, and that answer was true i.e. it is all freshly made. It would be interesting to hear the whole conversation, you don't have to be cynical to believe that the quotes in this article are carefully chosen to support the story The Sun has decided to run with - the English "red tops" are not renowned for the highest journalistic ethics.

                                        What hypocrisy? Ramsay's criticism is about ready made dishes bought in from commercial suppliers, frozen, tinned, or preserved. On a recent program he went ballistic about a lamb shank that had a shelf life of 18 months unrefrigerated. The owner took it out of a large box on floor, zapped it in a microwave for 5 minutes, slopped it onto a plate and served it as was. Compare that to Ramsay's employees working in the GR Logistics kitchen prepping dishes to Ramsay's recipes and quality standards from fresh ingredients. These are then shipped a few miles direct to his chefs cooking in his pub to be ingredients in his dishes.

                                        I also notice that people confuse the comment he made on "ready meals" versus chefs buying in pre-prepared food. My understanding his comment on ready meals was about dire state of British home cooking where a lot of people are "to busy to cook" and simply put a ready meal in the microwave. Ready meals have grown into a massive food sector in the UK with companies like Marks & Spencer selling millions of pounds worth a week. Tragic really.

                                        This is quite a good comment I picked up from another board: http://www.spearswms.com/spears-world...

                        2. re: nanette
                          PhilD RE: nanette Apr 23, 2009 12:21 PM

                          To add to FoodyGirly's comment. Most serious professional kitchens are divided up into a prep kitchen, pastry kitchen and a service kitchen, and many of these are seperate rooms, and can be on seperate floors. The Fat Duck for example has a completely seperate prep kitchen that is getting the dinner service ingredients/components together whilst lunch service is underway in the service kitchen. The prep kitchens not only do the vegtables, fillet the fish, but also do dishes that take time to cook, the braises, the demi glaze etc.

                          I really don't see the difference with GR Logistics, except it is in a seperate building across town. The chefs at the pubs still do the final cooking, man the grill etc. OK GR Logistics chefs (also employed by Ramsay) prep the fish cakes that then get sent out fresh each day to the pubs (Note: there are a number of different fish cakes on the menu). But what do we expect when we order fish cakes?

                          1. Chef gets fish out of fridge, cooks fish, flakes fish. Chef cooks potatoes, mashes potatoes. Chef makes breadcrumbs. Chef combines fish and potatoe. Chef coats in bread crumbs. Chef fries fish cakes and then serves them.

                          Or:

                          2. Chef opens the fridge, take out fish cake that was prepped earlier by a junior in a prep kitchen, cook it the serve it?

                          1. re: PhilD
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                            FoodyGirly RE: PhilD Apr 23, 2009 12:46 PM

                            Excellent posts, PhilD! Finally someone who understands food and business. And yes, thank you for adding that info re Fat Duck, I had forgotten about that separate kitchen--good example.

                            1. re: FoodyGirly
                              Sooeygun RE: FoodyGirly Apr 23, 2009 01:52 PM

                              I worked in a restaurant in a large resort hotel, where some of the food just couldn't be made fresh to order, as it had to be braised for hours and didn't hold well. Also, the kitchen was very small, so those items got made up in the prep kitchen in the main hotel (about a 10 minute walk from the restaurant). They were cryovaced in portions and we heated them in a sous vide type arrangement. Doesn't sound like he is doing much that is different than that.

                              As to GR complaining about ready made, any show I have seen him on complaining about ready made, it has been complaining about mass produced, over processed stuff, like jarred sauces and soups where you just add water. I'm pretty sure if the bottled sauce was one that the restaurant kitchen had made ahead and preserved and then opened as needed, he wouldn't be bitching.

                              1. re: Sooeygun
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                                FoodyGirly RE: Sooeygun Apr 23, 2009 02:13 PM

                                You're exactly right, but some just can't get past the fact that he's on TV; I think that's an automatic bash on here from what I've seen; first it's the tall guy from Dinner Impossible, then Rachel Ray, then Martha Stewart, I mean the list is endless.

                                Gordon Ramsay makes excellent food. Whether it's made done the road or in his TV room.

                                I suggest anyone who has the opportunity to check one of his restaurants out: http://www.gordonramsay.com/

                                1. re: FoodyGirly
                                  nanette RE: FoodyGirly Apr 23, 2009 03:07 PM

                                  The Gordon Ramsay brand makes excellent food.

                                  Mark Sargeantt has been writing all of his cookbooks recently, and Angela Harnett carries a lot on her shoulders as well. Seeing as how two of his chefs are becoming names in their own right, it is difficult to figure out who is doing what.

                                  Personally, I don't have any sort of problem with Gordon Ramsay, and have enjoyed his programmes. I simply feel a little misled by the ready meal thing. He is one of these people who like Jamie Oliver, we need to seperate the brand from the man.

                                  1. re: nanette
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                                    CucumberBoy RE: nanette Apr 23, 2009 03:33 PM

                                    As long as Ramsey doesn't start using Risotto-in-a-bag, he should be safe.

                                    -cb-

                                  2. re: FoodyGirly
                                    Withnail42 RE: FoodyGirly Apr 24, 2009 06:50 AM

                                    I don’t really see much Ramsay bashing on this thread. This started out as a discussion about a business practice of his, and the difficulties of running an ever expanding high end enterprise; right, wrong or indifferent. His being on TV was never really the issue. People aren’t bashing because Ramsay is on TV. I hope his restaurant in NYC stays open and I look forward to very soon going back to RHR.

                                    True people do critique people on TV. It’s an occupational hazard. RR and Martha Stewart are not everyone’s cup of tea as is everyone else in TVland. As for Irivne, he himself opened the door for criticism for his disreputable behavior.

                                    So no people here are not bashing for the sake of bashing someone who happens to be on TV.

                              2. re: PhilD
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                                Harters RE: PhilD Apr 23, 2009 03:30 PM

                                "Most serious professional kitchens are divided up into a prep kitchen.........and can be on seperate floors."

                                In a similar discussion on another board, the chef at a restaurant I know well, points out exactly this. His main restaurant and kitchen is on the fourth floor; a cafe is on the ground floor. The latter has a large kitchen and is used as a prep room for the main restaurant.

                                I really don't see a difference between the fishcakes that were on his menu last week, prepped in another kitchen, from a fishcake being prepped a couple of miles away from, say, the Devonshire (where I've had a very good meal for pub food) and taken there by van.

                                1. re: Harters
                                  olvado RE: Harters Apr 24, 2009 01:36 AM

                                  @Harters - I good point, well put - I've worked in a mutlitude of kitchens from classic French bistro to top-end gastro pubs with varying approaches to food preparation.

                                  In one trendy, successful chain of restaurants a lot of the food was imported in vacuum packs from France. FAIL

                                  Whereas in a small private chain the main restaurant (with the largest kitchen) was used to prepare things like stews and confits - food that takes time to prepare. It made sense as a lot of these were common ingredients across the 5 restaurants. NO FAIL

                                  The quality of the food (and ingredients) is what is important, not where it was prepared. Food - certainly that that Ramsey is accused of 'pre-packing' - doesn't lose quality in transit! The media is simply doing what they do, jumping at any opportunity to drag the successful down.

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