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Jun 8, 2011 08:54 AM

Gordon Ramsay

We're coming to London in October from the New York City metro area. I don't know a lot about Gordon Ramsay as I do not watch his TV shows here in the States. People have told me that he is a legitimate chef and that his restaurants are supposed to have merit and that I should go to one when in London. Given this, what is his absolute best restaurant in your opinion ? Thank you.

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  1. i think i can answer this if you tell me what the best color there is. purple? blue? what do you think?

    i'm not being snarky - gr's restaurants do different things very well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: howler

      That's easy...golden orange. :)

      Anyway...pretend I said which is your "favorite" instead of "best." Is that any easier?

    2. Gordon Ramsay is a legitimate chef, but keep in mind that he doesn't cook (as far as I know) in any of his London restaurants. I used to really enjoy Maze as did all my friends from NY, but the chef that made the restaurant's reputation is now gone, and I don't know what the present food is like.

      Gordon Ramsay
      Royal Hospital Rd, Kensington, Greater London SW3 4, GB

      1. It's true that Ramsay doesn't cook in any of his restaurants anymore. But he has left behind a group of extremely talented proteges who do cook in their own restaurants at the moment. Perhaps you could go somewhere run by Marcus Wareing, Angela Hartnett or Jason Atherton? A search on this board should reveal more about them and their restaurants. Sadly, I have never been to one...only read about them in magazines!!

        1. Ramsay is a legitimate chef but he is one who doesn't cook in his kitchens anymore.
          It has become very fashionable to be down on Ramsay but his flagship restaurant in Chelsea is very good. It is pretty standard modern European cuisine with obvious French influences and it will set you back around £300 but it is a good experience.
          That said I would recommend both The Ledbury and Hibiscus over it for one blowout meal in London.

          The rest of the group has slid recently. Petrus used to be a stunning restaurant but confusingly it then became Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley and Ramsay opened a new uninspiring Petrus elsewhere. Don't get confused - Marcus is the one to visit.
          Maze too used to be fantastic but Jason Atherton left recently and you should 100% visit his new restaurant Pollen Street Social over the old Maze.

          Otherwise there is only really the Savoy Grill left which I have never visited but would be a very old school experience I'm sure.

          1. Is it just me, or are the phrases "legitimate chef" and "supposed to have merit" a little patronising when attributed to someone who has had more Michelin stars than you could poke a sharp stick at? He may be an absentee chef for the most part these days, but that doesn't take away from his achievements ...

            5 Replies
            1. re: Theresa

              That's a good point Theresa - I think he has become a victim of his own celebrity success which has overshadowed his amazing prowess in the kitchen. Despite whether you like him or not, he has done great things to put British restaurants on the map and is a great chef.
              In saying that, I wouldn't go to one of his restaurants just because of he's off the tele, there are other places in London that the OP should try that would be better than some of the Gordon Ramsay owned places.

              Gordon Ramsay
              Royal Hospital Rd, Kensington, Greater London SW3 4, GB

              1. re: Theresa

                I can see what you mean Theresa and I don't think anyone would question Ramsay's skill as a chef.

                However it is now impossible to be cooked for by Ramsay in a restaurant so I would suggest he is perhaps more of a restauranteur and a TV cook than a chef.

                1. re: ManInTransit

                  I agree with you both, it was just the words used to describe (probably) the best British chef the UK has/had. The two phrases made it sound like he was some kind of Ainsley Harriot character (who has always been a telly cook, and not a chef) who has bought a few restaurants which serve quite nice food! He may not be on site, and he has had his knocks lately, but the food served is still a damn sight more than being worthy of "merit".

                  I can't believe I am defending him, as I don't like him and find his programmes painful to watch, but I would love to eat at Hospital Rd or Claridges ...

                  1. re: Theresa

                    Hospital Road was the first 3* restaurant I ever went to. My girlfriend and I saved up for several months and it was a wonderful experience. In hindsight it was not very innovative but it was fantastic food perfectly executed and really wonderful front of house.

                    Heston might dispute the best British chef moniker! But you're absolutely right otherwise.

                    1. re: ManInTransit

                      Whilst GR is clearly a very talented chef I always thought his true talent was spotting talent and nuturing it if you look at the chefs who have spun off from him you can clearly see that. I have eaten in a few GR places (but never Hospital Rd) and always had good meals. Yes classic, yes conservative, but never less than good.
                      Maybe his "loss of direction" has less to do with his not cooking (I expect he last really cooked long before TV fame overtook him) but more to do with him not having the time to nurture new talent.

                      Has anyone been to Maze recently, A Rather Unusual Chinaman wrote a piece on his blog recently that piqued my interest. Maybe time to assess post Atherton?