Gordon Ramsay "dispute" sparks foodie bun-fight

Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:31am EDT
 
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By Luke Baker

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - It's knives and forks drawn in the well-fed world of restaurant reviewers.

Two top-selling restaurant guides -- New York-based foodie's bible Zagat's, and Harden's, a Zagat-inspired tome that's a force in Britain -- are locked in an unseemly spat over their latest London rankings.

And at the heart of the gastronomic stand-off is Gordon Ramsay, the expletive-spewing, global celebrity-cum-chef who is never far from controversy.

Put simply, Zagat's thinks Ramsay is the top dog on the London fine-dining scene, while Harden's believes the best days of the motor-mouth chef may be over.

In its 2009 guide, Harden's gives top-billing to Petrus, a restaurant whose head chef, Marcus Wareing, is a Gordon Ramsay protege. Ramsay's flagship restaurant, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, is pushed into second place.

"Wareing is emerging from Ramsay's ‘shadow' as the proprietor of what is now clearly the best restaurant in London, and he and his team should be congratulated," declared Peter Harden, the co-editor of Harden's, before adding:

"The Ramsay empire's current performance -- and in particular the poor standard of most of the more recent openings -- raises questions as to its direction, and its ability to maintain its reputation as an operator of the highest quality."

It was a stinging rebuke for Ramsay, who had been at the top of the rankings for eight years.   Continued...

 
<p>British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay stands in the kitchen of his new restaurant "Gordon Ramsay at the London" at the London NYC Hotel in New York, November 16, 2006. Two top-selling restaurant guides -- New York-based foodie's bible Zagat's, and Harden's, a Zagat-inspired tome that's a force in Britain -- are locked in an unseemly spat over their latest London rankings, and at the heart of the gastronomic stand-off is Gordon Ramsay. REUTERS/Mike Segar</p>