Is Gordon Losing his Grip?
Gordon Ramsay, the notoriously fierce and outspoken chef, has been at the top of his game for the best part of a decade with his flagship Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London. He wobbled slightly last year as Pétrus and Chef Marcus Wareing gained ground but according the release of the latest edition of Harden’s survey of London Restaurants, Gordon is on the way down.
Analysis of responses to the survey – with some 85,000 reports from over 8000 ‘reporters’, reveals that Pétrus now has a lead, by an appreciable margin, over all other top-end restaurants in town.
Following the very public split between Marcus Wareing and his former mentor, Gordon Ramsay, from the 15th September Wareing will take over Pétrus in his own right. At that point the restaurant will be renamed “Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley”.
Co Editor of Harden’s Guide Peter Harden commented,
“Marcus 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. Marcus would now appear to be well on the way to his stated intention of equalling the three Michelin star rating Ramsay currently holds at RGR (Restaurant Gordon Ramsay).
Now, however, Pétrus has emerged for the first time as both best for Food and best for Service, as well as retaining the ‘Best Overall’ title it usurped last year. Pétrus is also rated second best for Ambience.
It is the disappointing standards at Ramsay’s three most recent ‘mass-market’ openings which are most immediately concerning. Each of them – The Warrington, Devonshire House, and Foxtrot Oscar – is nominated in roughly one in every three of the survey reports they attract in the ‘most disappointing meal of the year’ category. These newcomers are so uninspired in concept and so erratic in performance that – if they were opened by independent operators – they would likely be closed within a year.
It is not yet too late for Gordon Ramsay to act to preserve his reputation as a serious restaurateur. What he urgently needs to do, however, is to stop chasing media attention across the globe, and to start putting some real effort into improving standards at the restaurants in his London heartland.”
Or is it?
Harden's London Restaurant Guide
Harden’s has conducted a survey of regular restaurant-goers annually since 1991.
Harden’s London Restaurants 2009 (£11.99) is available from all good bookshops or from Hardens.com