Gordon Ramsay, the notorious, foul-mouthed bully and decorated British chef, is emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns which he described as “utterly devastating” on an unrelenting restaurant opening rampage.
Big Hospitality reports that the chef will double up inside the famous luxury London hotel, the Savoy, replacing Kaspar’s, with the River Restaurant coming under Ramsay’s control with head chef Matt Worswick placed in charge. Ramsay has run the Savoy Grill at the hotel for nearly two decades.
Seafood will take centre stager, with many global influences touching a menu aimed at hotel guests and tourists perhaps more than it is London’s restaurant-going cognoscenti. There’s talk of tandoori monkfish curry, swordfish schnitzel, and whole baked Cornish turbot, while a raw bar will offer oysters; caviar; and seabass ceviche. Because among the few universal truths of the London restaurant industry is that there can never ever be enough of those foods in central and west London restaurants.
“I absolutely love the Savoy. I never tire of walking across the historic Strand forecourt, through the revolving doors and into the stunning hotel lobby,” Ramsay is quoted by Big Hospitality as saying. “It was a dream come true to take over the Savoy Grill 18 years ago, so to be trusted with a second restaurant in the heart of this incredible location is an absolute honour.”
News of a second restaurant at the high-end Savoy hotel marks a departure from the barrage of casual restaurant openings announced by Ramsay and his restaurant group in recent months. Ramsay’s Rampage comes somewhat against the grain of his fortunes during a pandemic in which his U.K. restaurant portfolio reportedly lost over £56 million.
In late 2020, the chef-restaurateur spoke of how lockdowns had been “utterly devastating” and that while he was “criticised for being wealthy, but the responsibility on my shoulders — the livelihoods at stake — is huge.” Ramsay was criticised because his company made 500 members of staff redundant early in the pandemic and subsequently failed to answer questions as to why they were not furloughed.
Here’s a recap of every restaurant Gordon Ramsay has opened in the past 12 months as well as those which his restaurant group is scheduled to open in London later this year.
GR’s Street Burger
Locations: The O2, Islington, Covent Garden, St. Paul’s, Charing Cross Road, Kensington High Street, Harrod’s
Status: All open
GR’s Street Pizza:
Locations: St. Paul’s, Camden, Southwark, Battersea
Status: All open
Bread Street Cafe
Bread Street Kitchen:
Location: Southwark / The City
Status: Both open
The River Restaurant at the Savoy
Location: The Savoy Hotel
Status: Opening September, 2021.
Gordon Ramsay’s global portfolio stands at 45 restaurants and bars, with 27 in London (an increase on 16 pre-pandemic), including his eponymous three-Michelin-starred flagship helmed by head chef Matt Abé on Royal Hospital Road in Chelsea.