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06 September 2006

New York Times on Gordon Ramsay

Food bloggers beware, unless you want the AA Gill treatment, do not start taking photos of your meal at Gordon Ramsay at the London.  In an interview with Michael Ruhlman in the New York Times, Ramsay says the food will be "very natural" and "very proper".  Err, what does proper means when it comes to food?  Anyway, he is explicit that "We're not going to stand there and gawk".  That's told us then.

The Ruhlman piece gives some interesting insight into Ramsay's financial backing.  I was aware of the important role played by his father-in-law Chris Hutcheson, but I was unaware of Blackstone's involvement.  It is interesting that a private equity house is involved, especially as it is the real estate arm of Blackstone.  Private equity firms have a lot of money to invest and are usually savvy managers.  But, they are always looking for a way to exit the business so they can make a large return on their investment.  Often, these sorts of companies look to hold their investments for up to five years.  I wonder what Blackstone's game-plan is for the Ramsay empire.  Maybe this is someone's toy, they're investing for the love (and free meals and kudos), but private equity firms are not known for their romanticism or their love of free lunches.  Could a stock-market flotation of Gordon Ramsay Holdings be on the cards?

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