Ramsay adds Vong to his empire
One of the few remaining restaurants in the Savoy Group still outside the control of Gordon Ramsay is to be incorporated into his growing empire, it emerged this week.
Ramsay's group will take over the restaurant that used to be Vong at the Berkeley hotel, London, after the proposed renewal of the arrangement between the Savoy Group and Jean-Georges Vongerichten broke down.
It was announced last year that Ramsay group chef Marcus Wareing was moving the Michelin-starred Petrus into the Berkeley, with the intention that Vongerichten would continue to run Vong under a new format.
But this week staff at the Berkeley were told that "both parties have unfortunately been unable to come to a mutual agreement" and that Gordon Ramsay Holdings would assume control of Vong too.
The deal means Gordon Ramsay Holdings will run the restaurants at Claridge's and the Connaught and both restaurants at the Berkeley. Wareing will act as a consultant for the refurbishment of the Savoy Grill, although day-to-day management of the restaurant will remain in-house.
This leaves the Savoy's River Room and the restaurant at the Lygon Arms hotel in Broadway, Worcestershire, as the only hotel-run restaurants in the Blackstone-owned group.
The Savoy Group is clearly happy with the way Ramsay's restaurants have been operating, although the takeovers have not been universally popular. Traditionalists have been particularly upset by the changes made to the Connaught and those proposed for the Savoy Grill.
Source: Caterer and Hotelkeeper magazine, 20-26 February 2003