Gordon Ramsay Holdings (GRH) will be handling the food and beverage operation at a new luxury boutique hotel in central London, which opens in April, Caterer can reveal.
Speaking at the official launch of Maze Prague last week, Ramsay revealed that GRH's Angela Hartnett would be in charge of an 80-seat restaurant in the York and Albany hotel. "It's our first independent boutique hotel - a big step," Ramsay said. "It will have an amazing deli, and a wine room."
The hotel, which will offer 12 "luxuriously appointed" bedrooms, is near Regent's Park. It will mark Hartnett's return to London after GRH's restaurant at the Connaught hotel closed last April. She is also heading up Murano, a new upscale Italian restaurant under the GRH banner, due to open in May.
Ramsay also revealed that his "next big thing" would be the launch of a catering academy in the UK to combat what he sees as the poor standard of catering colleges.
"I'm fed up not just with the NVQ standards, but at what's coming out of our catering schools," Ramsay said. "I want to set up my own modern-day apprentice scheme, where students will experience everything from a most amazing pub to a one-, two- or three-Michelin-starred establishment.
"And if they want to spend three months in a florist, followed by a two-month stint with one of our bakers, or a stint in New York, then we will arrange it," the chef added.
Asked whether the college would be based in London, Ramsay replied: "It's going to be central - that's all I can say. And I'm not talking about fast-track courses here - I'm talking about six months to 18 months to two-year courses, issuing our own diplomas."
Fellow chefs Marco Pierre White and Oliver Peyton caused a storm last year when they described catering colleges as "the biggest waste of time" and "a stop-off before you're sent to prison" respectively.
• Meanwhile, Hartnett has been confirmed as a speaker at this year's Chef Conference on the 12 May at the Intercontinental Park Lane. She will join a line up that includes Marco Pierre White, David Everitt-Matthias, Rene Redzepi, Arthur Potts-Dawson, Jason Atherton and Sat Bains, For more details or to register go to www.chefconference.co.uk
By Fiona Sims
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