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Caterer and Hotelkeeper 100: Gary Rhodes, Rhodes 24, Rhodes W1

01 July 2011

Overall ranking: 44 (ranked 78 in 2010)

Chef ranking: 12 (ranked 23 in 2010)

Gary Rhodes - Snapshot

Gary Rhodes is the Michelin-starred chef, restaurateur, TV celebrity and author who spearheaded the 1990s revival of traditional British cuisine. He currently operates eight restaurants: the Michelin-starred Rhodes 24 and Rhodes W1 in London, plus international ventures including Rhodes Mezzanine and Rhodes Twenty10 in Dubai, Rhodes Restaurant at the Calabash hotel on the Caribbean island of Grenada, and restaurants on two P&O cruise liners.

Gary Rhodes - Career guide
Gary Rhodes was born in 1960 in London and brought up in Gillingham, Kent. After training at Thanet technical college, he secured his first job as a commis chef at the Amsterdam Hilton hotel. Returning to London, he worked as a sous chef at the Reform Club in Pall Mall and at the Capital hotel in Knightsbridge.

In 1986 he became head chef at the Castle hotel in Taunton, Somerset, where he developed his passion for British food and retained the hotel's Michelin star at the age of 26. In 1990 he returned to London as head chef of the Greenhouse restaurant in Mayfair, which won its first Michelin star in 1996.

1997 saw the first fruits of a six-year relationship with contract caterer Sodexo (then called Gardner Merchant). Together they launched two fine-dining restaurants and two brasseries called Rhodes & Co.
The partnership with Sodexo was dissolved in 2003. The same year Rhodes linked up with Compass Group's fine-dining arm, Restaurant Associates, to launch Rhodes 24 at Tower 42, London's tallest building, again winning a Michelin star in 2005. It was a trick he was to repeat in 2008 when the Restaurant Associates-owned Rhodes W1 at the Cumberland hotel, which opened a year earlier, also picked up a star.

In 2004 Rhodes opened his first overseas restaurant, at the Calabash hotel in the Caribbean, and the following year Arcadian Rhodes, his first ocean-going restaurant, later adding a second on the P&O cruise liner Oriana. He made his Irish debut in July 2006 with Rhodes D7, before opening in Dubai, with Rhodes Mezzanine, in 2007. However, D7 closed in January 2009.

From 2008 until 2010 he also operated two restaurants on the south coast: King Rhodes and Rhodes South, both in Christchurch, Dorset.

He has fronted shows such as Masterchef, Hell's Kitchen and his own series, Rhodes Around Britain.

Gary Rhodes - What we think

The public might think of Gary Rhodes as the spiky-haired bloke off the telly who was a bit rubbish on Strictly Come Dancing, but in the industry Rhodes is rightly regarded as one of the "daddies" of modern British cuisine. He reintroduced the nation to its gastronomic heritage through both his restaurants and his energetic television appearances.

It was during his tenure at the Castle hotel in Taunton that Rhodes discovered his talent for refining traditional British dishes into new modern classics, and the menu at his next venture, the Greenhouse, featured such Rhodes staples as braised oxtail, fishcakes, faggots, and bread and butter pudding. It was here he acquired a Michelin star, and at this time he filmed his first TV series Rhodes Around Britain.

So began a long and successful TV career that has included shows such as Local Food Hero, Rhodes Across India, Rhodes Across China, Rhodes Across the Caribbean and Rhodes Across Italy, slots hosting Masterchef and appearances on Hell's Kitchen, the Great British Menu and Saturday Cooks.

He has written no less than 17 books including Gary Rhodes: New British Classics and Rhodes Around Britain. His most recent book is Gary Rhodes 365.

The partnership with Sodexo was dissolved in 2003 when poor trading results prompted Sodexo to concentrate on its core business, but Rhodes quickly bounced back with new alliances. First, he set up Rhokett, a firm supplying pÁ¢tisserie products to caterers and hotels. Later that year he linked up with Compass Group's fine-dining division Restaurant Associates (RA) to launch Rhodes 24 on the 24th floor of London's Tower 42 office building. The RA partnership also saw the launch of Rhodes W1 at the Cumberland hotel in 2007.

In August 2005 Rhodes become the first chef to be awarded a City & Guilds Fellowship. His awards cabinet also includes a Catey Special Award in 1996 and an OBE in 2006.

Gary Rhodes's ranking in the 2010 Caterersearch.com 100 >>

Menuwatch: Rhodes Twenty10 >>

Team-ups between Michelin-starred chefs and contract caterers >>

Alex Aitken to run Gary Rhodes' restaurant in Christchurch >>

Gary Rhodes: Minute on the Clock >>

Gary Rhodes website >>

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