Gordon Ramsay plans to open a second chef academy after buying a £5m stately home in Surrey.
The multi-Michelin-starred celebrity chef, who earlier this year bought the Tante Marie School of Cookery with Absolute Taste owner Lyndy Redding, has agreed to buy Botleys, an 18th century house in Chertsey.
Currently owned by web hosting firm Network Data Holdings, the 30-room Botleys is less than four miles from the Tante Marie school in Woking.
The Grade II-listed property was badly damaged by fire a decade ago but has since been completely restored. Ramsay plans to convert the Palladian-style country house into a cookery school and possibly a restaurant.
A spokeswoman for Gordon Ramsay Holdings (GRH) confirmed the negotiations: "GRH is in discussion but no deal has been signed. It is our policy not to comment until a deal is signed."
Yesterday (2 December) Stephen Hope, junior sous chef at the Great Room Restaurant at the Merchant Hotel in Belfast, Northern Ireland, was named the winner of the 2008 Gordon Ramsay Scholarship.
The 21-year old beat off stiff competition in the final held at the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham, including David Salt from Club Gascon, Tim Ward from Read's Restaurant and the Castle Green Hotel's Martin Frickel.
By Kerstin Kühn
E-mail your comments to Kerstin Kühn here.
Looking for a new job? Find your next restaurant job here with Caterersearch.com jobs