Gordon Ramsay has said he is "surprised and saddened" by the owner of his Canadian restaurant's decision to terminate his association with the eatery.
The celebrity chef opened Laurier Gordon Ramsay in Montreal on a consultancy basis last August, taking over the 75-year-old Rotisserie Laurier BBQ, which was previously a local favourite.
However, the restaurant's owner, Danny Lavy, has now announced that he will remove the Gordon Ramsay name from the business because the celebrity chef has failed to visit it since its opening last summer.
"We wish Gordon all the best, but he's a big star and too busy to come to the restaurant. He didn't have the time to manage it," Lavy told the Montreal Gazette.
"We wanted him to promote our business, but he wouldn't even do Tout le Monde en Parle when he was here. Customers kept asking: where's Gordon? We spoke to his assistant and to him often about coming back at least three times a year. Gordon was excited about the project, but he never showed up."
Lavy went on to criticise Ramsay's management style, saying: "He was hired as a consultant, but his team was acting as if they owned the restaurant. But there was nothing they did we couldn't have done on our own."
A spokeswoman for Gordon Ramsay Holdings said the move came as a surprise. "Gordon and his team have provided significant support to all levels of the business above and beyond what was required by the agreement, and we are rightfully proud to have contributed to its success to date," she said.
"We have done far more than we were contractually obligated to and it is therefore extremely disappointing that Mr Lavy should behave in this manner. Gordon would like to thank all the citizens of Montreal for their overwhelming support and he hasn't ruled out a possible return to the city in the future."
Last month, Gordon Ramsay confirmed the opening of a new restaurant in Las Vegas, which will launch at the Paris Las Vegas resort in the spring.
By Kerstin Kühn
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