Gordon Ramsay Holdings has confirmed that it is in talks with the Carlton Tower hotel in London's Knightsbridge about acquiring its Monte's restaurant and private members' club on behalf of a third party.
Neither Gordon Ramsay Holdings nor the hotel would name the other party, but it is widely rumoured to be Ian Pengelley, the former head chef at Will Ricker's Notting Hill restaurant E&O.
He left last year and is said by former colleagues to be looking to set up his own restaurant.
"This third party has approached Gordon Ramsay Holdings to act in a purely managerial capacity. Gordon Ramsay Holdings are NOT in negotiations to acquire the site for themselves," the company explained in a statement.
The Carlton Tower hotel has already confirmed it was in talks with third parties to take over the operation of the 80-seat restaurant and club, which first opened its doors to the public at lunchtimes in 2000, when Jamie Oliver was drafted in as a consultant chef.
General manager Derek Picot said the hotel was talking to two "front runners" to run Monte's and that there were a few more interested parties "in the back drawer".
He said no deal had yet been signed.
Finance director David Nicholson said one of the parties involved in the talks was "as high profile as Gordon".
by Angela Frewin
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