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Ramsay sets agenda for growing empire

23 June 2005
Ramsay sets agenda for growing empire

Gordon Ramsay announced plans for growing his empire at the Catering Forum last night.

At the event's opening session on board the P&O Oriana cruise ship, the chef-restaurateur detailed his plans to crack America.

After opening in New York at the Marriott Righa Royal hotel next year, he has his sights set on Miami and Chicago.

Asked by a delegate whether he could ensure quality across his burgeoning empire, Ramsay recalled an exchange with a Japanese journalist. "I asked him whether he thought his Armani suit had been hand-stitched by Giorgio himself."

He spoke about a plan for a hot-plate dining concept at his Hospital Road site following its Christmas refit. Customers would eat from the plate for 20 minutes at a time in what Ramsay called the evolution from the chef's table.

Ramsay also aims to launch a school cooking initiative to teach kids about healthy eating through cookery lessons.

"The diary is manic at the moment," he said, "but this is payback time."

Confronted with the results of a survey of delegates, in which 57% called Jamie Oliver a positive role model for the industry, compared to his 13.5%, he said: "Well, that's just bollocks."

He also hinted that protégée Angela Hartnett, chef patron at the Connaught in London, may follow him into TV with a BBC series.

Brand Ramsay will also branch out into homeware and kitchenware, with the launch of a catalogue in Spring 2006 and plans for a range of fresh baby food.

Click here for Gordon Ramsay profile >>

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