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« Thoughts week ending 11/10/06 | Main | Thanksgiving Wine »

November 17, 2006


molto e


I read that GR said he would ban a customer that took photos of the food. Did anyone care that you were snapping away?

Molto E


Because it was the first seating of the first night in the dining room, and I didn’t want to distract the staff from their jobs or from anyone’s dining, I shot without flash, so my couple of snaps were probably unnoticed, even by some at my table. But as always happens on special nights in special places, by the end of first service people were getting up and gathering around tables to pose and shooting each other with flashes. Occasion dining is what this place is all about and occasions for most the people of the world are marked by photography; only a very self-important, unsure, curmudgeon of a diner or restaurant owner would begrudge that.

All that being said, I read the article in which Chef Ramsay said this wasn’t a “pictures of food” place when it came out months ago, and I understood him to be saying he didn’t want his food on a pedestal, not that he hated people saving mementos of their time at his restaurant. No one works as hard at pleasing people as Chef Ramsay obviously does just to pull stunts as stupid as kicking people out for reveling in a good time. Ramsay seems to have an aura about him as a hard guy or something, I have heard he acts the fool on a couple of TV shows and grabbed himself press by kicking a reviewer out of a restaurant in London years ago or some such thing. Not being a guy who really cares about dining advice beyond the recommendations of some trusted compatriots, and having little more than contempt for prime time TV, I can’t speak to this reputation. I can say I ate the food of a journeyman chef, that obviously aspires and succeeds at the top level, and was served it by the most pleasant young woman who had traveled here from London with her chef after a long history with him, both of which speak to the opposite of a guy who finds it interesting to get upset by photography.

Christie DeGama

A life changing moment for me was Gordon Ramsey at Claridges, London. I experienced three star gastronomy, but I utterly appreciate your comments on The London. I think the emphasis on quality of composite ingredients is typical Ramsey, and a fantastic nudge of what is to come from him stateside.


With regards to the Claridges post - of course what you didn't experience was 3 star gastronomy. For whatever reasons Michelin may have, it was 1 star and no more.

Which brings up a very major point. Ramsay has been unable to reproduce his 3 Michelin stars anywhere else - unlike Ducasse, of course, who seems to be able to do little else - despite training a number of talented people. Rather than transfer any of them to New York, he has sent the very capable - but on his own, entirely unproven - Neil Ferguson. He's young, skilled, and given how infrequently Ramsay will be in the restaurant, any day to day success will really be on his shoulders.

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