Montreal’s Laurier BBQ is cutting whatever ties they might have had with Gordon Ramsay. There was quite a big fuss made when it was reported that Ramsay had “bought” the old Outremont chicken house, but as was clear from any visit to the restaurant, the English chef had very little to do with its reopening.
Well, the Montreal Gazette is now reporting that Ramsay’s name will be removed from the restaurant by the end of the week. Here’s what owner Danny Lavy had to say:
“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.” This “consultant” stuff of course would come as a surprise to anyone who was under the impression that Ramsay actually owned the place (and you would be forgiven for believing that considering the kind of press that they got). But it’s always reeked of a licensing deal: pay a fee, slap his name on the front for publicity and handle the long lines.
“We wanted him to promote our business, but he wouldn’t even do Tout le Monde en Parle when he was here,” Lavy told the Gazette (which in itself is hilarious. This guy really expected Gordon Ramsay to appear on some Quebecois TV show? Is he out of his mind?).
Lavy then got a bit catty, saying, “we expected him to contribute Gordon Ramsay signature dishes, but we got nothing that was ever a ‘wow’ dish, and just a few tweaks on what we already had.” Is providing a ‘wow’ dish covered in a “consulting” fee?
For their part, Ramsay’s team has issued this statement:
“We are mystified by Danny Lavy’s comments and this is now in the hands of lawyers who will be watching all comments made publicly extremely carefully.” Methinks this story is not quite over yet.
In any case, I’m happy to see this farce ending. It felt dishonest right from the start.
What do you think?