UK chef Gordon Ramsay knows the restaurant business. The cantankerous star of Fox's Hell's Kitchen has a nine-restaurant mini-empire in Britain, and his Restaurant Gordon Ramsay is London's only dining establishment to be awarded the coveted three-star rating from revered French guidebook Michelin.
Now, Ramsay is opening Gordon Ramsay at The London, his first US restaurant, in New York City, a city famously tough for restauranteurs. Ramsay knows that if he can make it here, he can make it anywhere.
"This is lucky number 10 for me," Ramsay said of his newest place.Gordon Ramsay at The London is already booked two months in advance, but Ramsay has no illusions about entering into the crowded New York dining scene, inhabited by such luminaries as Thomas Keller and Mario Batali.
"The till has to start working," Ramsay quipped to the Associated Press. "New York is an expensive place to survive."
In Hell's Kitchen, Ramsay presides over hopeful chefs as they duke it out in culinary battle to win their own restaurant. Every episode, Ramsay barks orders to the hapless wannabe chefs before melodramatically goring the losing contestant's chef's whites on a meat hook.
Not only is New York a hard town to open a successful restaurant in, it's also a hard town to make a successful reality show about opening a successful restaurant in. NBC's The Restaurant, which chronicled celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito's attempts to open a second Manhattan restaurant, sputtered in the ratings in 2004. The titular restaurant closed soon after.