Gordon Ramsay plans to open two more restaurants in London this year, one of them with the sportsman David Beckham. This is a good time to consider his impact on gastronomy rather than his pantomime role as an angry TV chef.
In the late 1990s, Ramsay’s Aubergine was one of the city’s most exciting establishments. He surrounded himself with a team of loyal young people who are now making their own mark.
“Gordon trained some of the best British chefs,” said Jason Atherton, who created Maze for Ramsay, now 46, in May 2005. “Some people don’t want to hear that, but it’s true. They are amazing chefs with incredible skills. These were the skills we were taught to be normal. You had to have them to survive.”
Atherton, 41, split from Ramsay in 2010 and then opened Pollen Street Social, which has won multiple awards and a Michelin star. He has gone on to open restaurants in Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai and has added two more in London.
Little Social is a French-style bistro using seasonal British ingredients. It’s classic, with great food. Atherton adopted a different style at Social Eating House, where the cooking is more ambitious and the vibe is New York. (This is the restaurant of Paul Hood, one of Jason’s own proteges.)
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