The chef opens his first hotel and restaurant in Camden - with a pop at the Connaught, his old landlord.
If revenge really is a dish best served cold, nobody told Gordon Ramsay. This weekend the Scots-born chef is raising the temperature to boiling point as he puts the final garnish on a dish that he has been preparing for 12 months. "I'm going to call it two fingers to the Connaught," he says. He will serve it - with relish - on Monday when he opens his first hotel and restaurant.
The York & Albany, in Regent's Park, is more than just another Ramsay restaurant. It's his way of getting even with the five-star hotel. The Connaught parted company with Ramsay and his Michelin-starred right-hand woman, Angela Hartnett, last year. A two-Michelin-star French chef, Hélène Darroze, took her place after negotiations about a new restaurant deal broke down.
Ramsay, 41, describes the Connaught as "anally retentive" and Hartnett, who recently suffered the indignity of being "deleted" from The Michelin Guide this January because of the move, dismisses the managers of the hotel, which reopened earlier this year after a multimillion-pound refurbishment, as "little shits".
Now the griddle - and the reservations book - are in the other hand. The £4 million York & Albany is a modern, ten-room townhouse hotel, owned by Gordon Ramsay Holdings (GRH), with a restaurant, run by Hartnett, serving Italian-accented modern European cuisine. The 40-year-old's family hails from Emilia-Romagna, the gastronomic heartland of northern Italy.