Celebrity chefs who put their name to multiple restaurants must keep up two key areas of their businesses if they want to maintain their reputation, industry professionals have said.
The first is to always offer high quality restaurant concepts, and the second is to be able to ensure standards do not slip.
Daniel During, managing partner of restaurant consultancy Thomas Klein International said: “Look at Wolfgang Puck. He is a fantastic chef who can cook fantastic food, but now he’s doing casual dining. It doesn’t have the same standard, and when you eat there the quality is not there. For me he has tainted his name by doing mediocre food."
It’s the same with Marco Pierre White and his lower-end restaurants, During said, one of which, Wheelers, is situated in Dubai.
“You can corrupt your name,” he continued. “Marco Pierre White was one of the first chefs in the UK. Now he is all over the place. Why do they do that? They do it for money but you can still make money while being true to your ethos and your values.”
During has spoken out as news breaks that Gordon Ramsay is to open two new restaurants in the new St Regis Doha in May. Gordon Ramsay Doha and Opal by Gordon Ramsay.
Knud Bundgaard, director of culinary - MEA, and F&B operations for Africa & Indian Ocean, Hilton Worldwide, said at the CatererMiddle East Conference in March: “The trend is going towards the home-grown, local celebrity chefs, so when people go to Table 9 (formally Verre, owned by Gordon Ramsay) they know that the celebrity chef is actually cooking – that’s what’s changed in the last couple of years. People want to know that the food is being cooked by the chef who’s got their name on the restaurant."
Markus Thesleff, co-founder of Okku, agreed: “Longterm, will celeb chef continue to work? I don’t think so – you need much more than that – the customer has realised the chef can’t be everywhere at once."
Article continues on next page...