Gordon Ramsay loses Dom Perignon to Doha customs

UK celeb chef thinks Qatar's alcohol laws will relax before 2022

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

UK celeb chef Gordon Ramsay returned to Doha to visit his restaurants in The St. Regis Doha but had a slight hiccup when he was stopped by airport customs in Doha for carrying alcohol.

It was reported by sister site Arabian Business that the Hell's Kitchen chef tried to bring a bottle of Dom Pérignon champagne into the Muslim state.

Ramsay is no stranger to the alcohol laws of the Gulf country which is already strict on its stance on the issue; he had no choice but to shut his Maze restaurant on The Pearl-Qatar after the alcohol ban was launched in 2011.

"It’s the first time I’ve ever been stopped by customs," Ramsay said at a press conference on Sunday. "The alarm went off and I got called into a little room. So it’s been confiscated – the first time I’ve ever lost a bottle of Dom Pérignon! It was a birthday present from a dear friend,” he was quoted as saying by Doha News.

The chef, however, said he was confident the Gulf state’s alcohol laws would become more relaxed in the run up to its hosting of the 2022 World Cup.

The 47-year-old Michelin-starred British chef was in Qatar to visit 'Opal by Gordon Ramsay' and 'Gordon Ramsay', with guests treated to his award-winning cuisine over the weekend. “I am delighted by the support the Gordon Ramsay restaurants have received in Doha. We had a successful launch and an exciting first year," said Ramsay. The restaurants, located at The St. Regis Doha, are the only Middle Eastern Gordon Ramsay branded restaurants.

“The Gordon Ramsay partnership has been met with great success, said The St. Regis Doha general manager Tareq Derbas. “We are delighted to welcome Gordon back to see how well the Gordon Ramsay brand is resonating with our customers here in Doha."

The chef also made a stop in Dubai during his Middle East tour, and tweeted saying the new Arabesque restaurant Qbara Dubai, headed by chef Colin Clague of Zuma-fame, has "fantastic food" and is the "hottest new restaurant".

He has previously denied rumours of returning to the UAE to set up restaurants after he closed Verre in the Hilton Dubai Creek, which was later re-branded as Table 9.

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