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Ramsay, Kerzner in legal fight

Aug 05 2010 10:00 Carin Smith

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Cape Town - Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and hotel magnate Sol Kerzner could possibly challenge each other in court.

Last Friday Ramsay’s services as a consultant to the Maze Restaurant at the One&Only Hotel in Cape Town were suddenly terminated by Kerzner International. Whether Ramsay had in fact breached his contract needs to be established.

The name “Maze”, a well-known international restaurant brand that Ramsay opened at the One&Only in April last year, has already been removed and the hotel is itself operating a new restaurant on the premises.

According to a spokesperson of Gordon Ramsay Holdings (GRH), Ramsay was merely a consultant at the restaurant. This involved giving advice on dishes on the menu and on which chefs to appoint, and for him to visit the restaurant in person a specified number of times. A couple of months ago he spent a few days there.

According to GRH, the agreement certainly did not entail Ramsay continuously involving himself in food preparation.

In city restaurant circles rumours have been doing the rounds about the reason for the break-up. Some restaurant experts are, for example, chatting on the Internet, saying that a restaurant lacks atmosphere if, while it can seat 170 patrons, only 15 are there, spread out, for a meal. Many consider that the high prices have kept customers away.

GRH insists that Ramsay was not involved in determining the prices of the restaurant’s dishes, and that this was done by the hotel itself.

GRH is carefully examining the terms of its contract with Kerzner International and declares that the celebrity chef is certainly not guilty of breach of contract.

On the other hand Kerzner International says that the services of GRH have definitely been terminated for such breach.

Responding to enquiries, the hotel group said that because of legal implications the issue could not be discussed further.

- Sake24.com

For business news in Afrikaans, go to www.sake24.com

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