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Buford on Ramsay: 'He seemed subdued, vulnerable, confused.'

Bill Buford pens an essay for the New Yorker this week on the topic of Gordon Ramsay and his failing New York restaurant, Gordon Ramsay at the London. There is a lot of familiar material here -- the signature Gordon Ramsay potty mouth, the gobs of cash it took to get it the NY restaurant open, the BruniWaiting, the two-star blow -- but what does strike a new chord is the complete lack of responsibility taken by Ramsay himself for the disaster that is his restaurant. No where in the article, which spans a five month time period, beginning in November 2005, does Ramsay say he could have done better, made more thoughtful choices, actually been around more than a couple of days a month.

Ramsay returned to the New York restaurant in March. He had been away for two months. The Channel 4 documentary, charting his effort to get three Michelin stars in America, wasn’t going to be made. It was immaterial. He had other problems. He focussed his attention on his head chef. “Neil was being taken advantage of. I needed a Rottweiler. I had a golden retriever instead.” He replaced him with Josh [Emmet].

“When I came here,” Ramsay told me, “I expected to get kicked in the nuts. I have been. I have also been knocked down.” He seemed subdued, vulnerable, confused. He asked his wife to fly out from London. He was lonely. America was turning out to be such an elusive, difficult country.

Poor baby. Click on thru for the rest of the sob story.
· The Taming of a Chef [New Yorker]

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