Not surprisingly, since they're both about to release books, the longtime feud between Gordon Ramsay and his mentor Marco Pierre White is heating up again. Here's the situation, in case it comes up in cocktail party chatter this week.
Ramsay: The King, his NY restaurant in flames, just admitted to stealing the reservation book at Aubergine many years ago, a crime that he'd framed White for, but had remained unsolved for sometime. This was during a time when the book was the business. It was a calculated, potentially crushing blow to White. The confession is contained in Buford's The New Yorker story. Story denouement:
"It was my one stroke of genius, fucking someone over without his knowing that I was the one who done it. And the Italians cutting Marco off and wanting to get closer to me, kissing my ass—‘What do you suggest? Can we sit down and start negotiating again?’ You always eat that fucking revenge when it’s cold, don’t you? Trust me, this was stone cold. Oooh . . even now it sends a chill down my spine. Because it would have been all over if I’d been caught. But that’s the risk you take, isn’t it?” He paused and seemed to reflect on where he was. “The risks just keep getting bigger.”Pierre White: For his part, the mentor has words for his former apprentice, and not just those seen this week in the Daily Mail.
In his upcoming book, The Devil in the Kitchen, Pierre drops the hammer on Ramsay:
The Devil in The Kitchen, Chapter 25Sales figures and NYT rankings to follow.
As for Gordon Ramsay, I cut the umbilical cord a few years back. I stopped returning his calls. He had been a protoge at Harveys and he was always a hard worker and showed tremendous resilience when it came to my bollockings. Perhaps I created the monster Ramsay, the monster who ended up as a TV personality screaming at celebrities on Hell's Kitchen, doing to them what I had done to him.
Anyway, I question my friendship with Gordon. I had given a newspaper interview in which I'd compared chefs to footballers and had wondered whether footballers made good managers, i.e., can chefs be successful restaurateurs? Gordon then gave an interview in which he used the same analogy but against me. In other words, he suggested that I may have been good in the kitchen but was I a good restaurateur? I was annoyed about it but he said he had been misquoted. I'd heard him say that before and I think that there's a limit to the number of times you can be misquoted.
There was another incident when Gordon and I were pulled up for speeding and the story appeared in the papers. Gordon said his PR people must have placed it, but I wasn't happy. I think Gordon can't help himself and he would do it again.
I was also irritated to discover, quite by chance, that he had brought a film crew to my wedding. They were hiding in the bushes, filming Mr. Ramsay for his Boiling Point program. I had no idea they were there until about eight months later when the producers sent me a videotape that contained the outtakes. [White's wife] Mati and I were happily watching it when suddenly we saw the two of us, dressed in our wedding attire, and then there was Gordon, winking at the cameras.
I decided my life would be enriched if I saw no more of him. It's unlikely we shall ever know each other again. When I cut, I cut.
· The Devil in the Kitchen, Marco Pierre White [Amazon]
· Humble Pie, Gordon Ramsay [Amazon]
· Ramsay: I cooked up book theft to frame my rival Marco [Daily Mail (via Snack)]
· The Taming of a Chef [NY'er]