Gordon Ramsay reveals his plans to start an 'authentic' Asian restaurant this summer
Gordon Ramsay has revealed plans to open a new restaurant in London this summer, and the focus of the cuisine will be 'authentic' Asian food.
Ramsay's new restaurant, called the Lucky Cat, will open in Ramsay's Grosvenor Square this summer, replacing his old restaurant Maze "after 14 years of at the forefront of the London restaurant scene": that restaurant closed last weekend after reportedly making a loss of £3.8 million last year.
In a statement, the Gordon Ramsay restaurant group said they were delighted "enthusiastically embark upon creating" these new menus, which will centre around Asian food. "In keeping with the authenticity of the concept, the restaurant’s name takes inspiration from Asian culture where the ‘lucky cat’ is a talisman that is believed to attract good luck and fortune," the press release added.
"A revolutionary new venture and concept for the group, the restaurant is set to be an authentic Asian Eating House and vibrant late-night lounge, inspired by the drinking dens of 1930s Tokyo and the Far East."
At the helm of this new restaurant is Ben Orpwood, self-styled "tofu freak" and collaborator with Ramsay.
"[Orpwood's] extensive experience in the realm of Asian cuisine includes his time as executive chef at Asian restaurant and bar, Sexy Fish, in addition to a six-year stint at Japanese concept Zuma,” explained the press release.
Gordon Ramsay himself also weighed in on the new restaurant, saying that while Maze will be greatly missed, he's excited to start a new project. "I can’t wait to open the doors at Lucky Cat and bring a new flavour of Asian food and culture to Mayfair," Ramsay said.
"I can honestly say there will not be a bad seat in the house — every table will have a unique view and each guest will come away having experienced something sensational — whether it be the phenomenal menu, the amazing service or the stunning look and feel. Maze leaves large shoes for us to fill, but I have no doubt Lucky Cat will more than step up to the plate."
Ramsay, of course, has come under fire previously for what's been perceived in some quarters as cultural appropriation, and this latest restaurant opening is not going to help those accusations.
His new show, Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted, sees the 52-year-old go to lands far away to teach the locals how to cook their own food, which brought Ramsay stinging criticism.
When the show was announced last summer, outlets such as the Washington Post branded Ramsay a "colonial mess", while chef and TV personality Eddie Huang wrote: "The last thing the food world needs right now is Gordon Ramsay going to foreign countries showing 'locals he can cook their cuisines better than they can.'"
Ramsay's response to said criticism was emphatic. "The research going into [the show] is extraordinary. We’re [airing in] half a billion homes, 177 countries, in 43 different languages. And I can’t wait to make all those bitter, twisted, little, boring truckers who aren’t busy enough in their lives eat their words,” he said.