Gordon Ramsay is in the news again, this time claiming that he's the victim of sabotage.
According to Ramsay, the opening night at his newest restaurant, Heddon Street Kitchen, was a disaster because a jealous rival sabotaged the opening night by making fake reservations with over half of the bookings failing to show up that night.
But, since we're talking about Gordon Ramsay, I can't help but wonder if this is another infamous Gordon Ramsay publicity stunt.
Its the opening week, and the restaurant is only half full on nights where Ramsay never claimed sabotage. But, by claiming sabotage, Ramsay can spin the story from the embarrassment of a half empty restaurant to a PR publicity bonanza advertising his new restaurant.
This wouldn't be the first time Ramsay has lied like this for the publicity.
In 1998, a biker dashed inside the Aubergine, where Ramsay was the head chef, and snatched the reservation book. Bill Buford described the importance of that stolen reservation book: "at a time when reservations were not computerized, the book was the business: in it were six months of sale."
Ramsay used the theft to gain public sympathy and publicity. When it happened, Ramsay blamed the theft on his mentor and rival chef, Marco Pierre White. Almost ten years later, Ramsay finally admitted that he was the one who stole the reservation book and that he sabotaged his own restaurant.
And, Ramsay continued to lie to generate publicity for his projects. A few years ago, he had this documentary about shark finning. Before it aired, Ramsay tried to drive up ratings with sensationalistic stories about how he was held up at gunpoint and made to line up against a wall, soaked with gasoline, that cars with blacked out windows tried to block him in, discovered a bag of hidden shark fins underneath the boat, etc...
But, when that documentary aired, it was clear that none of that stuff really happened. A black Mercedes passed by, and Ramsay claimed that cars were trying to block him in. There were no no guns, and the only gun is Ramsay stating that they better leave before they 'get shot'. Somebody dumps some liquid that they use to soak shark fins so its not gasoline, but not a drop lands on Ramsay. Ramsay doesn't dive under the boat, and the fishermen are pretty open in showing him their fins.
At this point, with all his fame and TV shows, you'd think that Gordon Ramsay wouldn't need to lie like this anymore to generate publicity but the restaurant business is a tough business.