Ramsay's French triumph

Ramsay is the first British chef to receive two Michelin stars in France.

by: AFP | 09 Mar 2009

British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay claimed a "triumph" over the Paris food elite, as his first French venture near the Chateau de Versailles was awarded two coveted Michelin stars.

"It is a great honour to be awarded two Michelin stars in our first year of opening," the 42-year-old Scot said in a statement issued in London that proclaimed "Ramsay triumphs in Paris".

"It is particularly satisfying after the rather hostile reception we had on opening and this is a real career high for me," the footballer-turned-chef crowed as he welcomed the rating.

Known for his foul-mouthed rants on television hits "Hell's Kitchen" and "Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares", Ramsay has won global acclaim, and 10 Michelin stars, for enterprises in London, Dubai, Prague, Tokyo, New York and Los Angeles.

Modelled on his eponymous Chelsea restaurant in London, his first French venture, "Gordon Ramsay au Trianon", opened in March 2008 a short step from the former royal palace west of Paris.

But its launch was soured when top French food critic Francois Simon savaged it as "a brand with its label: Gordon Ramsayland."

He accused Ramsay of spreading himself too thinly across his restaurant empire, leaving sous-chefs in charge of the kitchens much of the year; 32-year-old Simone Zanoni in the case of Versailles.

The critic also sniffed at Ramsay's out-of-the-way Versailles location, suggesting he would woo rich foreign tourists but not real Parisians.

Ramsay, who cut his teeth working under French master chef Joel Robuchon, becomes the first British chef to earn two stars in France.

His global empire now boasts a total of 12 Michelin stars, making him the most-starred British chef, although he is still some way behind Robuchon's 25 and Alain Ducasse on 19 stars.

Le Trianon was one of nine French eateries to join the two-star club in the 100th edition of the Michelin guide.

Only one new restaurant joined the elite three-star rating, Eric Frechon's table at Le Bristol hotel in Paris, the favourite haunt of President Nicolas Sarkozy.

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