News broke yesterday that Gordon Ramsay—the sneery, F-bomb-slinging English bloke that everyone loves to hate—has managed to piss off the New York restaurant world from across the pond (not for the first time, mind you). Internet chatter erupted when official word came that Gordon Ramsay Holdings International Ltd had retained the sole rights to the name “Spotted Pig” in the U.K.
The Spotted Pig—a widely acclaimed restaurant helmed by Michelin-starred chef April Bloomfield, and known for hosting the likes of Jay-Z and Beyonce—might have followed in the footsteps of NYC spots like Balthazar and Bar Boulud by opening up an outpost in London. After all, Bloomfield is from Birminghan, and she and restaurateur Ken Friedman have both hinted at the possibility in the past. But now, the Hell’s Kitchen celebu-chef has put up a serious roadblock to the brand’s expansion potential.
Depending on which camp you’re with, there is still hope for the O.G. Pig team, as the crew has two months to challenge the recently approved application. Like everyone else speculating about just how big of a twat Ramsay is, we’re curious as to why the chef felt the need to steal someone else’s thunder in the first place?
So far explanations surrounding the confusing move have included a three-year media beef between he and Batali (a co-owner of the Pig), sparked when Ramsay referred to Molto Mario as “Fanta Pants”; a quote from Ramsay in the NY Post about wanting to open an “amazing neighborhood bistro along the lines of The Spotted Pig”; and a statement from his staff about the man’s general love for trademarking things for the hell of it.
So far, there’s been no word from either camp on future plans or a real explanation from Ramsay, but there have been a couple of vindicating tweets from Anthony Bourdain. The first reading: “That Gordon Ramsay would register name “Spotted Pig” in London and screw April Bloomfield (who built the brand) over is shameful pathetic.” And the second posted an hour later: “Gordon Ramsay registers name “Spotted Pig” in England? Shatters plans of fellow Brit April Bloomfield? Appropriates brand she built? Nice.”
The word’s still out on the reasoning for Ramsay’s sheisty jack move, but it’s looking pretty likely that he is just being his regular, asshole-ish self. Play on!