Jason Atherton is to leave Gordon Ramsay's group of restaurants, with the announcement today that he is quitting Maze to set up his own restaurant. He will leave the kitchen there some time this month.
Rumours of his dissatisfaction with his position and desire to move on have been doing the rounds for months. In a 'phone interview reported by Bloomberg, however, he had graceful words for his ex-employer (“It upsets me that people want to have a dig at Gordon and will use this as a negative...”) and focussed instead on the positive (“I'm really excited ... finally to do my own venture”).
Of Ramsay's main lieutenants in his group, this now leaves Angela Hartnett as the only one of long standing, or with any real media profile.
As one of the main revenue generators in his group, Maze is of vital importance to Gordon Ramsay Holdings. This is particularly so, as its proving to be a brand that can apparently be successfully 'rolled out', represented in New York, Cape Town and – as of this month – Doha.
PS (6 April) It has subsequently emerged that Paul Walsh, number two chef at Ramsay’s flagship in Royal Hospital Road, is also leaving. He will be launch chef at new Texture spin-off, 28/50, to open late next month.