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DEATH PLUNGE MYSTERY OF RAMSAY PAL; Body of chef is found after flats `break-in'.


CELEBRITY chef Gordon Ramsay was last night mourning his protege's death in a bizarre fall.

David Dempsey, 31, plunged 40ft on to a basement patio after apparently breaking in to two flats.

He had been head chef at Ramsay's Amaryllis restaurant in Glasgow until recently, when he moved to London to take up the same post at Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea.

Police said Dempsey, from Maryhill, Glasgow, broke in to two flats in Kensington, about a mile from his Fulham home.

He was chased by a resident along window ledges before breaking into another townhouse nearby. He smashed his way on to a window ledge before plunging to his death.

Ramsay broke the news to staff at Amaryllis, which won Glasgow's only Michelin star under Dempsey, last night.

Describing Dempsey as the "inspiration" behind Amaryllis, he said yesterday: "I am numbed. I am totally devastated.

"I had dinner with David on Saturday and he wasn't quite his normal bubbly self. But I don't know what was troubling him.

"When you've worked with someone for five years as closely as I have with David you really get to know them and I just felt something wasn't right.

"He was a wonderfully talented, hard-working and creative chef with an enormous future. This was a young man who could have gone all the way to the very top. He was easily one of the most talented young chefs in Britain.

"Now, this terrible shock. He's the closest member of staff we have lost and telling the others of his death is something I'm going to struggle to cope with.

"Our thoughts go to all David's family, friends and the colleagues who will miss him terribly."

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said: "Police were called to a burglary on Sunday after someone had climbed scaffolding on a flat that was being renovated.

"The person smashed a window on the second floor then went down the stairs to an occupied flat inside.

"He was challenged by the occupant, there was a struggle and he broke out of the ground floor.

"He then went across a number of window ledges on the ground floor to another group of flats in the same block.

"He ran up a flight of stairs and smashed a window on the first floor. He ran up a second flight of stairs and smashed a window and climbed out.

"His body was subsequently discovered outside the basement flat."

TRAGIC END TO HIS DREAM DAVID Dempsey beat cancer at 22, only to die tragically at 31.

After chemotherapy cured him of Hodgkin's disease, a lymph gland cancer, he left Glasgow to pursue his dream of becoming a world-class chef.

The former Hyndland Secondary pupil made his name with Raymond Blanc, right, in his Michelin two- star restaurant Le Manoir Aux Quat' Saisons in Oxfordshire.

But when he saw fellow Scot Gordon Ramsay losing his rag in the Channel 4 documentary Boiling Point, he was determined to work for him.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 9, 2003
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