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DON'T GO THE WAY OF Amaryllis; Ramsay's advice to restaurant boss.

Byline: By Bob Shields

FIERY superchef Gordon Ramsay had to eat humble pie - when he told Scots restaurant staff about his own kitchen nightmare.

In his new series,Ramsay - famous for his bust-ups - flies north to help an Inverness hotel kitchen.

But instead of a roasting, he told them: 'Don't make the mistakes I made in Glasgow. Closing my first restaurant in my home country still hurts.'

He was referring to Amaryllis in Glasgow's west end which shut after running up losses of more than pounds 400,000 in three years Ramsay's TV troubleshooting took him to the Glenmoriston Town House Hotel in Inverness where owner Barry Larsen wanted advice on his La Riviera restaurant. And last night, Gordon said: 'I had to bare my soul and tell him where I got it wrong.

'In Glasgow, I made the mistake of going for a market that just wasn't there. You can't survive in this business by being busy only on a Friday and Saturday.

'At Glenmoriston, their French chef was trying to take a big chunk of his homeland and transport it over to Scotland.

'But they were heading the same way I was in Glasgow.

'I had to tell a few home truths and it wasn't easy. Amaryllis was very special to me and it hurt - and I don't mean only on the financial side. The whole point of this show is that I pass on my knowledge and experience.

'So that's what I have to do, even if the experiences aren't pleasant ones.'

In the Channel 4 show, to be screened next month,Ramsay tries to persuade chef Loic Lefebvre to find his inspiration a little closer to home.

Ramsay said: 'I took him out into Inverness to meet the kind of people he needs to attract, get a feel for the place.'

And he added:'F ****** hell, I even took him to an Inverness Caley game. Did the pies and the whole bit. That was a f ****** experience and a half.'

But the new menu still isn't exactly simple fare - on offer are seared foie gras with a warm panache of peas and grapefruit, carrot and muscat emulsion. Or how about a roast roe deer tenderloin, winter vegetable saltimbanque, truffled cream and truffled Porto jus.

Ramsay didn't want to give too much away about the episode.

But he said: 'I think they listened and reacted to my comments. I told them I wanted them to think Scottish - and there's a nice Scottish twist at the end which everyone will enjoy'.

Asked for a comment last night, hotel owner Barry would only say: 'With Gordon's help we won the Scottish Hotel Restaurant of the Year Award.'

Ramsay was in America where his US version of 'Hell's Kitchen' will be released this week


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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 28, 2005
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