Gary Rhodes confirms interest in Lygon Arms
Thursday 18th April 2002 09:14
Chef Gary Rhodes has confirmed long-standing rumours and admitted he is holding discussions with the Savoy Group about running the restaurant at its Lygon Arms hotel.
When the rumours first surfaced in September last year, they were denied by Rhodes and the hotel.
Now Rhodes has said he has been talking to the Lygon Arms, in Broadway, Worcestershire, for some time.
He said the talks were continuing but stressed a contract had not been signed.
He said: "There are discussions, but until I sign a contract with the company I am not in business with them."
A spokeswoman for the Lygon Arms said: "We are still in discussions and have nothing to confirm at this stage."
She added: "These rumours have been floating around for some time, so it would be silly for us to deny them."
It is understood that Rhodes was at the Lygon Arms this week and was poised to sign the contract.
The 500-year-old Lygon Arms, one of the oldest inns in England, has 61 bedrooms and a 95-seat restaurant, the Great Hall.
Its head chef is Adrian Jones, who has worked with Rhodes in the past and was his sous chef at the Castle hotel in Taunton, Somerset.
The Lygon Arms is the Savoy Group's only hotel outside the capital. Its London hotels are the Savoy, Claridge's, the Berkeley and the Connaught.
Gordon Ramsay runs a restaurant at Claridge's and is soon to operate the restaurants at the Connaught.
Rhodes, asked if he felt that linking up with the Lygon Arms meant he might be stepping on Ramsay's toes in any way, said: "What Gordon is up to I don't know. As far as Rhodes Restaurants are concerned, we operate how we operate."
The Lygon Arms spokeswoman added: "We have never said we wanted to put Gordon Ramsay in all the Savoy hotels."
Other chefs involved with the Savoy Group are Pierre Koffmann and Jean-Georges Vongerichten, whose La Tante Claire and Vong restaurants are both at the Berkeley.
Earlier this year it emerged that Rhodes was opening a restaurant at Le Méridien's Cumberland hotel in London in the autumn.
by Louise Bozec
Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 18-24 April 2002