Marco Pierre White has confirmed to Caterer that he will be taking legal action against Gordon Ramsay over the infamous reservations book theft at the latter's former London restaurant, Aubergine.
The move comes after Ramsay last month admitted that he staged the theft and blamed White for the incident to humiliate him.
The theft, which took place in 1998 when Ramsay was head chef at the Michelin-starred Chelsea eaterie, involved a helmeted motorcyclist rushing into Aubergine and running off with the reservations book. The incident quickly made headlines, and as Ramsay pointed the finger, suspicions spread that White was behind the plot.
However, in an interview with the New Yorker magazine, Ramsay revealed that he faked the theft and hired a motorcycle courier to stage the robbery. "It was me. I nicked it. I blamed Marco," Ramsay said.
White is now expected to sue Ramsay for malicious falsehood but told Caterer that he could not comment on proceedings at this stage. "All I can say is that it is in the hands of my lawyers and appropriate actions will be taken," he said.
White is also reported to be considering a libel action, because Ramsay also blames White in his 2006 autobiography Humble Pie.
A spokesman for Scotland Yard said that the original investigation into the theft will not be reopened, and it is unlikely that Ramsay, who declined to comment on the pending proceedings, will be questioned for wasting police time.
Marco Pierre White is new star on Hell's Kitchen >>
By Kerstin Kühn
E-mail your comments to Kerstin Kühn here.