Gordon Ramsay splits with Sauce Communications and turns to Freud

EXCLUSIVE: Multi-millionaire chef Gordon Ramsay has turned to legendary PR man Matthew Freud to boost his personal reputation, and that of his struggling restaurant empire.

Splitting with Sauce: Gordon Ramsay
Splitting with Sauce: Gordon Ramsay

Freud Communications has been appointed by Gordon Ramsay Holdings to begin working on both briefs from 1 May.

Ramsay has had a difficult past 18 months. He has lost control of his restaurants in New York, Paris and Los Angeles as well as closing the one in Prague. And he has also had to plough £5.7 million of his own money into the business. Michelin stars have dwindled at some of his London eateries.

He said recently: 'It's a been a s*** 12 months. I got to where I am by busting my a*** and then, suddenly, it all turned around and bit me on the a***. 

Last autumn, he announced he had quit Kitchen Nightmares and The F Word was shunted to a late night slot for the latter part of its last series. He has also had to battle allegations over his private life.

Matthew Freud has extensive experience in dealing with restaurants and celebrities. One of his first clients, in the 1980s, was the Hard Rock Café. And he was part owner of the Groucho Club in the 1990s. Freud knows Ramsay well as mutual members of London's social elite.

Ramsay is parting company with Sauce Communications, Britain's best-known restaurant PR outfit, after almost ten years. Sauce founder Jo Barnes, who has directed the Ramsay account for almost a decade, said she had helped him instead set up an in-house PR team, run by Chloe Green, who will be leaving Sauce for GRH.

Barnes also said she would be negotiating to transfer or buy back the 10% stake that Ramsay has in her PR agency.  

Barnes stressed that Sauce and Ramsay remained on good terms: ‘To be part of the growth of such a fantastic company and to work with such a unique and dazzling character as Gordon has been a huge privilege,' she said.

For many years Ramsay used Gary Farrow for his personal PR, but their split in January 2009 signalled worsening media fortunes for the chef.

In May 2009, during the height of the crisis, Ramsay brought in former News of the World editor Phil Hall for his personal PR.



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