Gordon Ramsay has been forced to defend his reputation after it was revealed he uses ready-made food at one of his restaurants and in his gastropubs.
A spokeswoman for the celebrity chef, who has said it is a crime not to use fresh food, issued a statement after a national newspaper revealed that pre-prepared food was being bought in, heated up and sold with mark-ups of up to 586% at one of Ramsay’s high-profile restaurants and three of his gastropubs in the capital.
Foxtrot Oscar in Chelsea, west London, uses a kitchen facility in Wandsworth, south London, to prepare components of dishes which are then cooked and sold at the restaurant, the chef’s spokeswoman said.
"Gordon Ramsay Holdings operate a kitchen facility in Wandsworth called GR Logistics (which was purchased from Albert Roux)," she said.
"Here Gordon Ramsay chefs prepare components of dishes devised and produced to the highest Gordon Ramsay standards.
"These are supplied to those kitchens with limited cooking space such as Foxtrot Oscar and Gordon Ramsay’s highly-acclaimed pubs, including The Narrow."
But in an interview promoting The F Word on Channel 4 in 2007 Ramsay said: "Using fresh ingredients is the only way to guarantee a great taste and I can’t understand how on earth people can ignore fresh food.
"That’s where all the flavour is, all the goodness, and it’s a crime not to use it."
The Sun reported that fishcake portions bought in for £1.92 were being sold for £11.25 at one of Ramsay’s pubs, while sausage rolls costing 75p went for £3.50.
Head chef Darran Ridley, of GR Logistics, reportedly told an undercover reporter they provided "the majority of the food for Foxtrot Oscar" and added: "We do coq au vin at £2.60 a portion, leg or thigh, in a bag with a sauce. All you have to do is pop it into a pan of boiling water and reheat it."