Gordon Ramsay has caused a bit of a stir in the restaurant world this week after mercilessly commenting that the Covid-19 pandemic has wiped the slate clean of ‘c*ap’ restaurants.
Acknowledging that the past few years have been ‘devastating’ for the industry, he countered this by arguing that the upside to all the closures means that ‘the c*ap’s gone’ at least.
Throwing shade at some of the big chain restaurants that have dominated UK high streets for years, he said that the pandemic had forced ‘sh*thole ‘restaurants out of ‘prime positions’ and that the past two years had ‘wiped the arrogance out of the industry’.
Asked if trade was now returning, Ramsay said: “The business was on its arse, but it’s getting better … It’s been devastating the last two years. Landlords don’t say, ‘Take a holiday for two years’. But I think what has been evident for all of us is the crap’s gone.”
When pressed to say whether he was referring to any particular chains, the chef replied: “Well, just shitholes in a prime position and taking advantage because they’re in a great location, and they’ve got the footfall. But now we’ve wiped the slate clean, which is good.”
The celebrity chef made the comments during a Radio Times interview with the former shadow chancellor Ed Balls, whilst promoting his upcoming TV show, Gordon Ramsay’s Future Food Stars.
Pointing to the ways that consumers had educated themselves on food during the lockdown, such as learning to make their own sourdough, the TV personality said the restaurant industry had been forced to raise its game.
“Customers have got so much smarter in the last two years,” he told Balls.
“They know a lot more about food than they ever have done and have been making their own sourdough, so it’s taught everyone [in the restaurant industry] to raise their game … It’s wiped the arrogance from the industry.”
When it comes to the number of hospitality closures witnessed in the past few years, the impact has certainly been felt here in Manchester – which has seen a number of high-profile venues permanently shut their doors.
In the past two and a bit years, our city has lost a host of beloved independent businesses such as Spanish restaurant Iberica, Belgian beer cafe Bock Biere, and the subterranean, late-night NQ coffee shop Nexus Art Cafe.
Meanwhile, hundreds of restaurant chains up and down the country have closed branches for good.
These include Wahaca, Carluccio’s, Byron Burger, Ask, Zizzi, Bella Italia, Café Rouge, Frankie & Benny’s, Chiquitos, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Pizza Express, with a number of closures being felt here in Greater Manchester.
Rudy’s is opening a new pizzeria and pizza school in the former Dawson’s Music site
A year on from the initial news that Rudy’s would be taking over the old Dawson’s Music site on Portland Street, bosses behind the chain of neighbourhood pizzerias have finally hinted towards the new site’s opening date.
Revealing it is set to open in Manchester city centre this spring, they also shared the news that the new 8,000sqft location will be home, not just to another restaurant, but also to Rudy’s very own pizza school.
Billed as a ‘world-class destination for pizzaiolo talent’, the new pizza academy will take just over half the space – providing a structured training programme to both experienced pizza chefs and novices. It is set to welcome over 100 pizza chefs in this first year.
The restaurant, meanwhile, will span the rest with room for 120 covers. It will be Rudy’s sixth pizza restaurant in Manchester.
The new location at Portland Street will also be the HQ for Rudy’s Bake at Home, back by popular demand.
Serving the perfect and classic Neapolitan pizza since 2015 from its original Rudy’s in Ancoats, the acclaimed pizzeria has since opened 16 sites across the UK, with the new 120-cover pizzeria in Portland Street being its sixth location in Manchester.
Born out of passion for pizza, Rudy’s follows the authentic Neapolitan tradition of pizza making, serving classic recipes such as Marinara, Margherita and Calabrese – all originating from Naples, the birthplace of pizza.
Rudy’s has been praised by many as one of the best pizzerias in the UK, it is renowned for its consistency and quality in Neapolitan pizza making. On a mission to pave the way in pizza making all accordance to a truly authentic Neapolitan technique, Rudy’s is proud to open Rudy’s Pizza Academy at the new Portland Street location.
Jos Goncalves, manager at Rudy’s Portland Street, said: “We are delighted to announce that our next Rudy’s pizzeria will be located on Manchester’s bustling Portland Street.
Manchester has been home to the Rudy’s famiglia since we first opened in Ancoats in 2015, and we can’t wait to open our latest pizzeria, with the addition of our first Pizza Academy in the city this spring”.
Featured image – Rudy’s
Watch as Ed Sheeran debuts new music for the first time ever at ‘intimate’ Manchester gig
Now normally, when an artist chooses to take some brand new material out on tour for the first time, they’ll test the waters with a few intimate shows.
Just recently, we’ve had both Fall Out Boy and Blossoms at Band on the Wall, The 1975 at Gorilla, and Jason Manford in a beer garden.
But for Ed Sheeran, his idea of ‘intimate’ is… the AO Arena. That super cosy 21,000-capacity venue. Ah.
After selling out FOUR nights at the Etihad Stadium last summer, though, the chance to see Ed on stage in an arena again is a novel one, and it sold out the venue in minutes.
The ‘Shape of You’ singer announced this surprise arena tour just weeks before he took to the stage, in support of his upcoming sixth album Subtract.
This mini tour kicked off in Manchester last night – meaning our city got to hear new track ‘Eyes Closed’ live for the first time ever.
You can watch the highlights from Ed Sheeran at the AO Arena in the video below