The pre-heat is on: start the countdown to Gordon Ramsay’s Toronto restaurant
He came, he saw, he plans to conquer. Yesterday evening on CBC’s The Hour, Gordon Ramsay confirmed rumours that he will open a restaurant in Toronto. While the chef is reluctant to divulge details—he’s still in the planning stages—he says that he is definitely looking to expand his culinary kingdom north. Ramsay reports that he’s already scouted two sites in town for his first Canadian location. The date of the opening is still unclear, but it looks like the place will be 12 to 18 months in the making. Why so long? With satellite operations all over the world, Ramsay wants a real hand in this one. “We want to invest directly,” he explained, rather than work remotely. “I want to do it properly.”
“I love it here,” Ramsay said to a packed house at the Canadian Broadcasting Centre. And what’s not to love? The city has plenty to tempt a world-class restaurateur: a lively international dining culture, construction projects on every downtown corner (despite the economy) and better table manners than Ramsay can boast. The Brit also notes Toronto’s proximity to that other metropolis of eating and drinking: New York. Hogtown is just “a short hop,” said the chef, which makes frequent visits from NYC a cinch.
But be still Ontarian hearts; when asked his favourite restaurant in Canada, the award-winning chef showered surprisingly curse-free praise on Whistler’s Araxi. The acclaimed restaurant echoes the sentiment of Ramsay’s new book, Healthy Appetite: keep it simple. Ramsay was impressed with the use of what he called “humble” local and seasonal ingredients. “If it’s not available, it’s not on the menu. It’s as simple as that.” This cooking code, he claims, should govern menus, no matter how high-end the restaurant. If all of this sounds familiar, it may be because Toronto is already overrun with locavores. Ramsay is about to enter an educated marketplace, where diners are already familiar with the local farms and artisanal ingredients. We are looking forward to down-to-earth food with plenty of high-colour personality that can take on the likes of Jamie Kennedy. Torontonians may be polite, but we love a little healthy competition.
74 thoughts on “The pre-heat is on: start the countdown to Gordon Ramsay’s Toronto restaurant”
I think Gordon Ramsay is totally overrated (like Susur), and as a strong supporter of Canadian gastronomy, I think he doesn’t belong here.
Further, it is so obvious why he likes ‘Araxi’ so much: I have a hunch he’s looking to gobble-up that establishment, as well as the other Vancouver restaurants under the same “casual fine dining” chain (i.e., ‘West’, ‘Cin-Cin’, ‘Blue Water Cafe’, etc.) to add to his global empire of boring, cookie-cutter restaurant operations that bring in cash, and do little or nothing for gastronomy.
I can just picture it now: Vancouver will start looking a lot like London, U.K., with Ramsay’s boring restaurants scattered all over the place, with “chef patrons” doing all this wonderfully moronic cooking for him, while Ramsay is wasting time going through peoples kitchens telling them how stupid they are, as if he couldn’t do this back home in London, and show Brits how stupid he thinks they are…
Hello Torontonians, wake-up, and support your own made-in-Canada chefs right here in Ontario’s best restaurants, chefs like Neil Baxter, Jamie Kennedy, Bryan Steele, Aaron Linley, and many others that cook just as good as Ramsay, and better (but, happen to lack over-fed PR firms, and British nationalism that is so blindly behind Ramsay for no good reason, other than foolish pride).
Knowing Jamie Kennedy, I can’t imagine him traveling to the U.K., with a film crew, wasting his time going through pathetic British pub kitchens to show how stupid a lot of British restaurateurs are, the same way Ramsay seems to get away with coming over here and making Americans restaurateurs look as stupid as we all know they are… Really, Ramsay, this isn’t the Canadian way, and I for one do not appreciate your ability to forget just how bad the majority of British cookery is when compared to our established, multicultural and forward-thinking brand of Canadian gastronomy.
I will never bother frequenting a Ramsay restaurant ever again (even if one comes to Canada), because he’s not as good a chef as couch potatoes and food writers think he is, and again, I know many chefs working here in Ontario that actually perform much better cooking than him, chefs that actually cook in their respected kitchens.
Oh, save the self-righteous rant for someone who cares.
NONE of our Canadian chefs hold a candle to Ramsay’s culinary skills OR personality. He breathes new life into the food world and people like you, who are little weaklings in real life, but pretend to be giants on the internet, are just jealous.
Your clear jealousy of the success he’s had is pathetic. He is the most entertaining and real chef to come out of the food world in YEARS.
And as for you friend Jamie Kennedy…no one would (or does) know him walking down the street! And please, you’re counting HIM as one of our great chefs? Why? Because he made a high-end poutine with over-salted fries? Go to Caplansky’s and try a real poutine and gravy, you loser. And why don’t you go check Jamie’s restaurants and see how empty they are. The jig is up.
We NEED Ramsay to come here and revitalize our dining scene because it sucks. And because we don’t have any exciting chefs here on our own. Pretty sad.
And, the last time I checked, this was a free country and free world to set up shop wherever. If he’s not using your money, why do you care so much?
If you don’t like Ramsay, as they say, change the channel or turn off the TV, ie. don’t go to his restaurants. I’m sure you won’t be missed there………
Oh, Richard Maloney, NOW I see the problem and the REAL reason for your little baby rant. You work or own the restaurant RUNDLES!!! In touristy little Stratford.
Are you bitter that the great Gordon Ramsay didn’t come to Rundles??? Or did he not sign your book and you thought you’d get back at him.
Grow up, you baby. You’re the problem our restaurant scene is in a mess and will continue to be a mess. Because of people like you who think they are high and mighty and have the guts to tell us what’s ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ in fine dining.
By the way, thanks for including your restaurant affiliation. I have been to Rundles before, nothing special, it was an average meal. But after your little rant, I will not bother to eat at your establishment EVER again. Because I don’t like little whiny goofs that think they are cool on the internet by bashing others. You’ve lost me as a customer FOREVER. Good luck in those down times, brother……
I think you both need to calm down a little. I see both of your points, but I think there are bigger things to worry about, then if a restaurant does well or not. Time will tell…Don’t sweat the small stuff guys.
Kate, perhaps you’re right. I do become overly passionate about the subject of food and restaurants because I’ve loved them all my life.
It bothers me when someone like Richard Baloney up there rants about a foreign chef – who I’m sure – he has never seen cook, or tasted his food. His arguments are just so juvenile that I can’t believe he’s even associated or in the restaurant business.
Everyone knows the majority of high profile chefs, and those with multiple locations, don’t actually cook in their own kitchens. I guess we’ll need to falter Ferran Adria and Thomas Keller then for that too. How come Mr. Baloney didn’t refer to Daniel Boulud taking over Vancouver’s Lumiere? In fact, he’s such a tool that he disses his “friend” Jamie Kennedy at the same time since HE doesn’t even cook in his own kitchens most of the time!!!
Let me enlighten Richard Baloney…they’re called “recipes”; as in, if you’re not there, your Executive Chef follows YOUR recipes. That’s what ALL chefs do because obviously, they can’t possibly be at the restaurant ALL the time.
I wonder if Rundles Richard has even eaten at any of Ramsay’s restaurants? Because if he hasn’t, then how can he possibly comment on his culinary skills?
I have. At several. And have had some fantastic meals there, including at Ramsay’s in London and at Claridge’s. In fact, maybe Rundles could study their menu and get some tips to liven up their very average menu.
If he’s not the owner of Rundles, then the owners should really know what he’s up to and how he’s alienating customers with his stupid comments via the web.
Christine, have you been to Frank at the AGO yet? what did you think? Or did you visit Agora back in the day?
(I won’t address you as ‘Dear’, because it’s clear you do not belong to that class) Christine,
Do you, or, did you work for Gordon Ramsay, or, are you hired as one of his PR ladies, or, do you work for Toronto Life, and wish to make this article look better than it is?
Either way, given your totally moronic assertions stated above, you seem far too attached to chef Ramsay, to be believable in print.
Please, feel free to give me a call at Rundles, and I will tell you exactly what I think of uninteresting chefs the world over, including chef Ramsay. I am not afraid to say what is on my mind. If only you could feel this way, you might actually see the light of gastronomy today in Canada.
Yes, I’ve dined at Claridge’s before, and it was nothing special… French waiters and waitresses all overly dressed in uptight, cheap yet formal-looking uniforms (just as cheap as the table cloth rentals adorning their tables – the same knock-off fake linens all supposedly great London restaurants use – from chef Ramsay’s three-starred restaurant, to a two Michelin-starred restaurant like The Square, to any one-starred establishment in the Big Smoke…) They’re all cheap, yet, expensive for no good reason, as they charge too much for nothing they give of value when compared to what diners get in Canada, and the United States, in general.
The French professional waitstaff I witnessed, all talking amongst themselves during the luncheon service all to feel, well, better amongst themselves, I guess, really stuck in my memory. Is chef Ramsay really intersted in fine service, or, fake service? Note: all supposedly French restaurants in London have this dynamic: French servers in the front (always rotten to the core), and equally rotten chefs in the back (always of lower class English stock for the most part). These two worlds create toxic environments…
Christine, are you aware of this dynamic, I guess not, seeing that you have not worked like I have over the past two winters in London. Are you aware that London restaurants are actaully wannabe Rundles restaurants that don’t even come close? (Moreover, have you ever worked in a restaurant in your life, pardon the question?)
Going back to Claridge’s, I don’t remember anything interesting about Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s – his, or, his chef patron’s Lemon Tart was nowhere near chef Baxter’s at Rundles. Sorry, Christine, but, the truth hurts, gastronomy is real, I know, but, you have to learn how to taste abroad, literally.
Other than the wonderful decor of the dining room itself, a glowing example of how to reproduce that classic art deco style within a building that predates it, I don’t remember a single thing I ate at Gordon’s spot inside Claridge’s, because it was lacklustre. (Ask me about luncheons or dinners at famed restaurants like Rundles, Lucas Carton, L’Ambroisie, Pierre Gagniare, Le Bernardin, and so on, and I will give you exact details of the cuisine I tasted because it was actually noteworthy.
Dining at Clardige’s was, well, about as forgetable as dining at Charlie Trotter’s, or, Susur’s… Boring. Boring. Boring.
Besides Claridge’s, I’ve dined at his Royal Roads three-star joint (not without calling over five times to just get in, because it was supposedly “pre-booked six months in advance…”), and this dining experience was a complete waste of gastronomical time as I know it. Again, ridiculous French servers, apperently more at home in London, than in Paris, or, the rest of France…
Christine, I think you are totally lacking any sense of taste, and the fact you would waste two entries to bad mouth me without offering substance, shows something that might not be suitable to print. Actually, your negative remarks, with all too frequent gramatical errors, makes me feel really good that your comments were sparked from my original, honest observations, and this is good for gastronomy in Canada. You sound really, dishonest, and again, I question where your comments are coming from, as you sounded far too eager to pounce on my remarks.
What is really bad, is the fact that many Canadians do not get a chance (for whatever reason, mostly there own) to dine abroad, especially, in Michelin-starred restaurants.
So, when a PR chef like Ramsay gets televised here, well, a lot of naive gastro-dreamers here tend to believe he’s actually something of interest, above and beyond Canadian, and/or, American talents that are well established in their kitchens (kitchens, that a lot of Canadians avoid because they would rather do what you probably like to do, and go cheap, and dine at “casual fine dining” chains).
I can tell you are a fake:
Obviously, you’ve never dined at Rundles before, or, you would have discovered that we actually give our clients real, Irish linen napkins to use, the best in the world, a luxury item no London chefs could ever dream of giving their supposedly beloved clients, because restaurateurs there are so cut-throat and cheap, cheap, cheap, and their clients don’t even know how screwed they are…
You can talk badly about our menu all you want, but, at least our chef cooks in his kitchen each service (the pastry section belongs to him).
Any chef that trusts others to cook his/her recipes, is, well, a chef that shouldn’t be trusted, period. Culinary art is about control, and when you give people control of your artistic ablility, well, you no longer really control it, no matter how good you think you are. This is why I avoid any chef that has more than one great restaurant… You can’t have more than one great restaurant, without lying, gastronomically.
Look over the ages, honey, please take note that great chefs never trust anyone to cook their ideas. This is the difference between good, and great, or, noteworthy cookery.
The difference between my commentary and yours, is the fact that you are obviously being paid by someone, or, some organization, to talk such nonesense and smear my original observations that are based on years of experience working in this trade in restaurants all over the world.
Also, if you think that I am making my story up, as if I do not know anyting about gastronomy in Canada, North America, or throughout the World, well, keep in mind that I personally prepare and cook all welcome meals for each visiting ‘Resident Celebrity Chef’ visiting the Stratford Chefs School each winter, and if you think I do not know how to entertain, well, just ask the past two-years of ‘Resident Celebrity Chefs’ to the School how they think of my cuisine that I prepare for them when they first step foot in Canada, and visit Stratford.
Please feel free to contact the following international professional chefs I have cooked for:
Matteo Barontetto: http://www.luxeat.com/my_weblog/2008/06/ristorante-cracco.html
Yvan Lebrun, and Rolande Leclerc:
Why dont’ you ask these persons mentioned above how much they enjoyed my cuisine when they visited Stratford during their visit to the Straford Chefs School.
I consider myself to be an expert in Canadian cuisine and gastronomy, and sorry, honey, but, you don’t even compare.
Stop trying to write for PR firms, and confuse readers here. I’m not buying it.
Christine, grow-up, please…
Call me at Rundles, and I will tell you exactly what I think of bad (supposedly fine) cookery across the globe, including Ramsay’s version.
I agree with Mr. Maloney.
Ramsay’s London restaurants are indeed nothing special… Actually, most French-based, fine dining restaurants in London are best avoided.
Back to my reason for leaving this comment.
Rundles is one of my favourites, because it’s special, unique, and basically original to the core. The owner is in the building every time I go there, and this is the difference between good restaurants, and great restaurants.
The last thing Toronto needs is another North 44…
Kate, yes, have been to Frank and had also gone to Agora; they’re very good. BUT, very good by Toronto standards. What I mean by that is that we just don’t do fine dining that well here – food nor service – as the vast majority of the world does. I eat out here in Toronto, on average, about 4 nights a week, so I’d like to think I’m pretty versed on our dining scene. And the thing that our restaurateurs just can’t get their head around yet is that you can’t teach personality; in either chefs, or servers.
Obviously Ramsay’s at the level where everyone now wants to bash him and pull him down from that high throne he’s on. I must divulge that I was staying at The London NYC when he was there and actually shared a late night drink with our group and him (I had Brits with me); could have been an act, but I don’t think so. He was pretty genuine about wanting to re-produce his recipes in a genuine, honest way without being too ‘frou-frou” as he said at the time. He even said that he knew at the time that he was sure that it would only be about 70% great on a daily basis, and only on great nights once in a while would they fire on all cylinders. He knew people were going to take the piss. And he’s a big boy, he can handle it.
And to answer Richard; you fired me up yesterday, but today’s a new day so I’m not feeling as much hatred towards you….but i still don’t want to call you. Like I said, I’ve been to Rundles…more than once…and while it was good, I find it average. Food was good, but service was really not tha polished up to my standards at least. I think you were trying to stand on a soap box and do the ra-ra thing for Canada etc. But it didn’t work. And I’m tired of that. We live in a GLOBAL world now. There’s no ra-ra needed; and I’m never going to support Canadian restaurants just for the sake of them being so. Those days are over. Canadian chefs and restauratuers need to step up to the plate and start being special; as you see in today’s New York Times or maybe you didn’t, I just happen to have it handy since I’m in New York right now; Susur got 1 star from Bruni. Proves my point: when our Canadian chefs get out into the “real” world, and I consider NYC to be one of the great culinary destinations of the world….they get burned because they’re smalltime.
J.F. I’m not sure what your comment means about not needing more North 44s? Do explain. In fact, if I had to choose one Canadian chef that “gets it”, it’d be McEwan. He goes to great lengths for consistency – and he stays true to his core vision, I think. His service can be very spotty at times, but again, the standard is so lax here, it figures.
Wow, Richard honey, take a chill pill. Guess business is slow at Rundles today if you have this much time to write more nonsense. Who’s believing your hype? Oh, that’s right, YOU! I was going to state that I actually was never a fan of Ramsay’s – in fact, I wouldn’t even have taken the time to respond to your ridiculous post, but it was just something so COCKY about you that I just had to.
So, which are you? A “head waiter” or a “private chef”. Or, more truthfully, are you a fraud in both those careers?
Hey jerkoff, when did we talk about Irish linen napkins? You’re such a goof that I think you actually believe you’re giving Rundles good PR by writing this garbage.
I’m in finance you goof. I enjoy reading Toronto Life.
I have no stake in Ramsay or Toronto Life, but again, it was your waaa waaaa waaaa little post that put me into action. And in fact, you’ve now made me want to post this on other food boards so I can show everyone just what a moron you are.
But in fact, you sorry little loser, you prove my points that I stated to a tee! You’re obviously bitter that you’re either a waiter as a career or a failed chef. Which one, I don’t know. But I can assure you that if you had any talent for either job, you wouldn’t be in Stratford with the blue hairs. Which, if I recall, was mostly what I saw when I dined there…TWICE. All older people that for sure have money to burn, and really don’t know great cuisine. If you had actually dined in the U.K., as you claim, you would know that they have one of the most exciting dining scenes going for the last few years. Obviously you’re prejudiced against the French. That’s too bad. Because they know food. And they know service. I hope you at least picked up some tips from them while you were supposedly working there.
Again, you prove my points above fabulously and I thank you for that.
Oh, and again, if you think that more than 4 people actually read this, go ahead and promote your tired restaurant some more on here. Any PR helps when you’re in the hinterland I guess.
Now, go polish some of that glassware with spots I saw when I was there with that fine Irish linen and let us really into gastronomy lead the way.
I won’t stoop as low as you do…
Do you work for Toronto Life, or, might I guess you’re employed outside of your finance job as one of Ramsay’s PR gals?
Your bad mouth, and language, seem to point to PR, in reverse.
It’s too bad you have to work (if you’re not lying), because I don’t need to for half of the year, and never will work more than six months of your restaurant season. I work really hard, and am proud to work in Canada’s top establishments that make most others look moronic in comparison.
I’m planning to vacation for six weeks in Europe, tasting my way through Spain, Italy, and Denmark for a first, as well as re-visiting some of my favourite Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris. I live to eat and drink, and not the other way around.
Yes, honey, all of the best three-starred restaurants in the world (even supposedly great restaurants that are not yet under Michelin’s gaze) use cheap rental linens to give their clients, I hate to break your heart, but, Rundles is the one of only a handful of establishments in the world that actually give the best of the best quality linens to their guests each dinner service. Do you think any restaurant in London can afford to do this? Give your head a shake. Also, most restaurants in Canada, and the U.S., can afford to do what Rundles do, yet, they are too cheap and prefer to give out inferior items to make more money… Again, you do not know enough to know what I know, therefore, your comments above are totally to false and misleading. You have to prove what you say, and not throw stones which you have been doing all along, which any educated reader here will witness.
Obviously, given your rude comments above – total rants that began immediately following my thorough and objective comments – I know your knowledge of restaurants and restaurant gastronomy is nowhere near mine, nor, will it ever be.
Again, I am sorry to sound so blunt, but, you seem really moronic and far too easily prone to sling abusive words to be believed by me, and you should learn to either argue much better, quoting concrete references, or, stay in your place in life, and understand you do not work in the restaurant industry (I’ve worked in this business since the age of 14, and never had any other job), therefore, you know little or nothing of how restaurant dynamics work on the world’s stage. I’ve dined at most major restaurants around the globe at least once, as well as working in many top rated restaurants in Canada, London, U.K., and Sydney, Australia, to know that Rundles is tops, in a league of it’s own.
Keep to your day job in finance, and stop trying to write bad romance here. I can tell you don’t even know how to cook, which probably why you like Ramsay so much.
Richard, I’ll bite because it’s just too fun to spar with you! I’ve found quite a target in you – thanks!
Yeah, sounds like you’re ‘living the life’ up there in Stratford! You big spender, you!… Please queeny, the jig is up. You’re not to be believed and your pleas for seriousness have been thrown out the window with your comments. Anyone reading this can tell you’re an A-1 fraud.
You seem obsessed with linen. What up with that?! I never brought up linens, you did. Have you also worked part-time at a cleaners? Why so crazy about linens, bud? We’re just wiping our mouths with it, take it easy. I don’t care if it’s from Ireland or from Bangladesh, dude. Seems like you have a linen fetish…
Oh, you don’t “have to work”. Yeah. Right. You just CHOOSE to, right? And where do you choose to bestow all your worldly talents to? Oh yeah, in STRATFORD. Ha! You’re like a bad Seinfeld episode that doesn’t get that YOU’RE the JOKE! I love this! Are you actually that much of a dope? Wait, don’t answer that.
Well, unlike you, I do need to work. To keep up with my pretty dam great life. I’m currently in New York. Ate at Babbo last night and Mario came by at around 10:45pm. My dining partner is a friend of his and he gave us a taste of his cousin’s limoncello that had just arrived last week from Italy. It was rather strong and bitter, but deliciously tart. Excellent ending to the meal, actually. What did YOU eat last night in Stratford?
And, funny. You’re looking at MY writing??? Take a look in the mirror. Your spelling mistakes and grammatical errors point to the fact that you are a waiter. And, if you’re so proud of yourself, why haven’t you answered my question above?
Are you a “head waiter” or are you a “private chef”? Which one are you? Answer it, unless you’re afraid that everyone will now know that you are a real fraud.
If you’re so good, if you’re so brilliant at your job, why is it that you don’t have your own restaurant? And why is it that you’re in Stratford, of all places? Why not Paris? Why not Spain? Why not London? I’ll answer for you: because you probably are a pissy little girl and no one at that level would hire you – especially when they take a look at you. You see, because I have the advantage of knowing what you look like. And I can understand why you’re in Stratford aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllll the way up there!
And, I’ll leave you with something that will probably be hard to swallow for you (although I hear through the grapevine that you’re good at that…):
The difference between you and I, is that YOU will ALWAYS serve ME. And that, my friend, is your lot in life. Don’t be bitter, just accept it. Because in this life there are those who serve, and those who get served. Just deal with it. Maybe if you started taking that stick out, you’d get more tips from people like me. You’re the problem with the service industry today. Grow up and either get another job, or stop whining like a little schoolgirl.
Have a nice day. :)
Wow! YOU TWO SHOULD KEEP GOING…This is entertaining my entire office…
Richard, your turn!
As entertaining as all this banter is, the personal comments are not only rude and immature; they are not in the context to the original article. I did read the article and also saw the interview on C.B.C., which was a pitch for a new cook book and the mention of Ramsay’s interest in launching a restaurant in Toronto. This too may be banter; more PR for the Ramsay ‘brand’. However, should Ramsay open a restaurant in Toronto, I think Kate had the right idea, “time will tell…”!
Just as a reminder, there are good restaurants and there are not so good restaurants. The same can be said for servers, menus, cooking skills and restaurant patrons. With this in mind, we have the choice to patronize which restaurants we see fit for our needs, budget or occasion.
It is very interesting to me with the invention of things such as Food Network, that everyone has become such a critic regarding restaurants and chefs. More so, because a chef or restaurant has so called ‘celebrity’, does this make it a better or greater experience? Have some bought into the whole notion that if it’s on television, it must be good? I think the criteria for finding a good chef and restaurant has been unfortunately, lost. Consideration to cooking skills, creativity, and use of product, freshness and experience is a far greater tool.
Wow… you folks should be ashamed for hijacking this post. Take it somewhere else… pullllease.
I think that the two of you should go and get a room!
“And why don’t you go check Jamie’s restaurants and see how empty they are.”
Well, I guess it is strange that on Wednesday evening past we couldn’t get a table for 4 at the Church Street location for love nor money then…
WTF, Betina, and all the rest of your little friends that’d like to chime in:
When you start paying my internet bill, you can tell me when, where, and how to post.
Until then, I will post my thoughts on this open forum any way I wish.
And to your assertion that you couldn’t get a table on a Wednesday evening at JK, well, I think you’re making that up. Sorry. As I said, I eat out at least 4 times a week and I have yet to see it that busy ANYWHERE in downtown Toronto – and especially on a weekday since at least November.
Perhaps you are a fan of Jamie Kennedy’s. That’s fine; and congrats to you for discovering the city’s most overpriced, oversalted french fries!
At least Ramsay’s frites were crispy and perfectly seasoned! (That one was for Richard).
I would more than gladly pay your internet bill for as many months as you wish, just so we don’t ever need to read one more of your smug, self-entitled comments again.
I, for one, greatly enjoy both GR’s “cooking” and his personality.
Christine, you mention that you have observed Toronto restaurants being near empty since November?
Does this, perchance, have something to do with the economic downturn?
And perhaps one of the myriad reasons behind our economy going down the crapper is overpaid folks in the financial sector spending an inordinate amount of time writing boastful, conceited, puff-pieces about themselves (and how much smoke they have blown up celebrity chefs’ asses) on open forum message boards.
Not to worry, I am sure that when you finally lose your job, Rundles will be more than happy to take you on as a food runner.
Am I right Richard?
Hmmm…no posts for an entire day and then all of a sudden, 3 consecutive posts. Coincidence? Richard’s waiter friends?
I’ll let everyone else decide, but this seems fishier than my last entree at Oasi.
Now, to address “Bruicejuice” (very original, by the way): Don’t be a hater just because I made all my money in finance. I can show you too how you can galavant all over the world and eat and drink in style, if you wish.
The restaurants here are empty because we have shit service (from people like Richard) who think they are better than they are and feel bitter about being a waiter. To which, I’ll say, I don’t know why because it’s a very noble profession if you give it the respect it deserves. I know many professional servers who make it their career and understand how to be hospitable. And, to be honest, the other reason they are empty is because of people like Jamie Kennedy, Marc Thuet, and a few others that feel as though they can serve us slop on a plate, and we will sit there and say thank you. I don’t think so.
Back to Ramsay: he and his staff know hospitality; (so do Daniel Boulud’s, Danny Meyer’s, and Eric Ripert’s). The restaurants that “get it” in terms of the food and service combo and from which Ramsay – if he ever opens up a restaurant here – (although I know fear that Richard has scared him away…) can take a look at are as follows:
Jacobs & Co.
…and that’s about it.
Now I suggest all you servers responding back on here go and take some server courses, or get jobs. Either way, contribute something worthwhile to society rather than just your self-importance of wanting to see your stupid little names in print.
PS> By the way, Brucejuice, I will be retiring in 5 years with all that money I’ve made in finance and so thank you for the job offer, but while you’re still serving, I’ll be in Santorini…
You are repugnant and inconsistent. After smugly appointing Ramsey as our culinary saviour, you later note some our remarkable establishments in Toronto to rebut Richard. Oh, so NOW, faced with a chef working in a smaller community, you respect our culinary scene?
Please note that a number of the chefs cooking at these establishments you enumerate are graduates of the Stratford Chef’s school. Note also that Stratford is a boutique community with a captive dining audience which allowed some of Toronto’s finest to hone their skills before storming Toronto with these skills.
You are, in your own words, someone who will only be served, but will not be creating the inspiration for consumption. Your pathetic attempts to create value for yourself, in trumpeting your only source of identity (finance?? gobs of money??) reek of someone who is hoping to making a difference in the world while doing nothing about it except denigrating others on a Toronto Life message board.
Your lack of respect for a proven practitioner in the industry is astounding, classist, and quite frankly, unattractive.
Join the rest of the Toronto community who approaches the culinary scene with a sense of adventure, rather than snobbery. Every great artist, including culinary ones, must have a vision of their final creation. That may be fine Irish linens, or it may be a television show which seeks out terrifying bug-infested establishments and sets them right before our eyes.
Ramsey is a master in Schadenfreude. Not every chef in Ontario has this as his/her mandate. They are craftspeople, engaged in alchemy, and not every experiment will be successful. Try going on the journey with them, as opposed to using these humble, hard-working, low-paid craftspeople to reinforce your disgusting colonial instincts, and your attachment to a class system which does not exist in Canada.
Food is not a status symbol, honey. It is sustenance and a source of joy.
I don’t know if the celebrification of cooks has resulted in making eating out necessarily better or greater, but from my own experience things like the Food Network have introduced me to varieties of food that I otherwise would probably never have discovered.
While my eyes roll slightly when friends now utter ‘flavor profile’ without missing a beat, I still remember growing up back when there were two types of oranges at the A&P, one type of “ground beef”, and when so few of us had ever tried sushi. Now thankfully, to some extent, good, quality food of fantastic variety has become something most expect to find at our local supermarket.
I think the same can be said for restaurants — we can see how it’s done in London or New York, take something from it, and become inspired to do our own thing. Private cooking schools are popping up all over the country, and I’m sure that at least a couple of the folks in them got some inspiration from Padma, kitchen stadium, or kicking it up a notch.
I think Toronto has made a good amount of progress as a culinary destination over the past ten years, and while I agree with many of the observations regarding the shoddiness of service and sub-par quality at many places in town, regardless of the vitriol in which the arguments are made, adding a dose of competition makes everyone step up their game. Can there ever be too many paintings in a museum?
And while I’m sure many of the local chefs mentioned above are excellent in their own right, framing the argument in terms of some sort of us v. them protectionism comes across as petty and small-minded. Similarly, name dropping well-known global chefs to buttress rage-filled empty arguments does little to contribute to the discussion. To address your point regarding the criteria for finding a good chef and restaurant becoming lost, I respectfully disagree. I think the definition of what a restaurant is has been expanded — we now have a greater variety of ‘experiences’ to choose from — knowing the personality and pedigree might make the experience more of a pleasure for some, which at the end of the day, is what food should be about, right? And I think for most, consideration to cooking skills, creativity, and use of product, freshness and experience are the tools that put these places on the map in the first place.
As far as my own take on these guys — Gordon Ramsey, his food is amazing, and I would love to be able to not have to travel for the experience. And while we’re on the topic, Nobu, if you’re reading this, Toronto needs your arctic char on crispy spinach. Um, Marc Thuet can bite me, Mark McEwan’s minions can’t cook a steak (but I’m sure the new jam and kitchenware are great!), Cosimo Mammoliti is a pizza fascist, and my nona make a better pasta than David Lee. To others like Rocco Agostino, Michael Statdlander, and Jamie Kennedy, I raise a glass. To each his own, and as crazy as you people are, I respect your passion. Oh, and Jamie, for what it’s worth, your fries are well salted and very crispy.
Bla, bla, bla. Another self-appointed gourmand who thinks she is above everyone else because she calls herself a foodie.
Basically, you’re an idiot. And a hypocrite.
You spent an excessive amount of ink to try and cut me and my comments up, and yet, this is the same thing you chide me for doing to your buddy Richard. And make no doubt people, she’s a friend of Richies. No one is coming on here to defent the queen unless they are a friend.
I say to you again what I said: take your head out of your ass (sorry, but for people like you, you must speak this way because it’s the only way you’ll understand), and make a REAL contribution to society, and not only on the TL boards. Wake up, you don’t “own” the culinary scene.
What I was doing by listing those restaurants was not to say that they are “amazing” or even at the level of Ramsay, what I was pointing out was that if Ramsay should choose to come here, then those are the ones that he needs to look at. Not because they are so much better than his restaurants, it’s just that he’ll know what we in Toronto settle for.
Seriously, you and your little foodie friends will not be scaring me off this board. I mean sweet jesus, you’re not even entertaining in your writing, at least put something interesting in there.
Go help Richie polish that Irish linen……
One word to describe your voice on this message board:
One word to describe your wild imaginings about total strangers on this message board, as well as your logic:
You are hilarious!
Why, oh why do you presume that anyone who disagrees with your, quite frankly, vile behaviour on here, works within the hospitality industry?
The anonymous nature of boards such as this are quite obviously the only outlet you have for so many frustrations you have in your lonely, vacuous, well-fed life.
Talking of which… Why don’t you “out” yourself?
Just say you were to shed that anonimity… Perhaps a link to a little picture?
I am pretty sure that there are so many, many people who work in restaurants in Ontario who would love to know EXACTLY who you are, so as they can give you the “special” service you so OBVIOUSLY deserve.
Hey… I made a few grammatical errors there. Sorry.
According to your broken logic that means I must be a waiter.
By the way…
What does “defent” mean?
Have fun in Santorini. Hopefully all the kebabs won’t go to your ass as much as your restaurant knowledge has gone to your head. You are truly something to behold.
That is a fine idea! Christine should post a picture of herself so that when we enter a restaurant, see that face, we would be prepared to speak to someone and request a table far from it, and her very hostile and unpleasant manner. I’m sure any waiter across the restaurant universe would be very appreciative with this also. Great suggestion Brucejuice! Why should she spoil it for the rest of us?
Wow, I must admit this is one of the most riveting pillow fights of all time yet i feel compelled to join in. I apologize for all grammar and spelling mistakes since it seems to fuel this banter further. I think both of you need to be aware of a few things.
Cupcake, your restaurant is great it has been a staple in Stratford for many years and been the home of many great chefs. All you are doing is bitching about PR yada yada yada…..read your own blog all you are doing is braging about you and your restaurant telling us how great it is as well as your life of pole and leisure is. Bottom line if you don’t like Gordon Ramsey don’t go and support him with your money or that of your sugar daddies. Ironically you and Tinkerbell seem to have a lot in common. You both want to tell us how great your lives are and how much money and facebook friends you have.
Tinkerbell, I feel that you are being as close minded as your opponent. Saying Canadian chefs can’t hold whatever to others around the world is possibly the most naive statement ever. Do you call all the restaurants ahead of time in Canada and announce that you will be dinning with them tonight so they can do a little extra to try and impress the golden foodie that is you….I don’t think any truly great chef would care if YOU think they compare to someone in another country. What really made me write this however is your comment about servers. Although I think cupcakes rant was abnoxious and well stooopid you took this down the wrong path.
I am not a waiter so save your breath just accept that your view of servers is just as obnoxious and far more stoooooopid. Get this through your head you are not better than other people because you might have a lil money and have friends that know great chefs. Wake up the people in the kitchen serve you just as much as those at your table. Its a process and seeing that your background is finance you should understand that you pay money for a service (not the type of service twinkletoes does those other six months of the year) and these head chefs you revere so, no matter where in the world they are from are part of that team and process. So basically you think you are better than everyone in any business that provides you the customer a service.
In conclusion all I want is for cupcake to open his mind not mouth realize this isnt communism and anyone can open any restaurant or business they please. If Ramsey is as bad as you say then he will fail and you are the king of the world. Tinkerbell please understand you are not the greatest thing since slice bread and unless you post a picture somewhere i can see I will stay with the belief that you are an ugly person inside and out who goes to restaurants to feel better than others and about yourself. Congrats you are the uber snob who is the reason the rest of us get lesser service because you need to monopolize everyone’s time because you are a pretentious insecure wench. Some of those servers might be single parents or even relatives of yours if you took your head out of your ass or Cupcakes Irish napkin.
I know people who you should speak to…
Seriously, I do.
People who can help people with social problems like yourself.
I will not get into everything you have been battling about.
But as a Maitre d/Sommelier/Server in one of the Toronto restaurants you have named as a quality destination. Your comments about who you are and those lots in life meant to serve you is telling of the way you live life.
I have accepted my lot to serve, enjoy and enhance diners experiences to the best of my abilities. Loyal guests, patrons and friends for almost 20 years in the restaurants I have worked have been kind and treated all staff with respect and understanding that it is these people along with great chefs that make dining enjoyabe. I think you need to make dining simply enjoyable again.
Yeah, jerk-offs, why don’t I do that…send you my pic so you can wank off on it. I’d rather eat at Rundles than do that. Morons. Just as I thought, typical gutter talk from people that don’t know any better.
Geez, I knew business was slow, but this is ridiculous. Can’t you waiters find SOMETHING else to do than cry that your feelings have been hurt???
Anyway, have fun in frigid Stratford today. I’ve been in sunny Dallas the last couple days and have been enjoying the dining scene here quite a bit, and giving my tips to servers that actually care about my dining experience. What a concept.
Christine…Is it true women are more attractive in Texas?
Also are there any restaurants you reccomend there?
Christine: “send you my pic so you can wank off on it. ”
Oh, that image just made me throw up into my mouth.
You are certainly no “lady” Christine.
Off topic (from the posts above) but here goes….
Not a real foodie but have recently become interested in both cooking and the restaurant business. Though I have never been to any of Ramsey’s restaurants (or any of the finer establishments in Toronto for that matter), I find Gordon Ramsey is one of the most entertaining and straightforward celebrity chef on television today.
Now back to the action…
As a total outsider, I’ve been to Rundles three times, and only seen Gordon Ramsay on television. Rundles – class: Ramsay – bulldog. Rundles – delicious: Ramsay – Bulldog. OK… he has a certain je ne sais quoi, and his food is probably delicious. I would eat in any of his restaurants – yes. And okay, I’d gush if I met him. However…he is a corporation. Rundles is a small and beautifully established restaurant that compliments the theatre town during the season it is open. Richard – I don’t know personally, but I know who he is, and he was a charming host. I know people who work with him, and like him very much. Christine – your comments are actually having the opposite effect, and people will be intrigued now. Rundles should thank you. But fortunately, it doesn’t need to. I would eat there again, and again. It was, by far, the loveliest dining experience I have ever had. Richard, don’t degrade yourself by giving Christine any further due. Christine, this is what you do on holidays?
I just wanted to give my little input.
I am a young cook, and I am so very proud of our Canadian cuisine. I have worked my little butt off, cooking in restaurants like Rundles and Jk wine bar. Canada is new on the scene relative to European countries when it comes to gastronomy, but we are getting there, people like Neil Baxter, Jamie Kennedy, Micheal Statlander, James Walt, etc etc.. are ones we as Canadians should be supporting, not bashing.. Christine.
I also feel people like Christine should, very nicely, shut up. You are not working in the industry, how can you have so many opinions?
You’re right about one thing Christine.. business is slow at Rundles. It is the off-season.
I cannot serve, but I have much respect for the skill and hard work that goes into serving (especially when having to serve people of Christine’s status)
When you say, “The difference between you and I, is that YOU will ALWAYS serve ME. And that, my friend, is your lot in life. Don’t be bitter, just accept it” – The difference is, serving is a noble trade. One that puts people first. It is giving. Unlike SOME of their patrons (Christine) who just take, take, take.
One last thing; To ALL who are so quick to judge and so highly critical of restaurants. Think of the cooks for a second. Why do they cook? Why do they work so hard for so little? They love it. It’s a gift to you. To nourish and delight your senses, to the best of their abilities. They are creative people and want to make you happy. The same with servers.
STOP THIS MADNESS!
Be thankful that we have the opportunity to experience these things. We are in a very small percentile of the world”s population. And this may pass.
You have left me no choice but to say… have a nice day : )
I think it would be great to have a Ramsay restaurant in Toronto. Having lived in London (ex-Toronto) for the last 10 years, had the pleasure to see a real boom in the food scene here (including the Ramsay restaurants) which is at a level way beyond that in Toronto or Canada in general. Alot of this can be explained by the influence of TV here. Food/cooking shows (featuring Ramsay, Blumenthal, Oliver, etc) are in prime time on the major UK channels. These chefs are well known by a wide audience and so alot of people here are becoming more aware of better food, which further increases the popularity of said shows. Whether or not you enjoy Ramsay’s food is one debate (I do). But you cannot deny that these guys have raised the bar for food in the UK, and if the same can happen in Toronto, then all the better. Yes, there are good restaurants in Toronto, but let’s encourage new things rather than be smug – the latter always breeds mediocrity.
One last thought – reading the various posts of Christine vs Richard. Richard clearly has a problem with the PR element of these new chefs. Indeed, almost all of the big chefs in the UK are repped by PR firms, and their repective business interests are professionally and agressively managed. I respect that Richard strives for a purity in running his restaurant free from that. But I don’t understand why he’s got such a chip on his shoulder about it. Do tell us. Growing a business is about attracting new customers and new markets. These Ramsay restaurants cater to upscale customers (like Christine) as a brand. Why be scared of this? If customers find the experience ultimately shallow or too corporate, they’ll migrate to something better. I just don’t understand why Richard is so bitter.
Actually, Betina, I’m what my colleagues call the “money honey”…but lest me toot my own horn, I’ll just say that I’ve no problem in that dept. Believe it or not. Doesn’t bother me in the least.
Kate: While I would have loved to explore more of Dallas’ culinary scene, I unfortunately was relegated to steakhouse after steakhouse…especially since they want to show off their excellent beef. It was great. Very comforting; but I did get a chance to check out Wolfgang Puck’s new restaurant Five Sixty…it was not bad, considering many of his restaurants have become like casual dining establishments. Definite Asian theme, but fresh food, quick service, and tasty cocktails. And has a great view too.
Now as far as the ladies…well, I will say that they like their make-up and big hair! But I was focusing more on those cowboys…
Emily: I respect what you do. Truly I do. And if you knew me, you’d know that. I also respect GOOD, PROFESSIONAL servers. Was I a bit dramatic about our culinary scene “sucking”? Yes, probably. But we need a shake-up. And Ramsay would be great. But honestly, I’d take any other great chef from the U.S./Europe. And, while Richard may be a friend, he is an A-1, top of the class prick. The one request I have for you is don’t stop. Don’t stop caring, don’t stop striving to give the best, and NEVER FORGET why you are in this field. Because unfortunately, many of your co-workers and mentors have forgotten why. They are now in the “sustaining” mode vs. the “excellent hospitality” mode. You can deny it all you want, and you can cite me examples of how Kennedy shops organic, but it doesn’t matter one bit, if, when I sit in his restaurants, I get snooty service and uninspired food because he wanted to expand his empire ($$$). And please, dear Emily, don’t forget for ONE SECOND that if Jamie Kennedy and Thuet et al, could figure out how they could BECOME GORDON RAMSAY, they would JUMP at the chance.
Now, to all the rest that continue to want to rescue Richard from his disgustingly pompous posts, feel free to continue. I’ve stated my opinions and will keep doing so. And, if you all want to keep being smart-asses, I wonder if you’re out there supporting the Toronto culinary scene as many nights as I am? Or, if you think posting on this board about how much of a gourmet foodie you are is sufficient for them to pay their rents and continue to give the great experience that you all claim we have here.
I’m glad this is garnering lively discussion though; the smartest thing a restaurateur could do after reading this, is take their staff, sit them down, and perhaps go through service steps again. And while they’re at it, perhaps take their chefs out for some culinary trips around North America so they can see what the REST of the world is doing.
I think Christine’s last paragraph is very important. All Businesses benefit from visiting their competition and even if the food and service isn’t better you learn why yours is. I work in hospitality as a concierge, constantly having to give recommendations based on food quality and service. Basically what I’m saying is service is my life. Its interesting for me to read this blog as there are so many different opinions given from an arrange of professions, hospitality or not. I know some of you may perceive what Christine has said to be harsh, but as she is obviously a customer it is very interesting to see her point of view.
After reviewing your (lots) previous comments, I would find it hard to believe that you don’t have first hand knowledge (maybe recent??) of the restaurant business. You come across as someone who is “in the know” to only those who are truly “in the know”. It isn’t anything obvious, just little comments. This discussion hit a little close to home?
I think this is a good way to end this discussion board,I believe someone had their 15 minutes-
jimmyjams: Thanks for the props. I AM “in the know”. I am also “in the know” about a certain sports team, a lifestyle company, an international cosmetics brand, and an oil company. Humorous though, that you think someone must be “from inside” to know that good food, right price for type of restaurant you are, and great service make a restaurant successful. It’s not rocket science. It’s OK Gordon will come and teach everyone how it’s done.
Kate: Thanks for actually listening. Your colleagues on here are a bit too self-absorbed and I guess fancy themselves as “experts”, so they don’t need to learn anything new. Their restaurant will probably be the next to close.
Oh, and Steven Craig, listen up: I’ll decide when my 15 mins is up, thankyouverymuch.
Gordon Ramsay in Toronto… I guess is exciting to some. I mean he is an interesting and extremely knowledgeable professional. He will succeed no problem, in the same way opening a Tim Horton’s in some tiny little town without a doughnut shop would. It’s a recognizable brand. People see him on TV and now he is coming to their home city. The Food TV Foodies will soil their aprons. Unfortunately he doesn’t offer anything special to Toronto or the culinary scene in Canada. I think Canada is moving towards smaller businesses with regional and artisanal focus. Though we have are fair share “locavore” joints, each one is special. Each one is one of a kind, they represent a specific time and place which cant be replicated anywhere else. Ramsay’s Toronto Restaurant is going to be a carbon copy of his past success, with some changes to cater to a Toronto demographic. So yeah, I understand the buzz, but personally, I would rather eat in a kitchen where the Chef is present and could tell you where and who all of his ingredients came from.
Is it possible that maybe some are missing the point? Not that Torontonian foodies dont love their home grown chefs or dont support them, because clearly we do. The fact that Gordon picked Toronto, out of all the cities he could have gone to, says something (i think) about the quality and grwoth of the dinning experience in toronto regardless of what we think about Gordon…he’s a business man, so must mean he thinks the food business is good and getting better in toronto. Competition in this market is exactly what we need.
Sorry to say folk, but most of the previous discussion seem to have been for naught. In a recent article published in “The Independent” (Feb 10, 2009), it looks like Chef Ramsey will not be expanding in the near term, I quote:
Worrall Thompson’s multi-Michelin-starred rival, Gordon Ramsay, may beg to differ. His own global chain of 25 restaurants is trapped in a particularly vivid kitchen nightmare, with a reported business overdraft, from the Royal Bank of Scotland, of £10.5m. Gordon Ramsay Holdings was fined for failing to file accounts on time, and in the past year has closed two of its London restaurants, La Noisette in Knightsbridge, and the Petrus at the Berkeley Hotel.
( I highly recommend the whole article)
Pitty that his business owes the money to RBS, they need every red penny they can get. So unless Chef Ramsey is able to aquire financing independently of his holding company, (thoughts Christine?), it seems unlikely that Toronto, or anywhere else, will see a new Gordon Ramsey restaurant.
My apologies, I miss spelt “Ramsay” – thrice.
An awful lot of tripe (amusing yes) but tripe nonetheless has been spouted on this forum.
The last paragraph of the main article is the most worrying in my mind. Irrespective of your views on Ramsay, Toronto diners should be worried. They should be worried that Jamie Kennedy has been anointed by Toronto Life as THE chef to beat here in the city.
This leads me to believe that mediocrity is being celebrated once again in Toronto.
I have lived here for six years, after previous stints in Sydney, Hong Kong and London and never have I had the misfortune of seeing so much hype around such average cooking.
I think Gordon Ramsay would agree that the people arguing on this comment board are f***ing donkeys.
I find the feud between the guy from Rundles and Christine very interesting reading…here’s the problem:
NO MATTER WHO’S RIGHT, THE GUY FROM RUNDLES JUST PISSED OFF A LOT OF POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS….everyone know’s YOU NEVER BADMOUTH ANYONE IN A SIMILAR INDUSTRY TO GAIN A POINT OR POSITION! It’s called SUICIDE!
I know I will never be dining at Rundles after this – nor the 700+ contacts I have on e-mail.
Ramsay would be proud: f**king Donkey is right!
What does the Rundles guy know about anything anyway. Rundles = big fish small pond. He’s front of the house anyway. All the quality people in the back that actually work for a living probably hate his pompous yellow belly guts.
Go polish something.
WOW! There sure are a lot of people on this site with a lot of time on their hands. Obviously none of them are cooks because they would be too busy working to keep up with this circus…get a life.
Irish Linens!! I am on my way to Stratford now!
Irish Linens!! OMG, I am on my way to Stratford now!
I agree a lot of Christine’s statements might have been harsh, but I think it has been mostly out of entertainment and to stir the pot a bit more – not that I condone all of her comments. People get over it, it’s the internet. I doubt in real life, she is as harsh.
After reading most of this, I will say that for someone like Richard (regardless if he is a glass polisher, server, cook, chef whatever) to come out and say “I think Gordon Ramsay is totally overrated (like Susur), …., I think he doesn’t belong here” is entirely unprofessional and low. Regardless of what you actually think or feel regardless of how passionate or what kind of expert you think you are (I wont refute your credentials) to come out and bash a someone like Gordon or Susur is simply moronic and career suicide. These guys, regardless if you know them personally or not, are your industry colleagues. Even if you don’t “like” them or their way of business, these guys are paving the way for you and the alike as a direct result of their success, their shows and “PR”.
A lot of us have become more aware of the culinary industry and the dedication and efforts an aspiring culinary professional put in every day via shows like the Iron Chef, Kitchen Nightmares and Hells Kitchen. If it wasn’t for a show like Hell’s Kitchen, most people would not know what kind of schooling, training, pressure and sacrifice has to be made to make it. As a result of these shows, I have garnered a huge amount of respect for kitchen staff and waiters who do their jobs well. Further, I have even tip better over time beyond the industry standard. To this you owe, at the very least, respect to Grodon, Susur and the alike. You don’t have to like them, but you can at the very least give them the respect that is due. I am sure they had a similar journey as you.
Richard, in some regards you sound bitter or even jealous. Why? You are entitled to your opinions and I am sure you are very passionate about the business but who are you to say he doesn’t belong here? If he is here it’s because there is a market and demand for his product. It’s up to people like, Christine, myself and the others on this forum to decide whether he succeeds or not via our patronage. When you make comments like you have about these people aloud on the internet, in my opinion, it is downright unprofessional and distasteful. I for one will never step foot in RUNDLES as a result. Richard, if you consider yourself and expert, that falls inline with being professional, so you should align your comments in the same regard. You simply came out and blasted two guys (Gordon and Susur) who have worked very hard, become successful and have done nothing to you (as far as I know), just because they got some televised attention and plan to expand to Canada. What’s the big deal? I agree with you there are many gems out side of the centre of the universe and I for one love dining in places like Kingston and Stratford – let the people choose where they want to do. Maybe having guys like Gordon here will push you do expand your horizons, do more, be better etc.. At then end of the day its all about the food and the service, but mostly the food and the love for it. NO?
Richard, I do offer you some advice, go out, get a loan and open up your own place – I am sure many of the readers of TL would be more than happy to try it out but I would be more careful with your tongue.
“WOW! There sure are a lot of people on this site with a lot of time on their hands. Obviously none of them are cooks because they would be too busy working to keep up with this circus…get a life.”
Because you didnt read the entire string. Seems to me that you enjoyed this circus enough to make a comment with zero substance. Who needs to get a life exactly? People with an opinion or someone like you who doesnt have enough brain matter to come up with one?. Maybe you should take a table spoon of your own advice.
Sounds like someone is trying to over compensate for something.
Sounds like your trying to be something your not – intelligent and funny.
Have a great day!
I’d like to continue this battle of wits but I won’t fight and unarmed person. Off to the next topic…SHAZAM!
Wow! I had no idea that people could get so passionate… no wait, not passionate, belligerent over whether some TV star decides to setup his overpriced schtick in our city. I mean, really. Who cares?! I would eat at Gordon Ramsay’s new restaurant in Toronto if I felt inclined to do so. Just as I’ve eaten at some of Wolfgang Puck’s overpriced establishments that pepper the U.S. As mentioned previously somewhere in this trail, Gordon Ramsay is a corporation. I’m sure he’s a fine chef but, let’s face it, he’s not going to be a chef here in Toronto. I’d love to have him create a dinner for me, I’d pay top dollar for that, but it’s never going to happen.
And Christine (if you happen to be out on another weekend pass), you’re psychotic and you need to get a grip on reality. Stop trolling the internet pretending you’re someone you’re so clearly not. Go out and get yourself a cheeseburger or something.
I live in Toronto and every summer my girlfriends and I drive to Stratford. I enjoy classical theatre and I like visiting the charming “boutique” shops and having an ice cream cone beside the river, where we feed the swans and, if it’s a nice day, take a leisurely stroll around the river. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I have been a fan of this quaint little theatre town for some time, and it’s something I look forward to as the summer approaches.
Over the years I have frequented many restaurants in Stratford. And on more than one occasion I have been to RUNDLES – an establishment that has been mentioned a lot in this forum (whether or not it’s been treated fairly, the reader must decide…)
I thought I might give an overview of my last dining experience. I am not a “cultured diner” nor am I a food critic or any kind of classy connoisseur. I am just your average old gal, who likes to eat (and I have a waistline to show for it! Blush blush blush.) I think of myself as a very plain, simply woman who enjoys a nice time with her girlfriends now and again. Still, I’d like to think of myself as reliable…
Let me say first off that RUNDLES is not cheap. Anything but. During these hard economic times, a lot of theatregoers will be hesitant to reach into their purses and pay the inordinate prices that RUNDLES demands. Is it worth the money? I have always thought that dinning was supposed to be pleasurable, and fine dining is something you have to pay for. So, this is a tough call. They offer two different menus – one of them is supposedly cheaper. With the latter, you are carted off to the back room that they call something else (I can’t remember.) But what I noticed was that the menu prices for this “dumbed down” menu weren’t all that much cheaper – it’s as if the owners are trying to “trick” diners into thinking they are paying for less, when they aren’t! I just want to warn people that you are going to have to pay a lot of money. Are you being swindled? Perhaps.
However, it must be said that the food is excellent – it can compete with some of the best restaurants in Toronto (although I find the restaurants here in T-dot a bit more – well, “worldy.”) But at Rundles, I had some skate wing last time, and it just melted in my mouth. Their food is kind of flawless. A+ No complaints here.
However, I found the service unacceptable. The servers are either a) very young and inexperienced – it’s as if they are running a sweatshop or b) extremely arrogant ant patronizing (perhaps this was the mysterious Richard figure who looms heavily in these posts – I must say, he sounds very shrill and pretentious, a waiter who will spit in your soup. How easily he is provoked, and he’s obviously devoid of a sense of humour. Do the owners of RUNDLES know he is making such outrageous statements? They should get rid of him, if they haven’t already done so…he reminds me of the kind of waiter who tries to intimidate little old ladies like me.)
The wine at Rundles is very overpriced. They have taken the art of “markup” to a whole new level. It is not bad wine, but I find it a little unimaginative and lacking.
The design is contemporary and what one might call “avant garde.” If you like that kind of thing, then you will enjoy it. I don’t want to sound like a stuffy old maid, but I am a traditionalist myself, and therefore prefer the design of THE OLD PRUNE (it’s in a lovely old Victorian house.) If you are at Rundles, try to sit near the window, so you can get a view of the lake.
OVERALL: The food was good, the service lousy. The prices really are over-the-top. Also, stay clear of this Richard fellow (he might sneer at your clothes, which might not be expensive enough for his posh dining room.) Still, I might try going there again. But then again, maybe I’ll just decide it’s a sham.
I agree – the wine list @ Rundles is, well, lacking…
JK wine bar uses amazing produce but their food is horrible. The only thing I like from the menu is the charcuterie plate, the cheese plate and the wine list. and JK wine bar cooks have nothing to do with this food. working there made me realized that no matter how great your produce is, when it touches the hands of inexperienced cooks it turns to s**t
another dissapointment with a Chef who is always grumpy and swearing to all his staff and a Chef who dares to serve food that has been sitting on the pass for a while, due to disorganization and still send it to his costumers. deserves no respect from me.
But I don`t want to bash anybody I just want to say that the restaurant industry in toronto needs good cooks, cooks that want to cook with passion and with their hearts, we don`t need the recently graduated kids who pretend to be big shots only because they went to culinary school. their attitude is tainting the industry and also the need of money, restauranteurs want to make money and then care for their costumers.
I love the feud between Richard and Christine.
you guys should meet each other, go for dinner and have fun.
I was reading all my posts today after a year and I cannot believe some of the things I said. What on earth was I thinking?! I was so immature, rude, disrespectful and a complete bitch. Why? Just because Rundles didn’t give me the waitress job I wanted? How silly of me now that I think of it.
I must take this opportunity now that I’m in my senses to apologize to each and every one of you whom I insulted. I got carried away. I was frustrated because I not only got fired from my previous job as a hostess but could not get a mere waitress job.
I’m so sorry once again and hope the author of this website can take my comments down.
You people make me sick
I would also like to apologize to Christine and to others. I have been going through some personal problems lately, and sometimes I have one too many drinks and then go on these forums…
Oh God, I went to Rundles last year–our meal was a catastrophe. The staff was condescending, and our sommelier was soused out of his mind, he kept slurrying his words. Will not be going back.
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