The male chefs at “Gordon Ramsay” in The London hotel – who allegedly like to call themselves “Gordon’s Soldiers” – are upset after commis chef Janet Kim, 31, said sexual harassment was running rampant in the restaurant, which has been forced to stay closed since Saturday, the New York Post reported.
And although Gordon Ramsay no longer owns it or runs it, his influence as a consultant and his popularity with the staff is causing his namesake restaurant to marinate in a toxic broth of brutality, Ms Kim claims.
“We’re way past ‘Hell’s Kitchen‘,” Kim said, referring to Ramsay’s reality-TV cooking show. “It’s more like ‘Dante’s Inferno’.”
“It’s outrageous that someone as famous as Gordon Ramsay … would allow this to go on,” added Jeffrey Brown, one of Kim’s attorneys at the firm Leeds Morelli & Brown.
A spokesperson for Ramsay said the allegations do not relate to him in any way. “The restaurant ‘Gordon Ramsay’ at The London, New York is not owned or operated by Gordon Ramsay or Gordon Ramsay Holdings (GRH) and hasn’t been since November 2009 when all operations were handed back to the hotel.
“Neither Gordon Ramsay or GRH have any involvement with or responsibility for the operation of the restaurant, including anything to do with human resources which is entirely the responsibility of the owners.”
In a complaint filed with the state of New York, Ms Kim claimed she was groped, called a “whore” and propositioned at the two-Michelin-star eatery. When she finally complained, she was forced to make tiny hors d’oeuvres.
The trouble boiled over at the West 54th Street eatery last weekend when Ms Kim reported to work after taking time off for her nerves, and the male chefs held a foodie mutiny.
Ms Kim said her colleagues refused to work with her because of her harassment claims. This led to them being suspended without pay, she claims.
“Every cook in fine dining is suspended for walking out. No one will talk to me,” Ms Kim said.
Officials at LXR Luxury Resorts, which owns The London NYC, refused to comment, but a hostess who answered the restaurant phone at The London said they were suffering “labour issues.”
The eatery is not expected to open until Tuesday at the earliest.
Amid the turmoil, Ms Kim has filed a complaint with the State Division of Human Rights against the hotel and Ramsay. However his spokesperson said no complaint had been filed against Ramsay.
Read more about Ramsay’s kitchen nightmare as staff walk at the New York Post.