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Ramsay avoids just desserts

first_imgGordon Ramsay’s Maze restaurant and bar located in the Melbourne Crown Metropol hotel has been placed into liquidation, although it continues to trade according to accountants HLB Mann Judd. It is understood that the restaurant has collapsed owing $4.6 million to over 100 local suppliers. One of its creditors is Collingwood-based Ocean Made Foods, a leading seafood wholesaler in Victoria, who are owed more than $10,000. Ocean Made’s owner, John Christopoulos told Neos Kosmos that he think’s it’s unlikely, given the size of the overall debt, that his company will ever recover the cash. “When you’re owed money it’s hard to pull the pin, you just keep going,” said Mr Christopoulous, “we were supplying calamari, whiting, yellowfin tuna and Atlantic salmon. Now we’ve just got to work for the next couple of months not making a profit, to make up the loss.” Talking to The Age newspaper last week Christopoulos added: ”No one seems to be taking any responsibility, everyone is pointing fingers in different directions. This will ruin many small businesses who provided stock and credit on the basis of Ramsay’s international reputation.” Trouble at the restaurant had been brewing for some time, according to Mr Christopoulos, who repeatedly tried to get the restaurant to pay its dues. “The writing was on the wall, when we saw senior managers resigning, but they kept telling us everything was fine.” With the debt going back several months, Ramsay faces allegations that Maze was trading whilst insolvent, despite a statement given to Neos Kosmos this week from a Crown spokesman that the venue is one of Australia’s ”highest-grossing and most popular restaurants” and that the hotel is “disappointed by the decision taken by Gordon Ramsay Holdings Ltd (GRH) to place Maze and Maze Grill restaurants at Crown into liquidation.” In 2010 the restaurants had a turnover of more than $14 million and served over 300,000 customers. The status of Maze’s solvency has been in question for some time, after Fairfax reported in April that the business was under duress. However, at that time GRH claimed the business was profitable. Ramsay himself will not be liable for any of the losses as he is not a director of the Melbourne restaurants. In an announcement that has further angered the out-of-pocket suppliers, GRH claim that GRH itself, as part of the liquidation, is the largest creditor.A spokesperson for GRH in London told Neos Kosmos that the British-based company was the largest creditor, “due to the investment it has made into the business”. GRH’s spokeswoman went on to rebuff Crown’s claims that the restaurants are economically viable, “Crown aren’t claiming it is making a profit, they are quoting the turnover figure, sales, and [this] doesn’t take into consideration any costs such as overheads and wages.” On GRH being the biggest creditor, John Christopoulos said, “it’s interesting to say the least, hilarious.” All of the celebrity chef’s business interests are held in the company Gordon Ramsay Holdings Ltd. Ramsay is believed to own a 69 per cent stake in the company which is valued at over $100 million. Ramsay has previously broken ties with two other Maze restaurants, in Prague and Cape Town. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more