Ramsay Seeks U.K. Rights to Batali Name Spotted Pig
Gordon Ramsay has applied for the U.K. trademark on The Spotted Pig, the name of the New York gastropub whose celebrity owners include the musicians Jay-Z and Bono and the chef Mario Batali.
The British television chef’s company, Gordon Ramsay Holdings International Ltd., submitted the application on Oct. 2 and it was published for comment on Nov. 9, according to the U.K. government’s Intellectual Property Office website.
Batali and the Spotted Pig’s chef-owner April Bloomfield didn’t immediately respond to voicemails seeking a response. Gordon Ramsay Holdings had no comment.
Anyone who opposes the U.K. application has two months in which to enter an objection. This wouldn’t be the first time a Batali restaurant has been flattered in this way. London has a Babbo, the name of one of Batali’s venues in New York.
“We didn’t have a trademark for England,” Batali said in an interview last year. “You need a specific one for England. We had one for Italy, we have one for Spain, we have one in Thailand. I don’t know why we didn’t have one in London.”
Ramsay’s application was earlier reported by the Sunday Mail, in Scotland, which quoted an unidentified spokesman for the chef’s company as saying it regularly seeks trademarks and there were no current plans beyond that.
Bloomfield and the Spotted Pig’s founder, Ken Friedman, have expressed an interest in opening a restaurant in London.
“I would love to come back and open somewhere,” Bloomfield said in an interview in October. “Ken and I talk about it all the time. I don’t know if it would be like the Pig.”
Ramsay was quoted in the New York Post in 2008 as saying he planned to open a casual venue in New York similar to his Foxtrot Oscar in London, which he said was an “amazing neighborhood bistro along the lines of The Spotted Pig.”
Batali was cited in the Observer in January 2009 as saying he wouldn’t accept bookings from Ramsay’s office. That was after the U.K. chef called Batali “Fanta Pants.” The New Yorker said Ramsay would need to call him personally for a table.
“I’ve never met him face to face,” Batali said in the Bloomberg interview. “We’ve traded insults in the papers a couple of times, not because we know each other or even not like each other. Our medias just pushed us apart. I’m sure I would like him in person.”
Batali has other detractors. He apologized in November 2011 after comparing bankers to Hitler and Stalin. Ramsay’s last known brush with a pig was when he compared the Australian TV reporter Tracy Grimshaw to one. Ramsay also apologized.
(Richard Vines is the chief food critic for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. He is U.K. and Ireland chairman of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. Opinions expressed are his own.)
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