Two Entrepreneurs Who Are Making Their Mark in Very Different Worlds
Forget factories. This millennium the revolution in Britain starts in the kitchen, and it's an uncompromising Michelin-starred Scotsman leading the charge. With the greatest respect for food, but none for tradition, Gordon Ramsay is single-handedly calling London's fusty hotel dining rooms to account. After the phenomenal success of Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's in 2001, Ramsay's protégé Angela Hartnett swept into The Connaught last year to great acclaim, and Marcus Wareing, another acolyte, is set for similar heights presiding over The Savoy Grill this year. And in September it's the turn of The Berkeley.
So what drew Ramsay to such a huge challenge? ``Claridge's, The Connaught, The Savoy... these are historic landmarks of hotels, five-star renowned addresses,'' explains Gordon, ``but they're intimidating, with reputations as private clubs for the aristocracy. With Claridge's I felt I wanted to bring my personality to this stunning room - to take away the intimidation and cook for the public.'' Where tea at Claridge's was previously 25 pounds a head, you can now eat one of his Michelin-starred three-course lunches for the same price. Wearing jeans. ``In this industry, if you don't move with the times, they will move you on. I am over the moon that my independent success at Royal Hospital Road meant I was invited to sweep these hotels into the present.''
Enquiries: Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's: +44 (0) 20 7499 0099; The Connaught Dining Room: +44 (0) 20 7499 7070; The Savoy: +44 (0) 20 7836 4343; Gordon Ramsay at Royal Hospital Road: +44 (0) 20 7352 4441
Profession: Motorsport entrepreneur
Each of Maximillion Cooper's Gumball 3000 rallies is more extravagant than the last, and, since the first race in 1999, the Gumball has become incredibly successful as a brand. Max has signed a deal with Mattell Toys to produce 10 Gumball cars on sale in 15,000 stores, and the Gumball cars now feature on a set of Hasbro Top Trumps cards. There's already a PlayStation 2 game and an XBox game is planned. Then there's the clothing - 20 ex-Gumballers, from Jodie Kidd to Nicolas Cage, have designed T-shirts, and 12 fashion designers are designing Gumball wear. Max also now has a video distribution deal and has signed up Sony Ericsson as sponsors, enabling him to get involved in sponsoring teams at this summer's Le Mans - a race that he intends to enter next year. But Max is still working towards his dream of owning an F1 team. He might need to raise €30 million, but he's got friends in high places. And when he succeeds, he'll be one of the few team bosses who enters F1 with a ready-made fanbase and a full complement of sponsors. One thing's for sure, he says, whatever the numbers involved, he'd never sell his prize possession - James Hunt's racing jacket.
By Maria Paggetti and Bill Dunn