Gordon Ramsay is suing Canadian restaurateur Danny Lavy for more than £1m after Lavy terminated the celebrity chef's consultancy at the Montreal restaurant formerly known as Laurier Gordon Ramsay and made comments about Ramsay's role in the business.
The termination of Ramsay's association with the restaurant was announced by Lavy last month in an interview with the Montreal Gazette where he said he would be removing the chef’s name from above the door because he had not visited the restaurant since it opened.
Now Ramsay has filed a lawsuit in Quebec Superior Court where he is seeking damages and costs totalling more than £1m.
A spokesperson for Ramsay said: “This claim as been filed due to Mr Lavy and 9226, the company that operated Laurier Gordon Ramsay, unlawfully breaching the terms of the licensing agreement and because of Mr Lavy’s recent public comments about Gordon Ramsay, which we consider to be untruthful and defamatory. As this is a legal matter, there will be no further comment at this time.”
The 124-cover restaurant in the Montreal suburb of Outremont announced Ramsay was coming on board last Summer and attracted a great deal of media attention but, according to Lavy, Ramsay did not promote the business and had not returned since August.
However the lawsuit papers, acquired by Canadian broadcaster CBC , claim Ramsay fulfilled all his contract obligations and Lavy had breached the terms of the agreement by ending the 10-year contract early. The papers also claim Lavy had complained intermittently during the duration of the agreement that the restaurant was not profitable but a termination of the agreement on grounds of poor sales was only possible after five years.
As part of the consultancy, the first in the country for Ramsay, his team helped re-designed the restaurant to include a private dining area and refreshed the menu.
At the time of the consultancy ending, a spokesperson for Ramsay said the chef was ‘surprised and saddened’ but and hinted he could return to the city in the future.