ORLANDO, Fla. – Gordon Ramsay, the celebrity chef known as the larger-than-life reality TV personality on shows such as “Hell’s Kitchen” and “MasterChef,” is bringing one of his restaurant concepts to Orlando.
What You Need To Know
- Gordon Ramsay is opening his Fish & Chips restaurant in Orlando
- The concept is the first for the celebrity chef in Florida
- Other Ramsay restaurants may follow, according CEO of Gordon Ramsay North America
- The restaurant at ICON Park is expected to open in August
Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips, currently under construction at the International Drive attraction ICON Park, is set to open to the public this summer.
It will mark the Michelin-star chef’s first foray into not only the Orlando dining scene but the Florida one as well. And the restaurant will also have the distinction of being the first Fish & Chips to open outside of Las Vegas.
The decision to bring the concept to Orlando was based on a number of factors, including the city’s consumer base, according to Norman Abdallah, CEO of Gordon Ramsay North America.
“We have some core markets that we want to bring our restaurants to, which Orlando was one of them,” he told Spectrum News. "With the seasonality that you get — tourists nonstop, and this neighborhood, you have a lot of locals — this was the perfect place to launch Fish & Chips.”
As the name suggests, the menu for the fast-casual restaurant will feature fish and chips — the main attraction — but it will also offer marinated shrimp, chicken and chips and desserts such as Sticky Toffee and Biscoff shakes. There will also be “dirty” versions of chips, with different flavored options.
For the design, the restaurant will reflect Ramsay’s upbringing in the United Kingdom, according to Abdallah. The color scheme will be red, white and blue, just like the Union Jack, while other U.K. touches include a red telephone box, which serves as the restaurant’s entrance and exit.
The restaurant’s roof will also offer a visual treat for those riding on The Wheel.
“We’re painting the Union Jack flag on the very top over the entire ceiling as well,” Abdallah said. “So if you’re up on The Wheel, you’ll be looking at our Union Jack flag.”
Ramsay has been very hands-on with the concept, spending months working on recipes, according to Christina Wilson, who was the winner of season 10 of “Hell’s Kitchen.” She now serves as vice president of culinary.
“It took us about four months all in to develop all the sauces,” she said. “The batter itself took about two and a half months — and that’s every day work, six days a week working on it — about two and a half months until we absolutely perfected it.”
And for the fish, it’s all about trying to source locally.
“We try to work with small vessel fleets, line and jigger-caught fish with minimal by-product,” Wilson said. “It has to be sustainable. That lets us engage with the local economy and put a little bit into that, too, as we come into different regions.”
And while the excitement and focus is on the upcoming Orlando location, Abdallah said other Gordon Ramsay concepts could be coming to Orlando, although he didn’t specify which ones.
“We have two or three concepts we think we can bring over the next few years, so we’re in the middle of evaluating that right now,” he said.
Whatever additional concepts Ramsay brings to Orlando, they will be in good company. The area already has a number of celebrity chef-backed dining concepts, including Chef Jose Andes’ Jaleo, Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ and Guy Fieri’s Chicken Guy — all of which are located at Disney Springs.
Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips is expected to create more than 30 jobs and is currently hiring. The restaurant is expected to open in August, although an exact date has not yet been announced.
Spectrum News 13 reporter Greg Angel contributed to this article.