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The ‘curse’ of the TV chef as yet another star’s restaurant shuts its doors-Meghna Amin-Entertainment – Metro

The bad luck has been going around for a while.

The ‘curse’ of the TV chef as yet another star’s restaurant shuts its doors-Meghna Amin-Entertainment – Metro

Another TV chef has fallen victim to the apparent curse (Picture: REX)

Another TV chef has fallen victim to the apparent curse of celebrity restaurant closures.

Since Jamie Oliver’s huge restaurant loss back in 2019, to Tom Kerridge openly discussing the difficulties he’s faced at his own venues, the bad luck has been going around.

While Eat Out to Help Out might have saved a few spots on your local high-street, the majority were hit with hundreds of jobs put at risk after soaring food and energy costs.

And then came the cost of living crisis, with far fewer guests dining out, and by the end of 2023 the number of restaurants closing in the UK hit a quarterly high.

If you were hoping the turn of the new year might bring some luck with it, things aren’t looking good so far.

MasterChef judge Monica Galetti announced on Wednesday that she is closing the doors to her London restaurant Mere after seven years.

The 48-year-old follows a long list of celebrity chefs shutting their doors, with fellow MasterChef stars and TV presenters having taken a hit in the past few months.

She announced on Instagram: ‘It is with heavy hearts that we announce the closure of Mere restaurant- but we feel this is the right time after 7yrs!

‘We want to take this opportunity to wholeheartedly thank Alastair Storey and everyone who has supported us and our loyal patrons and dedicated staff throughout this journey.

Monica Galetti is closing down Mere with a ‘heavy heart’ (Picture: BBC)

‘To our customers we thank you for your loyal and joyous visits. We hope to raise one last glass together before we close.’

She added that the last service will be in just a week, on Tuesday, April 16, concluding her statement: ‘To our Mere Team, the greatest gratitude for all your devotion, passion, love and laughter shared together, you will always be Family to Us. “Here’s to the next adventure!”’

New Zealand chef Monica, who is a judge on MasterChef: The Professionals, opened the restaurant in 2017 with her husband David Galetti, and was showered with support from fans devastated over the loss of Mere, which was named after Monica’s late mother, and ‘celebrates the passion and heritage’ of the couple, with ‘hints of the exotic’ intwined in the menu.

Monica made a surprise return to MasterChef: The Professionals just months ago, after quitting in May 2022 and saying at the time that she had to make the difficult decision for the sake of her own mental health, having been a judge on the show for 14 years.

The star made a surprise return to MasterChef: The Professionals just months ago (Picture: BBC)

She said: ‘I’ve only been able to commit time to the show – it’s three months -when my team are strong and I can have the balance of family, the restaurant and all my other commitments. When I’m filming people don’t realise I do a 12-hour day of filming and then I would get back to the restaurant in the evening.

‘At the moment things are out of sync – things are tough at the moment. I’m trying to spend time with my family, I have an ill nephew who I try to get back to see and filming was starting at the same time.’

She continued: ‘I’m short at the restaurant, I mean straight after this I’m back in my kitchen. I just found I could not manage the balance this time. Something had to give for my own mental health, it was just getting very dark…Sometimes you just can’t do it all.’

And despite returning to our screens, her restaurant has taken a hit. But heartbreakingly, she’s certainly not the only celebrity chef to have faced the same.

Back in May 2019, all but three of Jamie Oliver’s UK restaurants went into administration, with 1,000 staff members being left out of work.

Jamie suffered a huge loss in 2019 (Picture: PA)

He said at the time: ‘I’m devastated that our much-loved UK restaurants have gone into administration. I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all of the people who have put their hearts and souls into this business over the years.’

The dad-of-five later described the experience of his chain’s collapse as: ‘Very painful, very very painful. This is the part of my life that I’ve been building up for 20 years.’

In the aftermath of his restaurant business collapsing, it was reported he owed £83million to creditors.

Months before Jamie, Gordon Ramsay’s Maze restaurant in London was announced for closure.

Even Gordon Ramsay hasn’t been able to escape the curse (Picture: FOX via Getty Images)

The Kitchen Nightmares star was forced to shut down the Asian-inspired restaurant that had been in operation for 14 years, replacing it with a new concept.

Maze had held a Michelin star between 2006 and 2015, though in its place five new restaurants were planned to overseas, and just before it finally shut its doors, Ramsay did announce Lucky Cat ‘stepping up to the plate’.

If two of the country’s most famous chefs couldn’t save their restaurants, it seems there’s little hope for anyone else.

And five years and an entire pandemic later, things have only seemed to worsen.

In fact, the site where Gordon was said to have ‘earned his stripes’ was announced to be closing in August last year.

Michel Roux Jr confirmed the end of Le Gavroche after 56 years, saying in August: ‘This decision has not been made lightly. Le Gavroche means so much, not just to myself and the Roux family, but to the wider Gavroche team and you, our guests, who have become our family over so many years,” Roux Jr wrote.

La Gavroche closed ‘on a high’ (Picture: Rex Features)

‘I have always felt that should Le Gavroche ever close, it must be on a high.

‘Le Gavroche continues to be fully booked, week in, week out, but I have known for a while that I must make time for a better work/life balance, so I can spend more time with my family and on my other business ventures.’

Le Gavroche, opened in 1967 by French restaurateur brothers Albert and Michel Roux Sr said on its website that Gordon and chef Marco Pierre White ‘earned their stripes’ there, and had earned two Michelin stars over the years.

And the curse has continued into this year, as in January, Sunday Brunch host Simon Rimmer revealed that his Manchester restaurant Greens would stop operating after 33 years, saying the business has become ‘unviable.’

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‘It’s a very sad day. We’ve unfortunately had to close the door,’ he said, explaining:‘Our landlords have increased our rent in the region of 35%, and the cost of raw materials, the cost of heat, the cost of power, employing people, and general food costs has meant that the business has become unviable.’

The very same day, MasterChef star Tony Rodd also shut the doors to his restaurant Copper & Ink, which opened in south west London in 2018.

Writing in a statement from himself, wife Becky Rodd and ‘the Copper & Ink family,’ the TV star said they had ‘agonised over making this decision and spent much of the Christmas break trying desperately to find a way to save the restaurant, but to no avail.’

They blamed ongoing financial difficulties stemming from Covid-19, as well asincreased energy costs and rising prices from supplier.

He also noted that with customers facing the cost of living crisis, there were ‘less guests coming through our doors, making running a business untenable.’

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Meanwhile, it’s not hard to see why Tom Kerridge has been defending his £87 steak and £35 fish and chips.

The MasterChef star has faced immense backlash over the prices of his meals, but has defiantly stood by his decision and prices, despite the struggle millions of people are the country are facing.

But he has since warned that almost every UK food business is on the brink of going bust, including his own.

‘If I was a sole operator of one single restaurant, I would be absolutely terrified. It’s very, very scary right now,’ he said, according to Mail Online.

‘I think most operators, every operator, will be going “I think if we can make the next two years and we just break even and survive, we’re in a good space”.’

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