Saturday, April 24th, 2010

People may like his controversy, however it is fair to say many Australian women and men were put off by the celebrity chef’s insults towards A Current Affair’s host Tracy Grimshaw at the Melbourne Good Food and Wine Show last year. The guy had a serious case of foot-in-the mouth disease after that.

Irrepressible Gordon Ramsay stylishly opened the doors to his new restaurant Maze at last night’s grand opening, at Melbourne’s Crown Metropol. A-listers who attended the event included Crown king James Packer, Shane Warne, Deborah Hutton, Premier John Brumby and a host of other names.

Prior to last night, many reviews on Maze had given the facts, but it took a lot of digging to find some real juice. Stephen Downes from the Herald Sun commented “I couldn't fault the cooking, but what I ate left me underwhelmed.” Whilst the Maze had not received any standing ovations as far as restaurant reviews go, a lot of the reception had been positive and reasonable. Last week The Age gave it an even-handed review, 16 out of 20, saying the food was good.

After last night’s glowing opening and respectable reports, the verdict certainly is clear. Yes, the Gordon Ramsay brand still stands, granted not as high as it once did, but he has definitely proven his personal brand is strong. In the hospitality world Gordon Ramsay has become a ‘Corporate Brand’ as distinct from a SME or personality brand.

Jon-Michail, CEO of Image Group International, has studied the power of a strong personal brand. “Although the Ramsay Brand may have been slightly tarnished in the media last year, most people have short memories and in the long term, this will have no major effect on the Maze Brand in Melbourne if the food and in-house service is quality.”

“The public, especially XY-Gen, does not follow Ramsay because he is a nice person. They mostly follow him for his controversial, provocative and entertaining style and the evidence affirms this as he has attracted huge ratings and success despite his foul mouth and unruly comments.”

“To date most reviews on his new restaurant are positive and if that continues it will be fine. Ramsay has slightly lowered his tone on camera, however I don’t expect any real changes. Re-invention is on the agenda only when the present situation demands it and in Ramsay’s case that is not presently required at a great extent.”

All corporate brands have their ups and downs. “Think Telstra, Qantas and all the banks. The might of their overall power, influence and money long-term ensures that they will come back on top, so as long as there is no real disaster. In the same way that Ramsay will, certainly in the immediate to mid-term, it will be no different to Tiger Woods, Martha Stuart and Oprah Winfrey,” says Michail.

Let’s admit it, TV’s angriest chef is the chef we all love to hate, but do we love or hate him more? The chef is expected to return to Melbourne again within months to keep his eye on Maze.

Contact Profile

Image Group International

Image Group International offers an eclectic range of services to the corporate world through in-house workshops, public seminars and confidential, one-on-one coaching sessions.

Image Group International is led by Jon-Michail, IIM (Master), AICI, CIP, FAIM, Diploma (Health Counselling), a real world and authentic man with a down-to-earth attitude. Jon-Michail is the Founder and CEO of Image Group International and the Institute for Image Management, an Australian based multi-million dollar corporate brand image advisory and coaching organisation represented in over 18 countries.

A past designer with Christian Dior, Jon has pursued further studies in International Business Management at Monash University, Australia and Media Relations at RMIT University, Australia. He has extensive experience in corporate communication, marketing, entrepreneurship, sports management and branding. Jon-Michail pioneered the concept of holistic image management and is regarded worldwide as the image advisor's advisor. He is the only Australian to be a winner of the prestigious International Image-Maker of the Year USA Award. Jon-Michail is also the recipient of the 1999 Australian Achievers Award, winner of the Hong Kong Bank Business Award for export services and has received many other business and marketing achievements.

Jon-Michail and his team is to coach leaders, managers and their teams to present their personal brand in a manner that builds, compliments and enhances their personal and corporate brand. This unique approach to coaching supports everyone in the organisation into being congruent with the corporate brand and teaches them to be in alignment with their personal values, identity and objectives at the same time.

Prinitha Govender
P: +61 3 9820 4449
M: Public Relations


P: +61 3 9820 4449


Gordon Ramsay, Maze Restaurant, Image Group International, Jon-Michail, Personal Brand, Corporate Brand, Maze Grand Opening, Herald Sun, The Age, Tracy Grimshaw, Image Consultant, Image Maker



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