By Ian Neubauer
Diversified Events (DE) has confirmed Gordon Ramsay will appear as scheduled at the Good Food & Wine Show in Sydney next month despite the controversial TV chef’s fall from grace this week – with event professionals around Australia backing the move.
Gordon Ramsay will still appear at the Sydney Good Food
& Wine Show but a scheduled appearance in Perth may
be cancelled as a result of his bad behaviour
Ramsay has been hit with a tsunami of public outrage after he made sexist and degrading comments about Tracey Grimshaw of Channel 9’s ‘A Current Affair’ when he appeared at the Good Food & Wine Show in Melbourne last weekend.
Incensed after being subjected by Grimshaw to questions referring to his alleged infidelities and troubled relationship with his wife, Ramsay showed the crowd of 3000 an image of a woman with a pig’s head, saying it was a photograph of Grimshaw. “We were secret lovers for 20 years,” he said. “No, I didn’t go there… I didn’t stoop that low.”
Kevin Rudd has weighed into the bout, described Ramsay as a “new form of low life” and demanding an unreserved apology on Grimshaw’s behalf.
But event professionals interviewed by SpiceNews today (Jun 11) were of a different mind, saying that while uncouth, the spat has increased the TV chef’s standing in the brand universe.
“I would be more motivated to go to figure out if it the whole thing was a clever publicity stunt on behalf of him and Grimshaw or if it’s real,” said Gastronomy CEO Miccal Cummins. “After the Bruno arse in Eminem face episode at the MTV Awards, I would draw strong similarities.”
Redballoon public relations consultant Arielle Nakache-Moulay said that it made good business sense to have Ramsay appear at the Sydney.
“If I was organising something and I wanted to attract people and thought he was a magnet to do that, I would have to weight that up against my personal distaste for him,” she said. “All publicity is good publicity. So if I was managing that event on behalf of a client and thought it would bring maximum exposure to the event, I would have to go down that route.”
A-List Guide managing director Amy Meriman said Ramsay’s style was not to her liking but that Grimshawgate did not cloud her opinion of the Good Food & Wine Show.
“I think it would be a great shame for people to judge the entire event because of the distasteful behaviour of one person,” she said. “I don’t think he’s my cup of tea, but the show in its entirety is a very wonderful offering for the hospitality industry.”
And in breaking news, the Perth Convention and Entertainment Centre (PCEC) is considering cancelling an executive dinner to be hosted by Ramsay in on June 25.
Perthnow reported PCEC marketing co-ordinator Anita Robson saying the venue was having talks with the event organiser to see if the dinner would take place because of Ramsay’s bad behaviour and low ticket sales.