British chef Gary Rhodes has slammed rumours that he’s in negotiations with BT about heading the BT Tower restaurant when it reopens in 2011.
Speaking last night at the launch of a private dining room attached to his Rhodes W1 restaurant in the Cumberland Hotel in London, he told decanter.com, ‘Don’t believe what you read. I’m not in talks with BT and never have been.’
‘It’s been totally blown out of proportion. I was asked if I’d like to be a part of the project and said of course I would – who wouldn’t? But I’ve never been in talks with BT’.
Rhodes was referring to an article published in the London Evening Standard newspaper yesterday that quoted him as being ‘in talks’ with BT over taking the helm at the 34th-floor revolving restaurant.
The article claimed that Rhodes, known for his love of British cuisine, is keen to bring his signature British dishes, such as bread-and-butter pudding, spotted dick and faggots to the tower.
Rhodes currently runs a restaurant on the 24th floor of Tower 42, formerly the NatWest building, in the City of London.
The article also said TV chef Jamie Oliver and Heston Blumenthal of The Fat Duck were approached about the project and that both chefs have denied involvement.
The original revolving Top of the Tower restaurant opened in the BT Tower – then the Post Office Tower – in 1966, offering 360-degree views of the London skyline.
In 1971 it was extensively damaged by an IRA bomb and finally closed in 1980. It has been unvisited since.
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Written by Lucy Shaw