This article explores the many restaurants that were run by celebrity chefs and now have closed. It also reviews celebrity chefs who filed for bankruptcy. You’ll learn why many of these restaurants fail and why it’s such a tough business.
The once-flourishing celebrity chef industry has seen dozens of restaurants backed by some of the top names in the business close over the past year. Some chefs were done in by rising rents, overexpansion, and a shift among foodies toward “authentic” fare that doesn’t depend on having a celebrity in the kitchen. Besides, with locations open for 10 years or more, some restaurants had just grown stale. “As with every other art form, the tastes and the popularity change,” says Shep Gordon, the agent who nurtured the careers of such celebrity chefs as Emeril Lagasse. “The fireworks can only last so long.”
The list of high-profile restaurant closures includes Gordon Ramsay’s Maze, which plans to shut down in London after 14 years, as well as Daniel Boulud’s eight-year-old DBGB in New York. Lagasse’s outpost in Orlando closed in July after 19 years. His Table 10 in Las Vegas served its last meal in December. Lagasse declined to comment. A Ramsay spokesperson says the chef will develop a new concept in the Maze space. A spokesman for Boulud said the closing of the Lower East Side eatery was “largely due to the neighborhood not evolving as quickly as we had hoped.”