VEGAS MYTHS BUSTED: Celebrity Chefs Work in Their Own Restaurants

Posted on: June 17, 2024, 08:21h. 

Last updated on: June 17, 2024, 10:41h.

One myth we busted a few Mondays ago — that Gordon Ramsay booted Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce from his Hell’s Kitchen restaurant for being too drunk — encompassed a second myth that we saved for this edition: that celebrity chefs actually work in their restaurants.

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay poses for a photo in a restaurant in which he has never cooked, Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen at Caesars Palace. (Image:

It’s not too difficult to figure out who started this myth and why. According to an old menu at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace: “If you think the guy sitting at the end of the bar looks a lot like Gordon, well, it just might be.”

Ramsay poses for his contractually required photos at the grand opening of his first Hell’s Kitchen in January 2018. (Image: Brenton Ho/

Booking the Cooks

Caesars Entertainment wants you to think you can meet or see Ramsay by dining at one of the six Las Vegas restaurants they operate for him — so much so that the casino company requires him to visit each one at least once a year, for at least 24 consecutive hours.

During each visit, Ramsay is contractually obligated to allow himself to be photographed as though his being there is a perfectly normal occurrence and not just a requirement for him to earn his $340K annual name-licensing fee per restaurant, along with 5%-6% of Caesars’ gross profits from it.

This suggests what we all kind of know intuitively — that once someone earns millions from TV shows and passive licensing deals, they don’t want to have to cook your Crispy Skin Salmon over a hot stove after you arrive famished from seeing Mat Franco’s 7 p.m. show at the LINQ.

Celebrity chefs may sometimes help design the menus at their Las Vegas restaurants — that’s both may and sometimes. But they never cook in them. Doing so may actually be illegal if they don’t possess a Nevada health card.

Instead, they rely on their hotel partners’ food and beverage departments to manage the restaurants.

Ramsay cooks in a scene for his long-running “Hell’s Kitchen” Fox-TV reality series, which is always shot on soundstages, never in his restaurants. Seasons 23 and 24, now filming at the Foxwoods in Connecticut, is set on a soundstage at the casino resort, not in the Hell’s Kitchen there. (Image: Fox-TV)

How We Know For Sure

We only know about Caesars’ deal with Ramsay because it was among the financial relationships exposed by the Wall Street Journal during the company’s 2016 bankruptcy proceedings.

We assume that Caesars, and other casino companies, have similar deals with Guy Fieri, José Andrés, Guy Savoy, Giada De Laurentis, Michael Mina, and David Chang, though those deals have never been made public.

The only time celebrity chefs can be counted on to be at their restaurants is for their grand openings.

Unfortunately, that’s one of the only times you can’t be because those are invite-only affairs open exclusively to celebrities and other casino VIPs.

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