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Gordon Ramsay buys into Rotisserie Laurier BBQ

mtl-rotisserie-laurier.jpgHot-tempered British chef Gordon Ramsay is coming to Montreal.

Ramsay is a new partner in Rotisserie Laurier BBQ, a BBQ chicken joint that's been around since the 1930s.

"We cannot be more excited about it!" says co-owner Danielle Lord. "I think the whole town is excited!"

According to Lord, another partner approached Ramsay when he was in town recently to launch his line of pots and pans at The Bay and invited him to come over and see the restaurant.

Lord says the new "Ramsay-ized" version of the restaurant will launch in early 2011. It will offer an expanded menu and a bar, and the decor will be updated. But Lord promises it won't be more expensive. 

Homerun listeners are debating on our text line (22222) as to whether this is exciting news for the Montreal restaurant scene, or the loss of a humble Montreal institution.

"What is chef Ramsay's agenda?" wonders one texter. "Ruining the Laurier Rotisserie after so many years of service? I hope not."

But mixed reviews on foodie Web sites such as Chowhound, Urbanspoon and RestoMontreal suggest there maybe isn't much to lose.

Homerun Web journalist Tanya Birkbeck asked co-owner Danielle Lord a few questions:

What did Ramsay eat when he came to the restaurant?

He was in a big hurry, he had a plane to catch. But he tried a portion of fries, some chicken, some of the sauce. We showed him the cakes. He said we should keep the classics but tweak them a bit.

Is he going to learn some French?

Hopefully. I had to take English courses. He's going to have to know some key words.

Will people have a chance to meet Ramsay when the restaurant relaunches?

We don't know. He has a very busy international schedule.

But he is coming back to Montreal in a couple weeks to work on the concept. Will you take him out to eat at any other Montreal restaurants?

I don't know. I would have to know his tastes.

Any chance you would take him out to see some of your competitors on Laurier West?

Maybe we will take him to Lemeac.

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Listen to Sue's conversation with Danielle Lord.

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