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RAMSAY RUFFLES A FEW RIVAL FEATHERS

AFTER years of back-stabbing and open mutual hatred, you&rsquo;d have thought Gordon Ramsay would have checked his facts before starting a slanging match with arch rival Marco Pierre White.<br /><br />Both celebrity chefs have fed many a wealthy City mouth at the likes of Maze and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and White&rsquo;s Marco at Stamford Bridge and the recently-overhauled MPW Steakhouse and Grill, a stone&rsquo;s throw from Liverpool Street Station. But their relationship, which began when White used to mentor Ramsay at Harveys in Wandsworth, has long since turned sour.<br /><br />&ldquo;Did you see his television show in America? It only lasted about five minutes&hellip; how f****** sad,&rdquo; the foul-mouthed star of Ramsay&rsquo;s Kitchen Nightmares and The F Word was quoted as saying in a newspaper interview yesterday.<br /><br />A quick call to White reveals that the TV series in question, The Chopping Block, has not been buried but is actually airing on a prime-time slot on NBC from 19 June, leaving the fiery restaurateur none too happy about having his name dragged through the mud.<br /><br />&ldquo;Times are tough in the restaurant world, but the last thing Gordon should be doing is putting the boot in other people. He shouldn&rsquo;t try to deflect his problems onto others &ndash; whether that be me, Anthony Worrall Thompson, Jamie Oliver or whoever,&rdquo; he fires back, angrily. &ldquo;He should get his own house back in order before knocking others &ndash; it just puts the spotlight back onto himself. It&rsquo;s the logic of the madhouse.&rdquo;<br /><br />Ding, ding. Time for round two?<br /><br /><strong>ROADSIDE GOURMET</strong><br />While we&rsquo;re on the subject of celeb chefs and their televised jaunts, what of the fancy Little Chef menu created by the Heston Blumenthal, which last week was the subject of much gossip surrounding an imminent national roll-out?<br /><br />Since then, not a squeak from the roadside chain, which now features delicacies such as braised ox cheeks and coq au vin. But despite anxious talk about the cost of sourcing Blumenthal&rsquo;s expensive gourmet ingredients, I hear the plans are still afoot, and it&rsquo;s simply a matter of careful timing.<br /><br />&ldquo;The trial has been extremely positive as a result of all the publicity, so we&rsquo;re trying to extend it as long as possible,&rdquo; a spokesman tells me. &ldquo;But we want to make it more about the food, and it can be hard to separate these things sometimes.&rdquo;<br /><br />A particularly tiresome side-effect of serialising a menu revamp on national TV, I&rsquo;m sure. <br /><br /><strong>QUIDS IN</strong><br />The Royal Bank of Scotland is advertising for economic advisers.<br /><br />Better late than never, you might say, since candidates require &ldquo;an understanding of a wide range of economic, commercial and risk issues&rdquo;, as well as &ldquo;up-to-date knowledge of relevant economic data&rdquo;. The bank&rsquo;s future is bound to find its way into the hands of the top talent in the field, too, since RBS is offering &ldquo;a highly competitive salary&hellip; a benefits package you can customise to suit your lifestyle and bonus opportunities&rdquo;, along with &ldquo;an employer-funded retirement and savings plan&rdquo;.<br /><br />Employer-funded, though? That&rsquo;s an interesting one. Surely the taxpayer should get some credit as well?<br /><br /><strong>TELEVISION TOTTY</strong><br />Exactly how many docu-series will filmmakers produce before they eventually realise that the credit crunch is a topic of which we&rsquo;re all getting mightily fed up?<br /><br />Not a day goes by without The Capitalist coming across a casting call for one of these confounded programmes, and the latest &ndash; from the US, looking for a woman with either a Wall Street background or a history of a relationship with a Wall Street financier &ndash; sounds particularly nauseating.<br /><br />&ldquo;This woman is for the first time cutting coupons, looking at price tags, and explaining to her friends and family that she is no longer living that Wall Street lifestyle,&rdquo; the ad spouts. &ldquo;She is recession savvy, unique and interesting&hellip;&rdquo;<br /><br />Time to change the subject?