And so the celebrity chef cull continues...
The latest to bite the dust is John Burton Race. Remember him? You know, the guy who made a tit of himself on ITV reality show I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here, stuffing himself on kangaroo testicles and other nasties, and falling out with ex-supermodel Janice Dickinson.
You know, you’ve seen him, the guy who had that programme set in France when his kids kept turning their noses up at his cooking. It was back in the early noughties, some time, right at the reality TV peak when you could pitch an idea about living in a septic tank with a load of conger eels and some commissioning editor from the Beeb or Channel Four would bite your hand off.
The guy who’s just signed a deal with some Kent pubs. You’ve seen him, he still runs a Michelin star restaurant in Devon. The New Angel. Gordon Ramsay tried to buy it off him for a knock-down price, wanted something that he wouldn’t have to do much to, apparently, just parachute his staff in and get cooking the next day. Long way to drive to drop off the boil-in-the-bag meals, mind...
Well, anyway, the poor sod (Burton Race not Ramsay – hold that thought) has only gone and gone bankrupt. Was it the recent divorce? Was it greedy pensioners quibbling over prices at his Dartmouth restaurant?
Was it the fact he’s not on TV much anymore? Probably. After all, there’s not much lucre to be had running restaurants, not compared to a nice fly-on-the-wall in France or a string of book deals. Why do you think sleb chefs are never in the kitchen anymore?
Burton Race, 52, reportedly made the application just two months after his ex-wife Kim was herself made bankrupt after an application to the High Court from a creditor who was owed £15,000.
It means his assets are effectively frozen, and creditors will have to apply to an insolvency practitioner to be paid.
After walking out on his wife and their six kids, and moving in with mistress Suzi Ward a couple of years ago, he was forced to sell the New Angel after it famously closed with debts of £1m when he was filming I'm a Celebrity in Australia.
But he is now back working there as head chef, after it was bought out by his friend, internet millionaire Clive Jacobs.
Burton Race was unavailable for comment, but the Western Morning News spoke to his ex-wife Kim, who said neither she nor the children had any contact with her former husband.
She said she felt "saddened" for any independent businesses which may be affected by Burton Race's bankruptcy. Ouch!
"I'm glad to be rebuilding a life for myself and my children, and away from the whole sorry mess," she said, insisting reports of a massive divorce settlement were "absolutely ludicrous".
"I lost my home, and suggestions that I got more than £3m are just ridiculous – hence I now live in rented accommodation," she was quoted as saying.
The chef, who now lives with Ms Ward at her home in Strete, near Dartmouth, was declared bankrupt on March 27.
It means he cannot get credit, and his creditors will have to apply for a share of his wages until the bankruptcy is automatically discharged on March 27 next year.
Poor sod. Gone for a Burton.
If someone took a share of my last paltry chef pay packet, I’d been drinking cider on a bench with Anthony Worrall Thompson. Now there’s a thought...