Another celebrity chef is in the news again for all the wrong reasons.
Britain’s John Burton Race, former co-owner of the Michelin starred The New Angel restaurant, which he ran with his wife Kim, has declared himself bankrupt. In 2004, the couple moved to Dartmouth, Devon, where their adventures in setting up the restaurant were documented by Britain’s Channel 4 in Return of the Chef. Since that time Burton Race has appeared on numerous other television programs, including Britain’s Best Dish and Kitchen Criminals, written cookbooks and distinguished himself as a ladies’ man, after having a secret affair with another woman, fathering her child and walking out on his wife.
In 2007, Mrs. Devon shut down the The New Angel, which was turning out to be a financial disaster. At the time, Burton Race was unreachable in Australia, filming the reality show I’m a Celebrity… Get me Out of Here. The restaurant was then purchased by his friend, Clive Jacobs, a multi-millionaire and one of the travel industry’s leading and most charismatic figures. After buying The New Angel, Jacobs turned around and hired Burton Race as his head chef.
According to news reports, Gordon Ramsay was interested in purchasing the restaurant, but didn’t want to pay the price that Burton Race felt was fair and equitable, so the deal fell through.
Burton Race subsequently moved in with his mistress, Suzi Ward and their young son, and divorced his wife. His bankruptcy became public this week, although he filed papers in March, just two months after his ex-wife declared her own bankruptcy. The former Mrs. Burton Race allegedly owes creditors almost $24,000.
All of Burton Race’s assets are now frozen. Creditors will have to petition an insolvency practitioner to be paid.
In the meantime, ex-wife Kim is trying to build a new life with her six children. Burton Race will continue to work at The New Angel, make television appearances and fulfill his responsibilities as head of group development for Kent Inns of Distinction, to which he has just been appointed. In this position, he will train the kitchen staff and assist in menu development for the restaurants under the Kent Inns brand.