Celebrity chef is taking his restaurant operations to Texas
By BETHANY BLANKLEY
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) — Another company has left California for Texas, this time that of British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.
Gordon Ramsay North America is developing a team of chefs and businessmen in Las Colinas, Dallas, the Dallas Morning News first reported.
The Dallas-Fort Worth area is already home to some of the largest restaurant companies in the U.S., and continues to draw new businesses and residents to the area. The region has expanded so much in the past decade that 2020 Census data warranted Texas gaining two congressional seats in the North Texas area.
By contrast, in 2020, for the first time in California’s recorded history, the state reported a population decline. It also lost one congressional seat.
Ramsay North America already has a temporary test kitchen inside Dallas College’s Culinary, Pastry and Hospitality facility in north Texas. And one of its new executive chefs is Dallas native Michelle Tribble.
Ms. Triblle took third place on Mr. Ramsay’s reality television show, Hell’s Kitchen, in season 14 and later went back to win season 17.
The Las Colinas team, which plans to open 75 company-owned restaurants nationwide over the next five years, will do so in a far more tax favorable state, a factor most businesses cite when relocating to Texas.
The company’s CEO, Norman Abdallah, told The Dallas Morning News that, “The cost of living adjustment [from California to Texas] is pretty substantial.”
Mr. Ramsay’s company was founded in 1997 and is one of the largest privately owned restaurant groups in the U.K.
Mr. Ramsay, who lives in the U.K. with his family, won’t be following other high-profile entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Joe Rogan, who left California this year to establish residences in Texas. Dave Rubin of the Rubin Report announced this month that he and his entire company were moving to Texas . He’d be a Texas resident by January.
Mr. Ramsay, no stranger to Texas, might have an advantage these celebrities don’t have: he’s caught and eaten a Texas rattlesnake. While filming his new travel show this summer in Texas, the Hell’s Kitchen star skinned a rattlesnake, wrapped its meat inside a cactus, and cooked it rotisserie style over an open fire.
While most Texans don’t eat rattlesnakes or live a cowboy lifestyle, Mr. Ramsay tried both, saying, “I knew Texans were a breed of their own. But never in my wildest dreams did I know they possess that much grit.”
Over the past three years, Texas gained roughly half of the known companies that left California, according to a Hoover Institution report. From January 2018 to June 2021, 114 out of 265 known California
companies relocated their headquarters to Texas.
The California Policy Center lists 149 companies that have left California since 2005 in its “California Book of Exoduses,” the majority of which relocated to Texas. Most that left “cite California’s high tax burden and cost of living as reasons for them leaving,” the center states.