UK celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay was stopped at airport customs in Doha attempting to transport forbidden contraband into the Muslim country, Arabian Business reported on Tuesday.
A wine food and alcohol aficionado, Ramsay's traveling companion was a bottle of Dom Pérignon champagne.
Airport customs prevented the notoriously tough chef from keeping his prohibited bottle of bubbly from coming in the country, which is currently curbing the supply of alcohol.
Ramsay made light of the situation while speaking during a press conference Sunday to discuss his Doha-based restaurants.
"It’s the first time I’ve ever been stopped by customs," he said, according to Arabian Business.
"The alarm went off and I got called into a little room. So it’s been confiscated – the first time I’ve ever lost a bottle of Dom Pérignon! It was a birthday present from a dear friend,” the Michelin-starred chef was quoted as saying by Doha News.
Addressing the country's alcohol restrictions, Ramsay said he believed things would change in the future: “With the excitement of the World Cup and how the focus of the world’s media will be on Qatar… Things will change. I’m pretty confident. As a nation, Qatar is developing rapidly – but it’s a difficult scenario."
Joking about what the restrictions might mean for the 2020 World Cup in Qatar, he added: "I’m just trying to imagine an English fan celebrating with a Perrier.”
Well acquainted with alcohol restrictions in the country , Ramsay was forced to shut down his restaurant "Maze" in the Gulf country following the ban on the sale of alcohol in its manmade Pearl-Qatar development in 2011.
The 47 year old chef had been in Qatar to visit the "Opal by Gordon Ramsay" and "Gordon Ramsay" restaurants at the St. Regis in Doha over the weekend.
“I am delighted by the support the Gordon Ramsay restaurants have received in Doha. We had a successful launch and an exciting first year," said Ramsay.
“The Gordon Ramsay partnership has been met with great success, said The St. Regis Doha general manager Tareq Derbas. “We are delighted to welcome Gordon back to see how well the Gordon Ramsay brand is resonating with our customers here in Doha."
"Opal by Gordon Ramsay" and "Gordon Ramsay" represent the only Ramsay-branded restaurants in the Middle East.
The British chef also stopped by Dubai to visit the new Arabesque restaurant Qbara Dubai, headed by Chef Colin Clague.SHOW MORE