- Most restaurateurs would fall over themselves to get
a former US President at one of their tables - but not down-to-earth Jamie
- The mockney geezer proved that the words, "Don't
you know who I am?" will never cut any ice at his restaurant, Fifteen,
by turning away none other than Bill Clinton.
- Clinton, 57, visited London earlier this year and decided
he wanted to try some top quality contemporary British grub.
- And what place better to do so than at 28-year-old Jamie's
Old Street restaurant which is staffed by rookie chefs trained by the pukka
- With prices of around £60 a head for three courses
and wine, it was well within the ex-Pres's budget, so his people got on
to Jamie's people to book a table for 12.
- But there was a slight hitch - the millionaire kitchen
wizard's eaterie is proving so popular that punters have to reserve a table
three months in advance.
- An insider at the restaurant reveals: "Everyone
was grinning from ear to ear when we took the call." And they were
equally chuffed when the management stuck to their guns and decided not
bounce another booking to make room for Bill and his pals.
- "Clinton's people called on a Thursday wanting a
booking for the following Saturday," explains one of Jamie's staff.
- "It was impossible because that's the restaurant's
busiest night. He also wanted a booking for 12 people and we can only accommodate
parties of eight."
- Clinton was adamant he wanted to try out the East London
diner and begged them to squeeze his party in somehow - but all to no avail.
- "It would have meant cancelling a booking of other
guests who made reservations weeks ago and that just wouldn't be fair,"
our insider explains.
- "He was told that if he wanted to come back in future
he should remember to book a table well in advance.
- "If we're full, we're full, and there's nothing
that can be done about it - even if it is for the former President of the
- Staff at the restaurant say Clinton isn't the first A-list
celeb to have been turned away. "We've had others call up and trot
out the 'do you know who I am?' line when we explain that you can't just
expect to get a table here because you may be well-known," our source
- "We're not here to bend to famous people's whims.
We're here to serve good food to people who like good food - nothing more,
- A spokesman for Jamie confirmed that Clinton had been
turned away by the restaurant.
- He said last night: "Jamie was sorry the restaurant
was unable to accommodate Bill Clinton, but his attitude was c'est la vie.
- "Mr Clinton is, of course, more than welcome to
come back at any time but he will have to give the restaurant a bit more
- But if Bill still wants to sample some of Jamie's pukka
tucker, he'd better get in quick.
- There's not one evening reservation to be had until 2004.
- We can only hope Billy kicked back and lit up a cigar