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Last Updated: Monday, 31 December 2007, 15:40 GMT
Nightmare returns for TV kitchen
Charita Jones
Charita Jones has taught prisoners at Lewes jail how to cook
A Sussex restaurant turned around by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has gone into administration.

Charita Jones, owner of Momma Cherri's Big House in Brighton, said accountants Baker Tilly had been appointed as joint administrators of Momma Cherri's Ltd.

Her previous premises, the Soul Shack, featured in an episode of Kitchen Nightmares for Channel 4 in 2004.

The Big House has closed but is expected to reopen in January run by a firm owned by Ms Jones' daughter.

'Community support'

Ms Jones said in a statement: "We took professional advice and decided that the best way forward would be to place the company into administration.

"However, the restaurant will reopen on 5 January 2008 run by a new company owned by Momma Cherri's daughter Katryna, operating under licence from the Administrators, with a view to achieving a sale of the business."

Before Ramsay visited the Soul Shack, it was 65,000 in debt.

Last year Ms Jones moved to the former Choy's restaurant in Little East Street and opened the five-floor Big House.

Ms Jones issued a public plea for financial backing in November saying she feared she might go bust because her business had become too big to handle.

The high profile restaurant owner, who has fostered 33 children, made her comments during the opening of a new kitchen at Lewes jail, where she taught recipes to prisoners.

Susan Maund, of Baker Tilly, said: "It's very important that the restaurant continues to trade and we hope the local community will support the management team as we work behind the scenes to find a suitable purchaser who can take the business forward."

She added: "Momma Cherri's Big House will be open in early January and will continue to trade thereafter. It is very important that the business is preserved in its current format and we will do everything we can to ensure it is business as usual."

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