GORDON Ramsay's head waiter plunged 50 feet from his apartment building in a freak accident at the weekend which mirrored the tragic fall that killed another employee two years earlier.
Jean-Philippe Susilovic, 30, was trying to break into his flat in Stockwell in the early hours of Sunday morning when he slipped and fell from the outside ledge.
The Belgian matre d' was taken to King's College Hospital, London with a suspected broken back. He emerged from a coma yesterday morning.
Two years ago Ramsay's friend and fellow chef David Dempsey fell 40 feet to his death from his Chelsea apartment block.
It is believed that Mr Susilovic managed to gain access to the main building but did not have the keys to his own apartment.
One of Mr Susilovic's neighbours said: "It was a hideous accident. I heard someone falling and crashing into the railings. Some people who live opposite let him in.
"He must have walked up and realised he hadn't got his keys. I guess he thought he could crawl along the ledge that runs along the roof to his flat."
Amazingly Susilovic can move his arms and legs and is talking.
Susilovic is head waiter at Petrus, co-owned by Ramsay, 39, a fashionable restaurant settled in the heart of London's Mayfair.
On hearing the news Ramsay, who was "devastated" by the accident, said: "I am thrilled he's alive and wish him a speedy recovery." The chef, who is on holiday abroad, phoned the hospital daily to check on Susilovic's progress.
The head waiter, nicknamed JP, ran the floor in the first series of Hell's Kitchen and followed Ramsay to Los Angeles when the series was exported to America.
In one episode of the US show Susilovic deals with starving American diners who order a takeaway pizza to their table.
He put up with abuse from his foul-mouthed boss, saying: "It was because Gordon couldn't shout at the celebrities as much as he would have liked to, so he shouted at me."
In May 2003 another employee and friend of Ramsay was not so lucky when he fell from a lesser height.
Glaswegian David Dempsey, 31, fell 40 feet to his death from his Chelsea apartment block after suffering a bad reaction to cocaine.
Witnesses saw him smashing windows and jumping between window ledges in a state of "excited delirium" before he lost his footing.
He died of multiple injuries caused by the fall.
Dempsey was described as Ramsay's protg. Eileen Dempsey said her son admired Ramsay "to the point of worship".
The self-taught chef from a Dennistoun council estate in the east end of Glasgow helped Ramsay turn Amaryllis into the city's only Michelin-starred restaurant. Ramsay described him as "like my little brother".
The restaurant closed down after three years in January 2004 after losing nearly half a million pounds.
Ramsay said: "It was the final chapter to David Dempsey. He opened that place, he won the star, so to see it close was the perfect ending for David and the perfect ending for me."
Ramsay was criticised by Dempsey's family for accepting the coroner's verdict that Dempsey was taking drugs.
Closer to home, Ramsay's younger brother Ronnie, 37, is a recovering heroin addict.