MOSCOW (AFP) - The French actor Gerard Depardieu - who raised eyebrows when he took Russian nationality 18 months ago after befriending President Vladimir Putin - is to open his own Franco-Russian restaurant in Moscow called "Gérard".
Known for his gargantuan appetite for food and drink, Depardieu already owns three restaurants in Paris, several vineyards and bistros and brasseries in Belgium.
Only last weekend he failed to turn up at the Edinburgh Film Festival in Scotland after a roisterous night "attacking" a haggis - a Scottish delicacy made from oats and sheep innards - and sampling local beers and whiskies in a pub on the Isle of Skye.
The actor had been due at a première of the controversial film "Welcome to New York", in which he plays disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
But after his night of toasting the haggis with Gaelic poet Rody Gorman, he failed to make it to the Scottish capital, angering festival organisers.
Gorman, however, jumped to his defence. Writing in The Guardian newspaper he said the actor was "no more drunk than anybody else" when he was piped out of the bar by a bagpiper at 9pm after an afternoon's drinking, "calling for scallops as he went".
Depardieu said his Moscow restaurant will open in October and serve "the simple food that I like, with dishes from Russia and France." He told the Komsomolskaya Pravda that he hopes to open two further restaurants in Russia, one in Saint Petersburg and another in Saransk, the capital of Mordovia, where he is domiciled.
Asked about his friendship with Mr Putin, Depardieu said: "I think everything that man does he does for Russia."