Gordon Ramsey is not only perhaps the most famous chef in the world, he’s the most famous chef in the world. That’s no simply feat as there are countless chefs every year that are attempting to make a move towards Ramsey’s international throne. He’s got multiple shows on television in the United States (Hell’s Kitchen, Master Chef, Master Chef Junior) as well as shows in his native United Kingdom and restaurants that either exist or have existed on every continent outside of Antarctica. For those looking to take his spot perhaps this list will give them a shot at taking his throne as we’re looking into every book, documentary and interview his given to find the Top Ten Things You May not have known about Gordon Ramsey… There has to be a weakness in there, somewhere.
10. He Loves Fast Food, Especially…
While it’s no longer on the air, one of the shows that really endeared Gordon Ramsay to the American television audience was a show called Kitchen Nightmares, in which Ramsay would either first dine himself or after he became better well known would send in a few undercover diners who would typically be wearing hidden cameras/microphones and then come in an attempt to turn things around and the typically filthy and disgusting (in every sense of the word) places. Because of that, and his reputation as a purveyor of fine dining around the world, you’d be surprised to hear that there’s really only one thing that Ramsay misses from Los Angeles when he travels either to New York or back to his native United Kingdom and that’s the fast food joint In-N-Out Burger. During an interview a few years ago Ramsay said the following, “I wish that they were set up in London because if there’s one thing I miss flying out of LA, it’s an In-N-Out Burger.” It’s that sort of honesty and regular taste is what makes people love Ramsay.
9. He Uses Canned Meat…
For the most part there’s one way to quickly get kicked off one of one of Ramsay’s cooking shows and that’s by either microwaving (see the number five entry on this list) and also if you’re caught using frozen or canned meats. While the microwave entry is better explained down below and makes sense, one has to wonder why anyone would use canned or frozen meat in a restaurant, especially when they have access to as much fresh meat as they could land their hands on and while he doesn’t really go into that into an interview where he describes one of his favorite dishes to make for his family that includes canned tuna fish. While the caveat there is that it has to be really high quality canned tuna, it’s still canned tuna none-the-less and that’s the approachability that the “angry chef” seems to balance with that other side of his personality and that’s really what makes him a walking contradiction and the most famous celebrity chef on the planet. Although there’s probably a clip somewhere out there of him screaming at someone for serving him cat food because they used canned tuna, that’s neither here nor there.
8. A Naturally Curious Eater, There is Actually One Thing He Wouldn’t Eat… Ever
When it comes to how adventurous he is as a chef, Ramsay has stated “As a chef, I think my job is to discover as much as I can. You know, anything black or under-seasoned I find really hard to eat. So I’ll eat anything from a beating open heart, live, to a jellied eel, to beans on toast. I’ll eat anything provided it’s got season[ing].”So it may surprise you to hear that there is actually something he refuses to eat and it’s not even something like casu marzu (cheese with maggots on it), but rather frozen dinners. “It’s so easy to prepare a quick meal using fresh produce, such as a simple stir-fry, but people still resort to ready meals that all taste exactly the same.” If only it were that simple for the rest of us, you glorious British bastard.
7. He’s Most Proud of a Show You’ve Never Heard of
Gordon Ramsay is responsible for restaurants that have amassed almost 20 Michelin stars over the years (which isn’t the record, but he’s working on it) and at this point he’s been almost as responsible for as many television shows around the world either as the host or as part of his production company. In the United States alone he’s had shows like Kitchen Nightmares, Hell’s Kitchen, MasterChef and MasterChef Junior and he’s been even more prolific in the United Kingdom. However, none of those shows are what he’s most proud of as a television host, but rather a show that you’ve most likely never heard of, at least in the United States. Of the show, Ramsay said; “So, Sharkbait was an amazing documentary where I went off to Taiwan, got on a boat, hijacked it, and you know, tried to stop finning–shark fins and the decimation of sharks and the population. So Sharkbait was one of the biggest and most prolific I’ve ever done.” Considering the fact that the sharks are also one of the hardest animals to advocate for, considering films like Jaws, it’s really something that we need more of it we actually want to have sharks in a generation or two.
6. He’s Worked with the Same Team at his Flagship Restaurant Forever
If you only watch the highlights of or the commercials for his shows you’ll think of Gordon Ramsay as a chef that has some serious anger control problems. While he’s sort of gotten away from that in recent years (at least as compared to how he was initially when he hit the US market), it’s still what he’s best known for in North America and other parts of the world that didn’t get to know him in the United Kingdom. So, it may surprise people to learn that he’s worked with the same amount of people at his flagship restaurant, the aptly named Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, where he received (and retained) his first three Michelin stars, since it around two-decades ago. In fact, the “Screaming Chef” listed that as what he was most proud of professionally, stating that he’d been working with “The same chef, the same maitre d’, 18 years later”.
5. He Uses Microwaves in his Kitchens
If you’ve watched any of Ramsay’s shows you’ll find this perhaps the most surprising entry on this list as anything microwaved (or god forbid, pre-frozen or canned (although there are caveats to that one)) typically is a one-way ticket to ending up on the chopping block for whichever chef was stupid enough to do that. However, Ramsay did state that he does, in fact, use a microwave in his restaurants from time to time, but Ramsay being Ramsay he does it HIS way. What is the one thing that you’re taught never to put in a microwave? Metal, of course, but Ramsay clearly forges his own path and part of that is apparently ignoring any and all warnings when it comes to safety and really, it’s not that dangerous to do what he does and is actually quite ingenious. So, what is the one item (or group of items) that he puts in the microwave? Herbs! And instead of cooking them over butter to get them nice and crispy he actually uses “a plate, plastic wrap, and then rub a whole basil leaf in just a touch of olive oil and then lay it on the tinfoil. Press for 45 seconds in the microwave. They come out crispy!” Well, of course, they do, because they’re being hit with miniature lightning bolts, but that’s the sort of thing that makes Ramsay Ramsay.
4. He Doesn’t Watch his Own Shows
During an interview with Playboy from 2011, Ramsay asks the interviewer whether or not he “really comes across that angry” on television when asked about whether or not he’s ever been punched on his television shows (See #1). Apparently it was a legitimate question because Ramsay doesn’t watch his own television shows. While we live in a world where younger celebrities are basically forced to be self-obsessed (to keep an eye on their social media accounts and how they’re portrayed in the media, most of which they create themselves) but there’s some older celebrities who don’t really like how they look or sound on television (think of the cringe that you get from hearing how your voice REALLY sounds, and amplify that by a million or two) and you can’t count Ramsay as one of them. During the oft-mentioned interview with Playboy in 2011 Ramsay said of the decision not to watch his own show “I don’t want to get self-obsessed and start thinking about putting makeup on and watching the way I walk. “Oh, did I really say that?” F***, it. It is what it is. I’d rather watch Deadliest Catch or go out for dinner.” Lucky for Ramsay, there are millions of people around the world that do want to watch him on television, and luckily for us there seems to be hundreds of thousands that want to watch him on YouTube, as well!
3. His Restaurants Have Amassed a Total of 16 Michelin Stars
It may sound like a contradiction but the highest honor a restaurant anywhere in the world can receive is through a yearly publication created by a tire company. That company is Michelin (ie the Michelin Man), a French-Tire Maker, that wanted to find a way to drive more so they created a review magazine each year that breaks down restaurants into groups and provides stars for the best restaurants out there (so people will drive further to check out more restaurants and eventually need new tires). The record for the most Michelin stars amassed by one executive chef is 28 by Joel Robuchon, but he better get back to work as Ramsay has amassed 16 Michelin stars himself (up from 9 only last year). His most famous and signature restaurant, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea, London has held three separate Michelin stars since it opened in 2001. It was that restaurant that landed him his first three Michelin stars, as well, and because of that he was the first/only chefs to ever amass 3 stars (this was back in 2001). Considering that he broke some of the records at 3, it’s looking like no one in the home of haggis and … More haggis will ever catch Ramsay when it comes to Michelin stars or general fame in the restaurant business.
2. Other Chefs Really Fear Him
If there’s another chef out there that’s on the same level, internationally, in terms of celebrity it’s the Iron Chef himself, Bobby Flay. While one could argue that Flay is perhaps considered to be the better chef than Ramsay, so it may be surprising that a guy who has built his name by competing against other chefs every week on shows like Iron Chef or Beat Bobby Flay has refused to actually go up against Gordon Ramsay on Iron Chef itself. Answering a question about which celebrity chef he’d like to go up against on a show like Iron Chef, Ramsay said that he had been trying to lure Flay into a head to head battle on Iron Chef for five years (as of the answering of that question, which was back in February of 2017). Beyond that he stated he had approached Flay after a celebrity tennis tournament and said:
“Bobby, let’s cut the bullshit and get in the ring you and I for 60 minutes and if you need a ten minute head start and extra sous chef, you can have them, but I’m going to kick your ass.”
Flay reportedly said yes but then changed his mind and had his agent phone Ramsay to say that he simply didn’t “have the time” 24 hours later. Run, Bobby, Run!
1. He’s a Black Belt in Karate
For a guy that seems to run his mouth as often as Ramsay does, you just know that there are drunks everywhere who are looking to knock him down a peg or two. Luckily for him, he’s a big guy (at 6’2″) but not just that, he knows how to handle himself in a fight. During an interview with Playboy back in September of 2011, Ramsay discusses whether or not someone has ever taken a swing at him on the show (or elsewhere), and let’s people know exactly how ready for a fight he is:
“There was a situation years back on an early season of Hell’s Kitchen in London. A lady had had too much to drink and was showing off and went to punch me. But no. I have a black belt in karate. I love boxing. I can look out for myself. Do I want to fight? No. Let’s finish cooking first. We’ll fight after. Do I really come across that angry?”
I think it’s safe to say that, yes, Gordon, you do. But that’s why we love you!