As one of the worlds most well traveled chefs, Gordon Ramsay has seen much more with his bare eyes than the regular head chef. Having been the star of several British, American and internationally broadcast television programs, shocking Gordon has become quite difficult as he’s tasted some of the worst and best dishes in the world. In addition, his list of breathtaking experiences is absolutely astounding. Today this list is going to focus on just a few of the times where Gordon has been truly stupefied. Here are the Top 10 Times Gordon Ramsay was Stunned.
10. The Surprising Expedition for Birds Nest Soup
Let’s kick things off with one of the most surprising meals that Gordon has ever eaten. Not only was Gordon able to experience the rare delicacy that is Birds Nest Soup, he also had the very exclusive experience of assisting in harvesting the main ingredient – which is fairly easy to guess: birds nests! What is surprising about these nests is what they are made of. Unlike most bird nests, these specialty designed homes are made of bird saliva! Not exactly the kind of material you would use to make your home cozy, that’s for sure. Deep inside the caves of Malaysian Borneo, are treasures to be found, and it’s not buried gold! If one can dig through the disgusting amount of bat feces, extremely valuable bird’s nests are abandoned high in the rafters of the caves. Ramsay got to experience what very few have when he was personally guided down into the caves, through their passages, and deep into the nesting grounds. He himself climbed the bamboo ladder to harvest his own birds’ nest for a personal batch of Birds Nest Soup. Even though locals don’t consume the delicacy themselves, due to its sheer value, Gordon was lucky enough to have one local woman make him traditional birds nest soup Chinese style. Using nothing but sugar, water, and the cleaned birds’ nest, the soup is actually more of a dessert type of dish than a savory meal. Considering Gordon had tasted many attempted fake versions of the soup, he was completely shocked to experience such a sweet dish while being prepared for a spicy soup! Even a professional like Gordon Ramsay can still be stunned after so many years at the top, and impressed enough to even ask for seconds!
9. Cocktails in the Cold: Harvesting Arctic Ice
Perhaps one of the coolest items on this list, one of Gordon’s most stunning moments came from his time harvesting ice off of a glacier just off the coast of Alaska. With most of Gordon’s expensive ingredients sometimes stem from difficult to reach tropical locations, the visit to the Arctic was a beautiful, once in a lifetime surprise. Although ice is a common commodity across much of the globe thanks to the modern technology of refrigeration, these specialty cubes would be harvested from giant ice blocks that Gordon himself hoisted out of the freezing arctic waters. What makes this ice so special? It is supposed to be some of the purest ice in the entire world – made over thousands of years rather than in minutes using water coming directly from the tap. Is there anything better than an ice-cold cocktail poured over glacier ice and sipped in the middle of Alaskan waters? It’s hard to imagine and that’s why this amazing experience makes the list. Anytime that Gordon Ramsay is impressed by the sheer beauty of an experience, it’s bound to be an extraordinary one.
8. Caviar Farming: A Sustainable Source
Although having worked with caviar for most of his career, the push towards finding sustainable sources of food had encouraged Gordon to search out alternative sources to the traditional wild caviar he was used to. In order to learn more about sustainable fish farming, Ramsay decides to visit a sturgeon caviar farm where he was truly stunned by the laborious process that’s involved in farming caviar. Once people learn about the process, it becomes immediately clear why the price point for caviar is so sky high and why despite its popularity, it remains a luxury item reserved for the most classy of meals. The simple fact that it takes the female sturgeon over 20 years to produce enough caviar for harvesting explains just one of the reasons behind sustainable sourcing. It is incredibly important that 20-year-old, fertile sturgeon are not being removed from the wild population, not only in order to sustain the sturgeon population for the fishing industry but most importantly for the ecosystem. After assisting further in the manual process of hand catching the massive 130-pound fish, Gordon then helped remove the caviar from the sturgeon’s belly with great precision. After assisting in hand cleaning, separating and seasoning the eggs, Gordon could finally comprehend the majesty behind such a profound dish.
7. Fishing for Shark Fins
Gordon Ramsay is one of the most well traveled chefs in the world. With a world-renowned career, he has been able to work and vacation globally, learning about different cultures and practices. Despite being a thousands year old delicacy, Gordon’s experience with Shark Fin soup left a foul taste in his mouth. The reason behind Ramsay’s distaste for the soup had less to do with the flavor, although that was an issue, and more to do with the sheer horror that is involved in the process of producing these dishes. In a society where we are all learning to be more in tune with nature and less wasteful in terms of our dietary habits, shark fin soup continues to push for the opposite. Considering that the only valuable pieces of the shark on the market are typically the fins, often, the stripped corpses of dead sharks are dumped right back into the ocean. And it’s important to note that the sharks aren’t always dead when they are thrown away. Since they can’t swim without their fins, most of the time they sink to the bottom of the ocean and eventually die. Shipping boats return with hundreds of shark fins all at the cost of the shark’s lives and the ecosystem of the ocean. The disgusting process of stripping these animals of their beauty and leaving the majority of their corpses to sink in the water is enough to make even the most fearful of sharks shedding a tear on their behalf. In addition to the disgusting practices that take place in harvesting the fins, the price and the taste of the soup were additional reasons why Ramsay was stunned in the worst way by this ancient recipe. With shark fins averaging about $200 per pound, this bowl of broth is not the cheap lunch option that most westerners associate with soup. At the end of the day, despite all the controversy and hardship that is involved in making this soup, Gordon seemed less than impressed with the flavor claiming that the fin was flavorless and the worst part of the meal. It just goes to show that sometimes expensive does not always mean good!
6. Breast Milk Cappuccino
Although Gordon has a long list of bizarre flavors and recipes he has tried, this addition, the Breast Milk Cappuccino, may just be one of the strangest to date. During a recipe cook-off with chef Alex James, the two ended up having a strange conversation about Alex’s strange experimentation with his wife’s breast milk. Having had too much to drink one night, the milk became useless for the babies and not wanting to be wasteful, Alex saw the opportunity to get creative: why not use this perfectly good breast milk and make something good out of it? After finishing their recipes and serving their dishes, Alex convinces Ramsay to taste one of his signature breast milk cappuccinos. Unfortunately for Gordon, the Cappuccino was about as gross as expected! Unable to swallow down the Cappuccino made from another woman’s milk, Gordon chose to spit his sip into the nearby sink exclaiming” it’s sweet!”, clearly unexpectedly. It’s important that chefs continue pushing the envelope and creating new and exciting dishes, but even Gordon knows there are limits and was just too grossed out to enjoy this hot beverage. Although he’s always willing to try something new, this just goes to show even Gordon Ramsaystill often finds himself stunned, and sometimes for the strangest reasons!
5. The Hottest Curry
It takes one heck of a spicy curry to stun Gordon Ramsay and the fifth spot on this list has been claimed by a curry with such power. During one of his classic cooking television performances, Gordon was working with chef Alan Carr completing a fun cook along. The theme of the episode was Indian cuisine and following suit, the chefs were working on their best curries and dishes. While discussing the meals, Gordon asks Alan if he is a fan of spice. Luckily for Gordon, Alan responds that he loves a hot curry. In the crowd, Rukon, an extremely proud super fan was waiting to impress. His claim to fame was that he had created the hottest curry in the UK. Both Alan and Gordon were willing to taste the curry and although both only dipped the tip of the spoon into the dish, the reactions of both were profound. Both men jumped back from the plate and grabbed their mouths immediately, searching for a cool palette cleanser to help soothe their taste buds. Although Ramsay stated that the curry was shocking, it was not meant in a positive regard. He also stated that the curry was “s***” and the hottest thing he had ever tasted in his life! Spicy doesn’t always mean it’s good, folks. Whenever Gordon is that blunt and honest, rest assured he has been stunned!
4. King Crab Fishing in the Deep
While many may be familiar with King Crab fishing with shows like Deadliest Catch highlighting the dangers, Gordon Ramsay’s attempt at catching King Crab in Norway was extremely different. Although crab fishing in Alaska is typically done before the winter season covers the sea in ice, in Norway, Gordon and his guides actually worked beneath the frozen fjord. In Norway, King Crab has become a sort of invasive species as they have no natural predators. Reaching a massive size of up to 6 feet, they consume mass quantities of the local ecosystem. In order to help control the masses, fishermen sell the crab at a high price point. The scariest part of the experience for Gordon was diving deep down beneath the frozen ice into the dark and frigid waters, all in the hopes of tasting a fresh king crab! This is pretty rare since crabs from across the world must be shipped frozen in order to preserve the freshness of the crab itself. After catching a massive king crab, the best part of the experience for the men was a crab feast right out on the ice. Gordon has been extremely lucky over his career to experience events that many can’t even possibly comprehend or dream of. This beautiful experience is one of the most stunning imaginable.
3. Beautiful Chef has Gordon Gobsmacked
This next moment is on our list for an entirely different reason. While other mentions of Gordon being stunned relate to shock, surprise and disgust in terms of how they affected him, this moment is very different. In a truly humanizing moment, one of the best moments of Gordon Ramsay being stunned is a simple interaction between himself and a beautiful Indian chef he encounters. The woman is generous to welcome him into her home in order to teach her family the recipe of sesame seed chicken. As the pair continue to pass jokes, flirtatious comments, and jovial sentiments, it is clear that Gordon has been stunned by not only this woman’s impressive skills in the kitchen, but also by her witty humor and vivacious personality. For a man with a quick tongue, it certainly must be a joyful moment to find someone who can match in wit and intelligence and have the skills to deliver. With nothing more than lighthearted flirting between two beautiful characters, this scene provided excellent insight into how the simplest moments can be the most impressive and the most stunning.
2. Tarantula Hunting and Frying
Gordon got up close and personal with one of many people’s greatest fears while traveling in Cambodia. During years of poverty and starvation, Cambodian villagers have learned to eat what is available, meaning that insects – including the sought after tarantula – have become not only part of a staple diet, but also a flavor preference, which we can’t say is the same for us, seeing how most people still freak out when they see the tiniest spider, imagining eating one! In addition, catching and selling the tarantulas provides excellent additional income for villages. Gordon and a small group of men set out on a mission to catch the hairy beasts. Ramsay personally dug out a burrow and caught his own tarantula which one can easily tell from his facial expressions, was outside his comfort zone! After returning to the village, Gordon is taught how to properly boil and fry tarantulas for consumption. Although Ramsay typically enjoys the ethnic food that he is presented with, it seemed very clear in this instance that he was desperately trying to be polite in front of the local villagers. Although stating that the highly prized tarantula was bitter, he continued to smile while attempting to choke down the bitter-tasting and absolutely bizarre snack! Certainly one of his most stunned moments, and one he will surely not forget anytime soon!
1. Eating a Beating Snake Heart
This by far has to be one of the strangest things that Gordon Ramsay has ever experienced and easily tops our list. While in Vietnam, Gordon was taken by friends to a live restaurant. This means that the meat served for dinner was also slaughtered in house! The restaurant was filled with an assortment of different creatures such as rats, fish, and lizards among others. The entire episode can be quite disturbing, so viewers beware if you plan on searching up any clips of this event. After touring the restaurant, Gordon’s friends order the “Snake Seven Ways”, meaning that their live cobra would be cooked and presented to them in an assortment of styles. Gordon certainly was not prepared for the first style: a raw still beating snake’s heart. Taken like a shot, the heart was extracted from the snake and placed into a shot glass for Gordon to consume. He was to drink the heart just like a shot of vodka. His friends even talk about the power and the feeling of the beating heart sliding down the throat! Certainly by far one of the most shocking moments of Gordon Ramsay’s life leaving him more than stunned, to say the least. There are very few who would be bold enough to try a dish this bizarre!