Celebrity chef Gordon James Ramsay is a Scottish-born British restaurateur who has transcended the food industry. The chef has been successful opening many successful restaurants and has been awarded 16 Michelin stars. Aside from his business success, Ramsay has become a television celebrity, hosting and presenting numerous successful shows. Hell’s Kitchen, The F Word and Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares have found solid audiences in Britain. Meanwhile, American versions of his shows plus new shows have found much success in the United States. Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, Master Chef, Master Chef Junior and Hotel Hell are shows launched on American television by Ramsay.
As a youth, Ramsay had aspirations of becoming a professional football player. Injuries, in part, derailed those dreams and he focused on cooking at the age of 19. Ramsay worked very hard to work his way up the ladder and then joined forces with his father-in-law, Chris Hutcheson, to open his first restaurant in Chelsea called Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. From there, Ramsay’s career has exploded. Similarly, his world renowned temper and personality exploded on the small screen. Ramsay became a sensation on television furthering his profile and driving his success to high level celebrity status.
Ramsay now owns restaurants all around the world and has found success on nearly every continent. His fiery personality far proceeds him as he has enjoyed the fruits of his labor. However, Ramsay is known for saying and doing some pretty awful things. During his career, he has done what he has needed to in order to find and maintain his success. These are The 10 Most Awful Things Gordon Ramsay Has Said And Done.
10. Vegetarians? Not In My House
Gordon Ramsay has never been a big fan of vegetarians. In fact, the chef has gone to great lengths to trick vegetarians into eating meals he has somehow laced with a meat product. He gets great joy out of showing them the wonderful flavor of meats. In 2005, a volunteer was offering pizza samples on Ramsay’s show and had claimed he was a vegetarian for eight years. So, naturally, Ramsay told the man the pizza was meatless.
It was only after the man consumed the piece of pizza that Ramsay stated, “unfortunately, that pizza has got a lot of mozzarella and tomatoes, but underneath all that there is parma ham … good luck with the Vegemite!” Ramsay had done something similar two years prior in 2003 when he told a table full of vegetarians that the artichoke soup was made with vegetable stock when it was in fact made with chicken stock. Why Ramsay gets a kick out of doing this to vegetarians is beyond all of us.
9. Pigs and Lesbians
Tracy Grimshaw is an Australian journalist who basically was doing her job back in 2009 when she had to interview Gordon Ramsay. Ramsay shot remarks at Grimshaw during the interview with the likes of, “Is that a wart? It looks like your little sister’s on your lip,” (in referring to a mole on Grimshaw’s face). The journalist took it in stride and conducted her interview with professionalism.
However, later on, during the Good Food and Wine Show in Melbourne, Ramsay told an audience of a few thousand people that Grimshaw was “a lesbian.” Then, during the show, Ramsay showed a picture to the audience of a naked woman on her hands and knees with the features of a pig and multiple breasts and stated “that’s Tracy Grimshaw. I had an interview with her yesterday. Holy crap. She needs to see Simon Cowell’s Botox doctor.” Wow. Just wow. The sponsors and event coordinators were shocked at the inappropriate attacks and renounced all of Ramsay’s comments.
8. Racist Ramsay?
Back in 2000, Marcus Samuelsson was a guest chef at London’s Lanesborough Hotel. Samuelsson was interviewed about his experiences in the culinary field and failed to site Ramsay as a mentor. In forgetting to give Ramsay credit for Samuelsson’s successes, the African-American chef inadvertently set Ramsay off. Samuelsson’s memoir, Yes, Chef, recounts the incident. Samuelsson stated that there was a call into the kitchen where he was working and the executive chef answered the phone. With a puzzled look, the chef handed Samuelsson the phone. On the other end of the phone was Gordon Ramsay shouting: “How the f*ck can you come to my f*cking city and think you are going to be able to cook without even f*cking referring to me?”
This went on for what seemed like five minutes; he was too stunned to hang up. “I’m going to make sure you have a f*cking miserable time here. This is my city, you hear? Good luck, you f*cking black b*stard.” And then he hung up. Apparently, Samuelsson and Ramsay had cooked together just once prior and Samuelsson privately cited Ramsay as rude and obnoxious. Good to know Gordon came through and only reconfirmed what Samuelsson already knew.
7. Frozen Entrees?
When you spend a lot of money at a Gordon Ramsay restaurant you are obviously expecting the highest of food quality. So, when a report surfaced in 2009 that Gordon Ramsay has frozen/refrigerated food imported to one of his restaurants, it caused quite a stir and sent the volatile restauranteur on code red. The restaurant in question, Foxtrot Oscar in Chelsea, used pre-prepared food that was heated up and sold with massive mark-ups.
In addition, three of his gastropubs in London did the same exact thing. Meaning, four different establishments were having pre-prepared meals imported through their doors and sold to customers as if they were fresh. A spokeswoman for Ramsay stated, “here [at a kitchen facility in south London] Gordon Ramsay chefs prepare components of dishes devised and produced to the highest Gordon Ramsay standards.”
Ramsay himself had to face the music and replied with “when I was working at the Gavroche all those years ago, the duck terrine wasn’t made there. It was made outside, then brought to the restaurant wrapped in plastic. This is standard practice.” Really? Standard? So many of the highest caliber restaurants don’t make food fresh in their kitchen? Hmm…not likely.
6. Gordon Ramsay V Frank Bruni
Frank Bruni is an openly gay food critic. In 2007, Gordon Ramsay was just coming into his own. He also was making his first restaurant appearance on U.S. soil, opening Gordon Ramsay at the London N.Y.C. Bruni came and did a review for the New York Times. But when Bruni gave Ramsay’s restaurant a two-star review in the Times, Ramsay was incensed. He replied with “Frank Bruni f*cked me sideways, but the fascinating thing about that, I knew he had the hots for my French maître d’. But I mean, what’s Frank Bruni doing now? Tweeting about the government? I piss myself. I wish him the very best.”
Ah, Ramsay’s sarcasm and back-handed compliments shine just as bright today as when he launched his attacks. Ramsay continues to mercilessly mock Bruni now that things have clearly worked out in his favor.
Being in the public eye has numerous perks and even more temptations. For a man like Gordon Ramsay, there are many women more than willing to step in despite his married status. One of these women, Sarah Symonds, literally wrote the book on it. In 2008, Symonds, the author of Having an Affair? A Handbook for the Other Woman, called out Ramsay and the affair she alleges they had.
With nowhere to go on the topic, Ramsay simply denied the claim with a few sarcastic remarks about his wife. Ramsay stated in a Men’s Journal interview, “She’s (Ramsay’s wife) a nut crusher. If I ever f*cked up, she’d have my balls in a vise and turn them into a f*cking crêpe suzette thinner than the frilliest knickers Paris Hilton’s ever worn. She’d turn my ballbag into a doily.” Eh…okay.
4. Giving The Boot
Back in 1998, British food critic A.A. Gill and Joan Collins were grabbing a bite to eat at one of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants. However, Ramsay didn’t like Gill’s tone and the ego he was showcasing in Ramsay’s establishment. In particular, Ramsay didn’t like Gill’s treatment of Ramsay’s staff (There’s a ton of irony here). So, Ramsay tossed out both Gill and Collins. “I don’t respect him as a food critic and I don’t have to stand there and cook for him,” Ramsay wrote in an op-ed piece to purposely blow the story out of proportion and draw attention to his restaurant.
He later stated, “Personal attacks and insulting my staff is something I’m not putting up with. I have made it quite clear that he is not welcome in my restaurant.” On the other side of the coin, Gill describes Ramsay as “a wonderful chef, just a really second-rate human being.” I’m guessing we won’t see these two at a Ramsay pub anytime soon.
3. The Framing of Marco Pierre White
Marco Pierre White was a mentor to Gordon Ramsay. You would think there would be a lot of love between them, but for 15 years, the two men were decisively at odds with one another. Everything began when Ramsay, well after he was done working by White’s side, stated that White was a good chef but not much of a restaurateur. Then, Ramsay arrived at White’s wedding to his third wife with a camera crew following him and no permission for the unauthorized filming. Then came the frame job. In 1998, Ramsay stole the reservations book from the restaurant, Aubergine, where Ramsay was the head chef. Ramsay publicly blamed the incident on White. Why? Because Ramsay was worried White was after his job so he lied and publicly shamed his former mentor while stealing the reservations book himself.
Finally, in 2007, Ramsay came clean over the incident. “It was me,” Ramsay began. “I nicked it. I blamed Marco. Because I knew that would f*ck him and that it would call off the dogs … It was my one stroke of genius, f*cking someone over without his knowing that I was the one who done it. And the Italians cutting Marco off and wanting to get closer to me, kissing my ass.” Wow.
2. The In-Law
Some people have a love/hate relationship with their father-in-law. In Gordon Ramsay’s case, his father-in-law was also a key business partner who helped facilitate Ramsay’s entire empire. That didn’t stop Ramsay from doing some snooping on his father-in-law when things started to fray between them. Their relationship had begun to sag and his father-in-law, Chris Hutcheson, had allegedly borrowed over $1.5 million as CEO of Ramsay’s Holdings.
Ramsay did what any business partner would do – he hired a detective to take pictures of Hutcheson with his mistress through a bedroom window. Then Ramsay threatened to out Hutcheson and take the photos public. Ramsay even texted the woman’s son to tell him about the photos. Lawsuits were filed and a personal mess ensued. Ramsay wanted Hutcheson out and succeeded in doing so.
1. Ramsay The Sexist?
A kitchen is a rough environment. Kitchens are also known as male-dominated environments. From cooks to dishwashers, the vast majority of kitchens are filled with men. So when women want to find success as chefs, it can be an uphill climb. Gordon Ramsay naturally has his own opinions on the subject. He believes women should be kept out of professional kitchens all together.
He has sarcastically stated that there is nothing less sexy than “a woman who’s had her hand up a pigeon’s arse all day.” Ramsay wasn’t done with the insults there. He went on to state, “they (women) only work three weeks a month.” And he continued with, “You can’t get into the staff,” and “how can you shout at someone who’s four months pregnant?” So Ramsay may be just tiny bit sexist.