Ever since Gordon Ramsay entered the culinary world, he’s been making heads turn and tears stream. The world-famous chef knows a thing or two about food and running a successful restaurant, but he also knows how to hurt people’s feelings. Ramsay started his career in London in 1993. Before even hitting 30, he had become the chef of the city’s famed Aubergine restaurant. He received two Michelin stars in only three years at the restaurant.
By 1998, he set up his own place – Restaurant Gordon Ramsay – which received three Michelin stars. Ramsay went on to open restaurants throughout the world and star in his reality TV shows, like Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, and Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted. While some may tune in to learn something about food or the restaurant business, I think most of us just wanna see some good ol’ drama in the kitchen.
One of television’s boldest personalities and hotheaded celebrity chefs, there’s a lot to learn about Gordon Ramsay.
He Actually Wanted to be a Pro Soccer Player
If it wasn’t for a rough injury, Gordon Ramsay might never have become a chef. In 2002, during an interview with The Guardian, he disclosed that his lifelong passion has always been soccer — or, as Europeans like to call it – football. It turns out that Ramsay was quite talented – so much so, that Glasgow’s Rangers signed him up.
Recalling his early days on the team as “very stressful,” he remembers being “petrified most of the time.” But his entire life changed when he suffered a serious injury on the soccer field. He tore his ligaments and was consequently not invited back for another season, and he was understandably crushed. Soon after, he took a catering course. “I still love football, though, and I think cooking is like football… It’s not a job; it’s a passion.”
The Real Reason He Canceled His Show
Gordon Ramsay’s numerous TV shows provide the Fox network with over 75 hours of programming every year, bringing in over $150 million in annual ad revenue. One of those shows was Kitchen Nightmares (my personal favorite), which ended in 2014 after a successful seven years. Ramsay revealed the surprising reason it ended, it was he who had canceled his show, and he explained why.
While he was filming an episode in France at a ski resort, the British fellow running the place (who Ramsay said he wouldn’t even trust to run his bath – let alone a restaurant) just wasn’t accepting the things that Ramsay was telling him. Ramsay thought to himself: “I’m done.” But Fox wasn’t so pleased with his plan to leave his show. And so, three years later, Ramsay came back with 24 Hours to Hell and Back.
His Kids Won’t Be Seeing His Fortune
Gordon Ramsay is one rich chef. His net worth is said to be $220 million; Forbes estimated that he earned $63 million last year alone. So, you would think that his five children would be set for life, right? Well, not so much. He revealed that they wouldn’t be inheriting his money. “It’s definitely not going to them, and that’s not in a mean way,” Ramsay told The Telegraph. The way he sees it, he doesn’t want to spoil them.
Ramsay and his wife Tana go to great lengths to make sure their kids don’t become spoiled. And it’s made crystal clear when the family flies. While Ramsay and his wife sit in first class, the kids don’t. He said the kids hadn’t worked anywhere near hard enough to afford that. “At that age, at that size, you’re telling me they need to sit in first class? No, they do not.”
He’s Not Proud of His Potty Mouth
If there’s anything that sticks out about Gordon Ramsay, it’s his signature potty mouth. Watching his show involves hearing a lot of bleeps and beeps. But despite all those F-bombs, Ramsay admitted that he’s not particularly proud of it. There was a total count of his F-bombs during one of his Kitchen Nightmares episodes, and it came out to 298!
His response to that piece of information (which was from 2010)? He wasn’t proud. “There has come a time when, at the age of 43, I’m getting a bit tired of the foul-mouthed bully chef.” But the now 53-year-old refuses to pander to elderly British viewers by pretending to be someone else. The man still swears, and while he may not be satisfied with his use of language, it’s part of his personality.
He’s Not Afraid of Plastic Surgery
Unlike most celebs who covertly go under the knife, Ramsay decided to come clean about his visit to a plastic surgeon. In 2010, he wanted to address some of his deep wrinkles. He explained that yes, being on TV is a major part of it, but there was another reason. He said that his children go up to him and say, “Dad, why have you got so many wrinkles on your face when Clementine’s daddy has no wrinkles?”
He said the harsh tabloids don’t help, either. According to Ramsay himself, nobody even noticed he had any work done until he mentioned it. But, when you don’t say anything, then you’re classified as a liar, so you just can’t win.
Gordon Ramsay vs. Bobby Flay
In 2017, during a Q&A for Quora, a fan asked which chef Gordon Ramsay would most like to face off in an Iron Chef-style battle. Ramsay didn’t even have to think twice. He responded to the question by saying that he’s been asking Bobby Flay for the last five years for such an opportunity “to go up head-to-head, and he still won’t sign that damn contract.”
Ramsay had an event at Caesars Palace, including an Elton John celebrity tennis match, and the stadium was set. He walked into Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill and said to him: “Bobby, let’s cut the bulls*** and get in the ring. You and I for 60 minutes, and if you need a 10-minute head start and extra sous chef, you can have them, but I’m going to kick your a$$.” Bobby reportedly said yes, but 24 hours later, his agent called Ramsay and said it’s off. Cold feet much?
A Controversial Episode
In 2007, during an episode of Gordon Ramsay’s U.K. series, The F Word, the chef was in Iceland and sampled a rare delicacy that led to an unexpected backlash. Ramsay was shown “sky fishing” for puffins, which happens to be a traditional hunting method involving using a net to trap the little birds as they fly. Yes, it’s heartbreaking, and viewers were horrified.
Angry British viewers wrote fuming letters to the network. An investigation began, and although they acknowledged that viewers might have found the puffins’ capture as “unacceptable and consequently distressing,” Ramsay broke no laws in a country where the birds are not a protected species. Puffins in Iceland are actually “a popular part of the national diet.”
A Dangerous Episode
While filming an episode of The F Word back in 2008, Ramsay accidentally slipped off a cliff. He fell into the icy waters below, where his boots and waterproof equipment began to drag him beneath the surface. Despite being an excellent swimmer, he thought he “was a goner,” he admitted.
He couldn’t get to the surface and started panicking. His lungs were filling with water. At that moment, he explained how all he could think of was Tana and his kids. He was then pulled to safety when his crew threw him a rope. “It wasn’t until I was on the plane home, I realized what a close call I’d had.”
He Sued a Newspaper for Libel and Won
Ramsay has received more media coverage than most celebrity chefs. Although it’s pretty much part of the package of being famous, one newspaper article left Ramsay so furious that he sued them for libel. According to BBC News in 2006, Britain’s Evening Standard wrote an article that claimed that an episode of the U.K. series Kitchen Disasters committed “gastronomic mendacity” by deliberately hiring an unskilled chef to create fake drama.
Ramsay took the newspaper to court and won, receiving £75,000 ($98,000) in damages. He claimed that there were no faked scenes. According to The Guardian reported, the newspaper issued a retraction, apologizing to Ramsay. Ramsay stated that they had crossed the line, but he was satisfied with their apology.
The Five Dishes He Thinks We Should All Know How to Make
In 2016, on Reddit’s AMA (“Ask Me Anything”), Gordon Ramsay stated the five dishes he thinks everyone should know how to make. One: a burger. Why? Everyone enjoys them, and so it’s “really important.” Two: a healthy breakfast. Whether its eggs, smashed avocado, or an omelet – it’s “crucial!”
Three: something braised, like ribs, because you can cook on a Monday and still eat it on Friday. Four: any kind of chicken dish. Five: any “amazing cake.” He explained that cake is something you can give as a gift. According to Ramsay, making, giving, and enjoying a homemade cake is way more exciting than buying the person a piece of clothing.
How He Lost 50 Pounds
As Ramsay focused on his career in the late 90s, he put his body and health on the back burner (no pun intended). He told the Daily Mail that his wife Tana wasn’t impressed. Ramsay was about 250 pounds overweight. “It was painful,” he admitted hearing his wife tell him that he needed to lose weight. It was a massive wake-up call.
So, Ramsay, an extremist, decided to train for an Ironman triathlon. The mission was so intense that his trainer was worried about him. Because of the bad shape, he was in, and it could have killed him. But Ramsay trained like an athlete and competed in his first Ironman in 2000. But that was 20 years ago. Nowadays, Ramsay stays in shape by using a different method…
How He Stays in Shape
He might not be able to run around a field, kicking a soccer ball. But one way he can stay fit is by participating in mixed martial arts (MMA) matches. Three years ago, he started taking his first MMA lessons. He has a coach in L.A., and it’s something he says he loves doing.
“I don’t do it at home, but I’ve been into a cage and worked closely with a coach, and it’s something I’ve worked heavily on in the last couple of years.” but can we look forward to a faceoff between Ramsay and Conor McGregor inside the Octagon? Not so fast. Ramsay has no intention of battling in public. He enjoys the sport, but that doesn’t mean he wants to be defeated in public by a UFC champion…
David Beckham is a Family Friend
One of the best perks of being a celebrity is having other celebrities as friends. The famous chef and former professional soccer player, David Beckham, have been close friends for years. They almost opened a restaurant together. Their families are also near and dear, but Ramsay said that his children are forbidden to date someone from the Beckham bunch.
“Over the past ten years, we’ve naturally got on,” he told TV Magazine. He described how he sees David and Victoria working so hard. But the connection between the two families is their ambition to get all eight of their combined children through school, college, university, etc. “and then dust ourselves down, when the kids are in their 20s, as having been decent parents.”
Don’t Lie to Him
Any fan of Hell’s Kitchen knows that viewing the culinary competitions is only part of the real entertainment. The real fun and drama come from watching an annoyed and exhausted Gordon Ramsay tear into those unfortunate “donkeys” with over-the-top anger usually reserved for pro wrestling or even Congressional hearings.
In 2018, Ramsay recalled his “all-time favorite rebuke of a contestant.” So, what really gets him steamed? Dishonesty. Ramsay said that when somebody lies to you, “it’s worse than working with somebody who can’t cook.” But the biggest insult he would say? “I’ve forgotten more than you know,” or “the butternut squash – would you like it diced and rammed up your backside?” Ouch!
He Hates Frozen Meals and Airplane Food
In a 2009 interview, Bon Appetit asked Ramsay to name the one food that he absolutely refuses to eat. His response: any frozen meal. According to him, it’s easy to prepare a quick meal using fresh produce, even a simple stir-fry. But people resort to frozen ready-to-eat meals “that all taste exactly the same.”
Ramsay also isn’t a fan of airline meals. Ramsay says airplane food isn’t in a great state, with many airlines serving “heavy, stodgy meals.” And this lack of decent meals gave the chef/businessman an idea for a new business opportunity. He ended up opening a restaurant at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 called Gordon Ramsay Plane Food. They offer great picnics to take onboard – light, easy to carry, “delicious” food.
His Last Supper
In that same interview with Bon Appetit, they asked Ramsay what his ideal “last supper” would be before leaving us for good. Since he considers sea bass to be the king of fish, his idea for the perfect last meal is a “beautiful fillet, pan-fried with a light sorrel sauce,” or “roasted with artichokes and a chive crème fraîche.”
But when WebMD presented him with the same question, he gave a completely different answer. This time, he said his final meal would be “mum’s shepherd’s pie — it’s the ultimate comfort food — and hot chocolate fondant with milk ice cream for dessert!” Maybe after his first interview, his mother called him to remind him of the food she raised him on. Who knows…
The Time He Brought His Grandma Into It
When Gordon Ramsay yells at you that his granny could do a better job making a dish, it doesn’t sound all that mean… at first. After all, it’s only natural to assume that such a world-renowned chef will have cooking talent in his family tree. But the punch line hits when Ramsay follows his insult by informing the chef that his grandmother is dead.
During one 2010 episode of Kitchen Nightmares, Ramsay got quite irritated when one chef was having a problem making a dish. But not something complicated like beef Wellington. He was having a hard time making… salad. And when the chef complained that “it’s a very complicated salad,” Ramsay lost it: “My gran could do better! And she’s dead!”
His Wife of 23 Years
Ramsay is married to Cayetana “Tana” Hutcheson. She was a teacher before she became a wealthy woman. Gordon and Tana were married on December 21, 1996. And the two have weathered some storms throughout their marriage, of course. But none of the drama affected their relationship, which is always refreshing to see.
Even after the scandalous feud between Ramsay and Tana’s father, Chris Hutcheson, Ramsay told The Sun: “We looked after each other. And it’s actually brought us… closer than we’ve ever been before. Our marriage is stronger as a result of it all.” They are also well-known philanthropists. The Gordon and Tana Ramsay Foundation supports the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.
His Daughter Has Her Own Food Show
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Step aside, papa Ramsay, there’s a new TV chef in the room! In 2015, Ramsay’s daughter Matilda, then-13 years old, premiered and starred in her cooking show called Matilda and the Ramsay Bunch. The 15-minute episodes follow the entire Ramsay family on their cooking and traveling adventures.
The now 16-year-old also released her own cookbook called “Tilly’s Kitchen Takeover.” His daughter can also make the chef of steel shed a tear or two. So far, the only person to make Gordon Ramsay cry in the kitchen has been Matilda, which happened when she was 13. She made a burger for her show and was upset that it didn’t look good enough. It was enough to make her daddy cry, though.
The Man’s a Softy
Despite his bad temper, and constant ‘F’-bombs, Ramsay can be quite sensitive when it comes to his kids and his “Masterchef Junior” contestants. Those are the lucky ones who don’t see the wrath of the chef titan. For Ramsay, “it’s hard to watch [the young contestants] get upset about [their culinary] mistakes. I didn’t start cooking until I was 19. [The contestants are] 8, 9, 10 years of age, even by the time they get to 18, they would have been cooking for 10 years. I need to help them realize their potential.”
Ramsay loves kids. Since 2013, Ramsay has hosted MasterChef Junior, a cooking competition show for young wannabe chefs. Ramsay is supportive and kind to every kid who appears on the show. “I talk to them in ways that I don’t even talk to the adults,” he explained.
His Kids are Instagram Celebrities
22-year-old Megan has 129,000 Instagram followers, while 18-year-old Holly has 185,000, and 16-year-old Matilda, who often appears with her dad on TV and her own show, has the most followers at 310,000. We can’t forget about his 18-year-old son (Holly’s twin), Jack, who has 211,000 followers. I guess the Ramsay name is meant for fame.
Speaking of kids, the star chef ate Girl Scout cookies for the first time on TV. In a 2016 episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Ramsay confessed to never eating a Girl Scout cookie and was asked to try them on air. Ramsay said about the cookies: “Visually, they look like dog biscuits.” He wasn’t a fan of the taste either.
The King of Insults
Ramsay may have more Michelin stars than other chefs and make as much money as pop stars, but the man can be a bully. Everyone has heard him curse, belittle, and mock his staff as well as other restaurant owners. It’s his nastiness that helped make Ramsay’s shows and his persona so popular. In a 2010 interview, he admitted that he was very harsh.
But even though the years have passed, he still verbally whips people into their place. His LOL- and cringe-worthy insults have made him a viral parody. There was one time when a restaurant customer complained to the maitre d’ and Ramsay that his risotto had no pumpkin — despite finishing the plate. “I just want more pumpkin, that’s all I want,” proclaimed the customer before Ramsay let loose. That’s when Ramsay told the customer that he’ll get his pumpkin… and shove it where the “sun doesn’t shine.”
He Threw Joan Collins Out of His Restaurant
Technically, Gordon Ramsay threw out the noted food critic A. A. Gill out of his London restaurant, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. That evening, Gill’s companion and witness to the event was actress Joan Collins, who got kicked out by the association. The restaurant critic had notoriously described Ramsay as “a wonderful chef, just a really second-rate human being.”
And when he chose to dine at the chef’s flagship restaurant with Joan Collins in 1998, the two were kicked out as soon as they walked in. Ramsay apparently had beef with some of Gill’s criticisms of his food. Gill wrote that “The menu was, in some respects, utterly tasteless and embarrassing.” Word on the street is that Ramsay’s mother wasn’t pleased with her son’s behavior.
He Didn’t Care for Vegetarians. Until…
Ramsay has always been open with his criticism of vegetarianism. He even bragged once about telling a table of vegetarians eating the artichoke soup that he had used chicken stock instead of vegetable stock. On an episode of Kitchen Nightmares, he let a vegetarian eat a slice of pizza that had ham on it – but he didn’t divulge the ingredients until after they ate it.
However, the chef later had a change of heart after seeing a horrifying video of commercial pig farming in Europe, which involved the practices of tail docking (removing their tails) and piglet castration. “It’s enough to make anyone turn f***ing vegetarian.” Hey, better late than never, right?
His Go-To Midnight Snack
When asked about his favorite midnight snack, he said that it would have to be baked beans with chili flakes, garlic, and Tabasco sauce. Not the most typical midnight snack, but he’s also not the most typical chef. And when it comes to what he likes to order on the menu, he has a go-to order.
No matter where he is in the world, if Ramsay sees Beef Wellington on the menu, you can bet that it’s what he’s going to be ordering. According to the chef, “I grew up with Beef Wellingtons.” So, it makes sense that it’s his favorite dish. It looks like the “man with no heart” has a sense of sentimentality.
He Was Once Held At Gunpoint
Who knew that a celebrity chef’s job would be life or death? But during a 2011 episode of the British series The Big Fish Fight, where Ramsay investigated the ingredients inside shark fin soup, he had to travel to Costa Rica to investigate the region’s illegal shark fin trade. Ramsay claimed that he found a sack full of shark fins below a boat.
When he threw the sack onto the deck, “everyone started screaming and shouting,” as he explained to The Telegraph. “Back at the wharf, there were people pointing rifles at us to stop us filming.” The police then came and told the crew that they should leave the country. They said, “If you set one foot in there, they’ll shoot you.”
Gordon Ramsay vs. Mario Batali
Ramsay, with a personality such as his, finds himself in a feud every so often. The beef between Ramsay and fellow chef Mario Batali started when Batali insulted his food back in 2008. Ramsay retaliated by calling Batali “Fanta Pants.” It may seem like an innocent nickname, but it’s kind of a dig at Batali’s ginger hair.
Batali got revenge by banning Ramsay from all his restaurants. However, he claims that he is open to making peace with Ramsay – but only if he makes the first move. “If he called me himself and said, ‘Let’s sit down for a drink,’ I’m sure it would be fine,” Batali said. “We’d be cool. But right now, it’s not cool.”
He Has His Own Video Games
Did you know that Ramsay has his own video game? These days, pretty much everything is made into a video game, but who would have thought that a chef would be a virtual player? If watching him yell at people on TV simply wasn’t enough for you, you can interact with the chef in the video game realm.
Nintendo Wii has a Hell’s Kitchen game, which features a Ramsay character that’s so lifelike it may scare you. You can also try your hand at Ramsay’s mobile game called Restaurant DASH, in which you use your virtual culinary skills and restaurant management ability to become “the next rising star chef.” Do you think you can handle the pressure from the virtual version of Ramsay himself?
He Has a Black Belt in Karate
If you thought Ramsay could only fight with his words, you should know that the man also has a black belt in karate. For those who can’t verbally spar with him in the kitchen– or are afraid to – challenge him to a physical fight. The chef has had mixed martial arts training and has a black belt in karate.
Rumor has it that his skills came in handy when a Hell’s Kitchen contestant tried to hit him. Other than a background of fighting, the star chef also attended a technical school for hotel management. The man really does know a thing or two about customer service. His knowledge proved effective when he tried to help rehabilitate struggling hoteliers in his show, Hotel Hell.
He Speaks French Fluently
Ramsay studied in France, but at the time, he didn’t speak a word of French. Over time, though, his cooking and language skills developed, and he eventually became fluent in French. He understands Spanish well, too, though he expressed on Twitter that he wants to speak that language better. The man often travels the world, including French and Spanish-speaking countries.
But he says he doesn’t like getting any special treatment when he dines at restaurants. He said the worst thing about being a famous chef is the massive amount of food he gets served at restaurants. According to Ramsay, the staff always wants to impress him, but he just wants to sit in the corner and eat two courses.
Ramsay’s Guilty Pleasure
The master chef’s guilty pleasure? In-N-Out burgers. According to Ramsay, they are “extraordinary.” He described how he sat in the restaurant, ate his double cheeseburger, and then minutes later, he drove back around and got the same order to take away. He only wishes 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.”
For those curious about what he orders at the burger joint, Ramsay orders his burger “animal style,” including mustard fried onto each meat patty, with pickles, grilled onions, and extra spread. But when it comes to pizza, don’t order him a slice with pineapple. According to Ramsay, pineapple does not go on top of a pizza.
Meet Baby Ramsay
Ramsay posted a new photo of his one-year-old recently, Oscar, and his followers couldn’t believe how much the little boy looks like his famous dad. Ramsay and his family have been spending the Coronavirus lockdown period together at their second home in Cornwall in England. Throughout the pandemic, the father-of-five shared sweet photos of his youngest son, including little Oscar on his dad’s motorcycle.
The family divides their time between their homes in the UK and Los Angeles. Megan Ramsay ran the London Marathon in 2017 in honor of the miscarriage her mother had suffered five months into her pregnancy in 2016. They named the unborn baby Rocky.