From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article
Gordon Ramsay, June 2006
|Born||Gordon James Ramsay|
8 November 1966
Johnstone, Renfrewshire, Scotland, United Kingdom
|Education||North Oxfordshire Technical College|
|Spouse||Tana Ramsay (m. 1996)|
Gordon Ramsay, June 2006
|Born||Gordon James Ramsay|
8 November 1966
Johnstone, Renfrewshire, Scotland, United Kingdom
|Education||North Oxfordshire Technical College|
|Spouse||Tana Ramsay (m. 1996)|
Gordon James Ramsay (pron.: //), OBE (born 8 November 1966) is a British celebrity chef, television personality and restaurateur. He has been awarded 15 Michelin stars in total and currently holds 14.
Ramsay is known for presenting TV programmes about competitive cookery and food, such as the British series Hell's Kitchen, The F Word, Ramsay's Best Restaurant, Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, Gordon's Great Escape, Gordon Behind Bars and Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Cookery Course, along with the American versions of Hell's Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, MasterChef and Hotel Hell.
Gordon Ramsay was born in Johnstone, Renfrewshire, Scotland, and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England from the age of 5. Ramsay is the second of four children; he has an older sister, Diane, a younger brother, Ronnie, and a younger sister, Yvonne. Ramsay's father Gordon (died 1997) was, at various times, a swimming pool manager, a welder, and a shopkeeper; his mother, Helen Cosgrove, and Yvonne have been nurses. Ramsay has described his early life as "hopelessly itinerant", as his family moved constantly due to the aspirations and failures of his father, who was violent. In 1976, they finally settled in Stratford-upon-Avon where he grew up in the Bishopton area of the town. Ramsay has described his father as an alcoholic. In his autobiography, Humble Pie, describes his early life as being marked by abuse and neglect from this "hard-drinking womaniser". At the age of 16, Ramsay moved out of the family house into a flat in Banbury.
Ramsay played football and was first chosen to play under-14 football at age 12. He was chosen to play for Warwickshire. His football career was marked by a number of injuries, causing him to remark later in life, "Perhaps I was doomed when it came to football". In mid-1984, Ramsay had a trial with Rangers, the club he supported as a boy. He seriously injured his knee, smashing the cartilage during training. Ramsay continued to train and play on the injured knee, tearing a cruciate ligament during a squash game. He never fully recovered from the double injury.
Ramsay has claimed to have played two first team games for Rangers. According to his autobiography Ramsay played "a couple of non-league matches as a trialist" for Rangers and was signed by the club at the age of 15. In May 2002 he told The Observer newspaper that he played two first-team games, for Rangers against St Johnstone and Morton. However, according to Rangers historians, there is no evidence he ever played for the Rangers first-team and he was never a signed player.
As evidence of his time with Rangers, Ramsay has produced a team photo showing him in full kit, boasting that he played in a reserve match against Celtic. But while the caption mentions the other players by name, Ramsay is labelled simply as 'triallist'. And Rangers historian Robert McElroy said: 'It's all nonsense. The reserve team was really good but Ramsay wasn't even a signed player and wasn't in it.' However Allan Cairns, the photographer who took the picture in September 1985, said the photo was not one of Rangers first team but a side picked to play a testimonial match. A Rangers spokesman said: "Ramsay was a trialist in that testimonial game. He trained with us for a few months after that but then got injured."
In series 4, episode 12 of The F Word (originally aired on 29 July 2008), Ramsay visited Ibrox, the home playing field of his favourite childhood team, Rangers, and exclaimed, "Home, Sweet Home" and said, "My dream came true when I was spotted in the mid-80s and I joined the youth team here in Ibrox." He related that one of his fondest memories is playing alongside one of Scotland's football legends, Ally McCoist, who said about Ramsay, "I remember him well and the one thing that never ever will change is that he's a competitive so-and-so and wants to do and be the best that he can." Ramsay recalled that, "the pain of being released on the back of an injury" was only assuaged many years later, "after receiving [his] third Michelin Star", and concluded that, "without the upset at Ibrox, I would not be the chef I am today."
By this time, Ramsay's interest in cooking had already begun, and rather than be known as "the football player with the gammy knee", at age 19, Ramsay paid more serious attention to his culinary education. After weighing his options, Ramsay enrolled at North Oxfordshire Technical College, sponsored by the Rotarians, to study Hotel Management. He describes his decision to enter catering college as "an accident, a complete accident".
In the early 1980s, he worked as a commis chef at the Wroxton House Hotel then ran the kitchen and 60-seat dining room at the Wickham Arms, until his sexual relationship with the owner's wife made the situation difficult. Ramsay then moved to London, where he worked in a series of restaurants until being inspired to work for the temperamental Marco Pierre White at Harvey's.
After working at Harveys for two years and ten months, Ramsay, tired of "the rages and the bullying and violence", decided that the way to further advance his career was to study French cuisine. White discouraged Ramsay from taking a job in Paris, instead encouraging him to work for Albert Roux at Le Gavroche in Mayfair. (While at Le Gavroche, he met Jean-Claude Breton, now his maître d' at Royal Hospital Road.) After working at Le Gavroche for a year, Albert Roux invited Ramsay to work with him at Hotel Diva, a ski resort in the French Alps, as his number two. From there, Ramsay moved to Paris to work with Guy Savoy and Joël Robuchon, both Michelin-starred chefs. He continued his training in France for three years, before giving in to the physical and mental stress of the kitchens and taking a year to work as a personal chef on the private yacht Idlewild, based in Bermuda.
Upon his return to London in 1993, Ramsay was offered the position of head chef at La Tante Claire in Chelsea. Shortly thereafter, Marco Pierre White re-entered his life, offering to set him up with a head chef position and 10% share in the Rossmore, owned by White's business partners. The restaurant was renamed Aubergine and went on to win its first Michelin star fourteen months later. In 1997, Aubergine won its second Michelin star. Despite the restaurant's success, a dispute with Ramsay's business owners and Ramsay's dream of running his own restaurant led to his leaving the partnership in 1997. In 1998, Ramsay opened his own restaurant in Chelsea, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, with the help of his father-in-law, Chris Hutcheson. The restaurant gained its third Michelin star in 2001, making Ramsay the first Scot to achieve that feat.
From his first restaurant, Ramsay's empire has expanded rapidly, next opening Petrus, where six bankers famously spent over £44,000 on wine during a single meal in 2001, then Amaryllis in Glasgow (which he was later forced to close) and later Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's. Restaurants at the Dubai Creek and Connaught hotels followed, the latter branded with his protégé Angela Hartnett's name. Ramsay has opened restaurants outside the UK, beginning with Verre in Dubai. Gordon Ramsay at Conrad Tokyo and Cerise by Gordon Ramsay both opened in Tokyo in 2005, and in November 2006, Gordon Ramsay at the London opened in New York City, winning top newcomer in the city’s coveted Zagat guide, despite mixed reviews from professional critics.
In 2007, Ramsay opened his first restaurant in Ireland, Gordon Ramsay at Powerscourt, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Powerscourt, Co. Wicklow. In May 2008 he opened his first restaurant on the US west coast – Boxwood, in The London West Hollywood hotel, formerly the Bel-Age hotel on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles.
On 9 August 2011 Ramsay opened his first Canadian restaurant in Montreal – Laurier Gordon Ramsay, formerly Rotisserie Laurier BBQ. However, in February 2012 Danny Lavy — the owner of the restaurant — announced the restaurant was disassociating itself from Ramsay, citing a lack of involvement and understanding on Ramsay's part.
Opened in 1998, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay was Ramsay’s first solo restaurant, located at Royal Hospital Road, London. In 2001, it was voted Top Restaurant in the U.K. in the London Zagat Survey and was awarded its third Michelin star, making Gordon Ramsay the first Scottish chef to have ever won three Michelin stars. Though he spends more time on television than in the kitchen, Gordon Ramsay's Chelsea restaurant still managed to retain its three Michelin star status according to the latest edition of the guide. Ramsay is one of only four chefs in the UK to maintain three Michelin Stars for his restaurant (the others being Heston Blumenthal, Alain Ducasse and Alain Roux). He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) from Queen Elizabeth II in the 2006 honours list for services to the hospitality industry, but almost missed the award when his plane was delayed.
In July 2006, Ramsay won the Catey award for "Independent Restaurateur of the Year", becoming only the third person to have won three Catey awards, the biggest awards of the UK hospitality industry. Ramsay's two previous Catey awards were in 1995 (Newcomer of the Year) and 2000 (Chef of the Year). The other two triple-winners are Michel Roux, and Jacquie Pern.
In September 2006, he was named as the most influential person in the UK hospitality industry in the annual Caterersearch 100 list, published by Caterer and Hotelkeeper magazine. He overtook Jamie Oliver, who had been top of the list in 2005.
Also in 2006, Ramsay was nominated as a candidate for Rector of the University of St Andrews, but was beaten at the polls by Simon Pepper. Despite a publicity campaign, Ramsay never visited St Andrews and did not appear in press interviews.
Ramsay's flagship restaurant, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, was voted London's top restaurant in food bible Harden's for eight years, but in 2008 was placed below Petrus, a restaurant run by former protégé Marcus Wareing.
All of Ramsay's business interests (restaurants, media, consultancy) are held in the company Gordon Ramsay Holdings Limited. Run in partnership with his father-in-law Chris Hutcheson, Ramsay owns a 69% stake valued at £67 million.
Whereas previous ventures acted as a combined consultant/brand, in November 2006 Ramsay announced plans to create three restaurants in the United States in partnership with private equity firm Blackstone Group, who are refurbishing each of the chosen hotels into five star locations at a cost of £100 million per hotel. At an investment of £3 million per restaurant for the 10-year lease, all the restaurants offer the chef’s trademark modern European cuisine, and opened in 2006/2007 at:
In late 2006 Gordon Ramsay Holdings purchased three London pubs which he converted into gastropubs. These are: The Narrow in Limehouse, which opened in March 2007, the Devonshire in Chiswick, which opened in October of that year and The Warrington in Maida Vale, which opened in February 2008. Both The Devonshire and The Warrington were subsequently sold in 2011, leaving The Narrow as the sole pub in GRH's portfolio.
In May 2008 it was confirmed that Ramsay's protégé of 15 years, Marcus Wareing was going solo having opened and operated Pétrus at The Berkeley Hotel on behalf of Gordon Ramsay Holdings since 2003. With the name Pétrus owned by Gordon Ramsay Holdings, industry sources suggested it was likely to transfer to another restaurant in the group with the former La Noisette site identified as the most likely.
On 19 October 2010, the company Gordon Ramsay Holdings Limited announced that Chris Hutcheson had left his position as CEO of Gordon Ramsay Holdings Ltd. Shortly after, Ramsay released a letter to the press describing how he had unravelled the "manipulative" Hutcheson's "complex life" after having him followed by a private detective. His father-in-law's "away days," wrote Ramsay, "were rarely what I thought they were." Company accounts show Hutcheson borrowed up to £1.5 million from Gordon Ramsay Holdings, of which he was chief executive, though he says he reported the borrowings to the company and paid the money back. Hutcheson said he had been "vaporised" and subjected to a "public hanging" by Ramsay, whom he described as a friendless egotist.
In January 2013, Gordon Ramsay was inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame
Ramsay appeared on series three of Faking It in 2001 helping the prospective chef, a burger flipper named Ed Devlin, learn the trade. This episode won the 2001 BAFTA for "Best Factual TV Moment".
In 2004, Ramsay appeared in two British television series. Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares aired on Channel 4, and saw the chef troubleshooting failing restaurants over a one week period. This series ran its fifth season in 2007. Hell's Kitchen was a reality show, which aired on ITV1, and saw Ramsay attempt to train ten British celebrities to be chefs, as they ran a restaurant on Brick Lane which opened to the public for the two-week duration of the show.
In May 2005, the FOX network introduced Ramsay to American audiences in a US version of Hell's Kitchen produced by Granada Entertainment and A. Smith & Co. The show follows a similar premise as the original British series, showcasing Ramsay's perfectionism and infamously short temper. The show proved to be popular enough with audiences in the United States that, in August 2005, shortly following the Season 1 finale, Hell's Kitchen was picked up for a second season. The show has now run ten seasons. In addition, Ramsay had also hosted a US version of Kitchen Nightmares which premiered on Fox on 19 September 2007. The show's second season aired from September 2008 to January 2009; in September 2008, Fox announced that Kitchen Nightmares would return for a third season which aired from January 2010 to May 2010.
Ramsay has presented five series of a food-based magazine programme titled The F Word; it launched on Channel 4 on 27 October 2005. The show is organised around several key, recurring features, notably a brigade competition, a guest cook competition, a food related investigative report and a series-long project of raising animals to be served in the finale. The guest cook (usually a celebrity) prepares a dish of their own choosing and places it in competition against a similar dish submitted by Ramsay. The dishes are judged by diners who are unaware of who cooked which dish and, if the guest wins (as they have on numerous occasions), their dish is served at Ramsay's restaurant.
In the first series of The F Word, Ramsay mockingly named the turkeys he raised: Antony, Ainsley, Jamie, Delia, Gary and Nigella — all in reference to other celebrity chefs. During the second series, Ramsay named the two pigs that he was raising after Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine who found the naming highly amusing. In July 2006, Channel 4 announced that it had re-signed Ramsay to an exclusive four-year deal at the network, running until July 2011. During the third series, Ramsay reared lambs that had been selected from a farm in North Wales and he named them after two Welsh celebrities, Charlotte Church and Gavin Henson. The series became one of the highest rated shows aired on Channel 4 each week. During one episode of The F Word, Ramsay cooked in Doncaster Prison in Marshgate for its inmates. The chef was so impressed by the speed at which a prisoner, Kieron Tarff, chopped vegetables that he offered him a job at his restaurant following his release in 2007.
In 2010, Ramsay served as a producer and judge on the US version of MasterChef. (A second season of the show began in June 2011, again starring Ramsay.) He starred in a travelogue about his visit to India, Gordon's Great Escape followed by a series set in Asia. He hosted the series Ramsay's Best Restaurant, which was the first UK series by Ramsay's own production company, One Potato Two Potato.
Ramsay joined several other celebrity chefs in the 2010 series, The Big Fish Fight, where he, along with fellow chef Jamie Oliver and a few others, spent time on a trawler boat to raise awareness about the discarding of hundreds of thousands of salt water fish.
In March 2012, Fox announced the coming of Ramsay's fourth series for the Fox network, Hotel Hell; the series is similar to Kitchen Nightmares, except that it focuses on struggling hotels, motels and other lodging establishments in the United States. Originally slated for debut 6 April 2012 and 4 June 2012, the series debuted 13 August 2012.
On 18 October 2012, Ramsay is producing a drama called The Inferno.
In September 2005, Ramsay, along with Jamie Oliver, Heston Blumenthal, Wolfgang Puck and Sanjeev Kapoor, were featured in CNN International's Quest, in which Richard Quest stepped into the shoes of celebrity chefs.
In 2006, Ramsay took part in a television series for ITV1, following the lead-up to Soccer Aid, a celebrity charity football match, in which he played only the first half, nursing an injury picked up in training. Ramsay captained the Rest of the World XI against an England XI captained by Robbie Williams. However, his involvement was limited after he received a four-inch cut in his calf.
During his second Top Gear appearance, he stated that his current cars are a Ferrari F430 and a Range Rover Sport Supercharged, the latter replacing the Bentley Continental GT he previously owned. On 14 May 2006, he appeared on Top Gear in the "Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car" segment. Ramsay held the top spot on Top Gear's celebrity leader board, with a lap time of 1.46.38 until overtaken by Simon Cowell.
Ramsay starred in part of a National Blood Service "Give Blood" television advertisement, in which he said that he would have died from a ruptured spleen had it not have been for another person's blood donation. On 13 October 2006, he was guest host on the first episode of Have I Got News for You's 32nd series. On 27 December 2007, Ramsay appeared in the Extras Christmas special.
In January 2008, Ramsay also guest featured on Channel 4's Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack as the Big Brother housemates took part in his Cookalong Live television show. Gordon spoke directly to the Big Brother House via the house plasma screens, regularly checking on the progress of the contestants.
In 2011, during the results show of American Idol, footage of the top 5 contestants taking on a challenge of cooking with Gordon Ramsay was shown. The Top 5 were given 10 minutes to make the best omelettes.
In the South Park episode "Crème Fraiche", aired in November 2010, Cartman attempts to impersonate Ramsay to try to discourage Randy's passion for cooking, but the plan falls apart. Ramsay also made an appearance on The Simpsons episode "The Food Wife" in November 2011.
In June 2006, Ramsay won a High Court case against the London Evening Standard newspaper, in which Victor Lewis Smith had alleged, after reports from previous owner Sue Ray, that scenes and the general condition of Bonaparte's had been faked for Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. Ramsay was awarded £75,000 plus costs. Ramsay said at the time: "I won't let people write anything they want to about me. We have never done anything in a cynical fake way".
In June 2007, Ramsay's show was sued by the terminated general manager (Martin Hyde) of the New York restaurant Purnima (Dillon's), who also alleged fakery. Hyde had quit his position at the restaurant during the show, when Ramsay suggested that the owner hire top Indian Chef Vikas Khanna as the Consultant Chef for Purnima. The lawsuit alleged that "unknown to the viewing audience, some or all of Kitchen Nightmares are fake and the so-called 'problems uncovered and solved' by Ramsay are, for the most part, created by Ramsay and his staff for the purpose of making it appear that Ramsay is improving the restaurant". However, in August 2007, the case was dismissed voluntarily and ordered into arbitration as stipulated in their contract.
On 21 March 2012, Ramsay filed a $2.7 million lawsuit against his former partners of his restaurant in Montreal, Quebec, the Laurier Gordon Ramsay (since renamed The Laurier 1936), over lost licensing fees and defamatory statements made against him.
Ramsay's reputation is built upon his goal of culinary perfection. Since the airing of Boiling Point which followed Ramsay's quest of earning three Michelin stars, the chef has also become infamous for his fiery temper and use of expletives. Ramsay once famously ejected food critic A. A. Gill along with his dining companion, Joan Collins, from his restaurant, leading Gill to state that "Ramsay is a wonderful chef, just a really second-rate human being". Ramsay admitted in his autobiography that he did not mind if Gill insulted his food, but a personal insult he was not going to stand for. Ramsay has also had confrontations with his kitchen staff, including one incident that resulted in the pastry chef calling the police. A 2005 interview claimed Ramsay had retained 85% of his staff since 1993. Ramsay attributes his pugnacious management style to the influence of previous mentors, notably chefs Marco Pierre White and Guy Savoy, father-in-law Chris Hutcheson, and Jock Wallace, his manager while a footballer at Rangers. Ramsay's ferocious temper has contributed to his media appeal in both the United Kingdom and the United States, where his programmes are produced. His fierce personality ensured that he was voted television's most terrifying celebrity in a Radio Times poll consisting of 3,000 people. MSN Careers featured an article about television's worst bosses, which listed Ramsay as the only non-fictional boss. They cited his frequent loss of his temper and his harsh critiques, notably when he picks on something other than one's cooking abilities, such as calling someone a "chunky monkey." He maintains that such behaviour within the kitchen is necessary and demonstrates passion.
In November 2007, Ramsay installed 29-year-old Clare Smyth as head chef at his three-Michelin-starred flagship restaurant on London’s Royal Hospital Road. Smyth is the second high profile appointment of a female chef by Ramsay, after Angela Hartnett.
Ramsay has been criticised for his frequent use of profanity on his programmes, first by British celebrity cook Delia Smith, then, in relation to Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, by a member of the Federal Parliament of Australia. In his autobiography, Ramsay himself said he was unaware of the extent of his swearing until he watched an episode of Boiling Point. While he stated he did not have a problem with it, "Mum was appalled".
On 5 June 2009, Ramsay started trading national TV insults with Australia's Nine Network, A Current Affair journalist Tracy Grimshaw. The day after his interview, he was a guest feature at the Melbourne Food and Wine festival. While doing his display, he allegedly insulted Grimshaw and made insinuations about her sexuality. Grimshaw responded the next day, calling Ramsay an "arrogant, narcissist bully". Ramsay eventually apologised, stating that his behaviour "was a joke".
Ramsay has also drawn the ire of vegetarians. In 2005, he served ham to an unknowing vegetarian. He has also told the BBC that he has lied to vegetarian diners to conceal the presence of chicken stock in his soup.
On the second series of The F Word, Ramsay showed a softened stance on vegetarianism after learning about intensive pig farming practices including castration and tail docking. On the programme, Ramsay commented, "It's enough to make anyone turn fucking vegetarian, for God's sake. And I've always sort of knocked vegetarians and vegans for missing out on the most amazing flavour you can get from meat. But you can see why so many people change instantly."
Some controversy arose in the third series of The F Word when journalist Janet Street-Porter, who thought horse meat should be eaten more widely in Britain, attempted to serve horse steaks and quiche at Cheltenham Racecourse during Gold Cup Week. The police prevented her from doing this, and deemed the stunt "highly provocative". She, subsequently, served the meat from a private property; most of the consumers shown in the programme approved. The conclusion of both Street-Porter and Ramsay was that horse meat merited a more prominent place in Britain's national diet. In the wake of the stunt, representatives of the group PETA protested by dumping a tonne of horse manure outside Ramsay's restaurant at Claridge's in central London.
Ramsay has been highly critical of Food Network and Iron Chef America star Mario Batali. The New York Post reported in 2009 that Batali has banned Ramsay from his restaurants. This alleged feud goes back to when Batali was highly critical of Ramsay's cooking style for being "dull and outdated". However, Batali has since stated that the alleged feud "was created by a couple of journalists." Batali went on to state, "I'd love to hang out with [Ramsay]."
Ramsay married Cayetana Elizabeth Hutcheson (known as Tana), a Montessori-trained schoolteacher, in 1996. The couple have four children: Megan Jane (b. 1998), twins Jack Scott and Holly Anna (b. 2000), and Matilda Elizabeth (b. 2002), They live in Battersea. Ramsay's father-in-law, Chris Hutcheson, until 2010, was responsible for the business operations of Ramsay's restaurant empire.
In 1994, Ramsay accepted a police caution for gross indecency involving him and two other men, both chefs, in the lavatory of a London Underground station. It was stressed to be only "hi jinks" by Ramsay and not sexual. Ramsay stated that the three, who were discovered in the early morning hours, were celebrating and drinking the night before. In regards to the caution, Ramsay stated that one of his friends was urinating in a sink, another friend was walking around with his trousers by his ankles, and that he himself was urinating in a urinal with his head against the wall, when the station supervisor discovered them.
On 15 November 2002, Ramsay was breathalysed, arrested, and charged with driving under the influence of excess alcohol in London. While he remained charged, he was informed by police that the case would be discontinued.
In 2007, Ramsay admitted arranging for a biker to steal the reservations book from the Aubergine restaurant in 1998 and blaming the theft on Marco Pierre White, because he suspected Aubergine's owners were planning to offer his job to Pierre White.
Ramsay has been involved in a series of charitable events and organisations. He fulfilled his aim of finishing 10 marathons in ten years by running his 10th consecutive London Marathon on 26 April 2009, sponsoring the Scottish Spina Bifida Association.
Ramsay has been Honorary Patron of the Scottish Spina Bifida Association since 2004, and in 2005 he launched The Gordon Ramsay "Buy a Brick" appeal to help the organisation raise funds to build a new Family Support Centre and Head Office in Glasgow. In 2006 he launched a new Appeal to help the charity raise the funds required to continue to run the support centre "What's your favourite F Word, Gordon's is Fundraising". In November 2007 Ramsay hosted a St Andrew's Day Gala Dinner at Stirling Castle in aid of the Association and has now made this fundraising Gala Dinner an annual event.
During March 2005 Ramsay teamed up with Indian chef Madhur Jaffrey to help the VSO, an international development charity group to support its Spice Up Your Life event. The charity hoped to raise £100,000 for VSO’s work in HIV and AIDS in India. The Ramsays were the first couple to become ambassadors for the women's charity Women's Aid in 2005. The couple ran the Flora Families marathon to support Women's Aid.
In 2008, Ramsay was in Iceland's Westman Islands filming a puffin hunting segment when he lost his footing and fell during a descent of an 85m cliff, landing in the icy water below. He said, "I thought I was a goner", reaching the surface of the water by removing his heavy boots and waterproof clothing. His film crew, who rescued Ramsay by throwing him a rope, reported that he was submerged for at least 45 seconds. During the ordeal he remembers how he felt: "I was panicking and my lungs were filling with water. When I got to the top after getting my boots off I was dazed and my head was totally massive". At first, Ramsay did not want to tell his wife. "I chickened out but she knew something was up. She was upset and extremely pissed off. When I was underwater, all I could think of was Tana and my kids. It wasn't until I was on the plane home I realised what a close call I'd had."
They told me they’d shoot me. At one, I managed to shake off the people keeping us away, ran up some stairs to a rooftop and looked down to see thousands of fins, drying on rooftops for as far as the eye could see. When I got back downstairs, they tipped a barrel of petrol over me. Back at the wharf, there were people pointing rifles at us to stop us filming. A van pulled up and these seedy characters made us stand against a wall. The police came and advised us to leave the country.
In late November 2008, the former British tabloid News of the World published a news story wherein Sarah Symonds, author of the book Having An Affair? A Handbook for the Other Woman, claimed to have been involved in a secret affair with Ramsay for a period of seven years. Symonds further alleged that Ramsay had been involved with at least two other women. Amidst the allegations, the family put off a holiday in Mauritius and Ramsay, initially ignoring the allegations, denied them during a live BBC show cooking demonstration, Good Food Show. An Australian woman has also made similar claims, while Ramsay denies even knowing the woman.
Richard Harden, co-publisher of the Harden's Restaurant Guide, speaking to the Evening Standard, concurs "It must damage the package", though publicist Max Clifford disagrees, noting that while the allegations might cause "a lot of aggravation" at home, it wouldn't impact his image and popularity "at all."
On 17 April 2009 it was revealed that Ramsay's restaurant, Foxtrot Oscar in Chelsea, West London, used pre-prepared food that was heated up and sold with mark-ups of up to 586%. It was also revealed that three of his gastropubs in London did the same thing. A spokeswoman for Gordon Ramsay explained, "Gordon Ramsay chefs prepare components of dishes devised and produced to the highest Gordon Ramsay standards. These are supplied to those kitchens with limited cooking space such as Foxtrot Oscar and Gordon Ramsay's highly-acclaimed pubs, including the Narrow. These are sealed and transported daily in refrigerated vans and all menu dishes are then cooked in the individual kitchens. This is only for the supply of Foxtrot Oscar and the three pubs and allows each establishment to control the consistency and the quality of the food served." Reflecting on the controversy in 2010, Ramsay was unapologetic, stating:
"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. What on earth was the fuss about?"
Seeking the advice of Simon Cowell, in 2009, Ramsay admitted having Botox injections to smooth his wrinkles, at a cost of £1,000 a time. He has also spent up to £10,000 on procedures to improve his teeth.
After being photographed with a puffy face and wearing a "medical-looking" cap on his head (a common side effect of a hair transplant) rumours started that Ramsay had undergone a procedure. Initially, he explained away the rumours, putting his swollen face and scalp down to an infection and an allergic reaction. It was discovered afterwards, however, that he had undergone a procedure known as follicular unit extraction (FUE) for £30,000. The procedure, which lasted 12 hours, was done in a Los Angeles clinic and entailed Ramsay’s hair follicles being removed from lush patches of his scalp and reinserted where his hairline was thinning.
Since 1996, Ramsay has written 21 books. Ramsay also contributes a food-and-drink column to The Times' Saturday magazine.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Gordon Ramsay|