The only thing scarier than facing Gordon Ramsay in the kitchen is the prospect of being on the receiving end of his scrutiny when you’re preparing your meal. The notoriously tough as nails Ramsay has been judging chefs for more than 20 years, and every time he appears on TV, his trademark sarcasm and wit is on full display. He’s also one of the most prolific and successful personalities in the culinary world, having built a global empire that includes restaurants, a clothing line, numerous cookbooks, and even a hotel and casino in India. He’s known for his no-nonsense attitude and hyper-critical nature, so the idea of facing him in the kitchen is enough to make anyone sweat bullets.
Not only is Ramsay known for being tough on his contestants, but he’s also known for being tough on his own chefs as well. One of his former chefs described him as “the most ruthless person I’ve ever met in my life.”
Born in Scotland, Gordon Ramsay grew up with a passion for cooking that was encouraged by his mother. In school, he was always involved with food and baked bread for his classmates. He was also the co-host of a radio show for two years before he decided to become a chef.
After working for numerous restaurants in Scotland and England, Ramsay opened Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London in 1996. Throughout the years, he has earned 7 Michelin stars and has also been featured in many different television series, like Hell’s Kitchen, Master Chef, and Hotel Hell.
Gordon Ramsay and Hells Kitchen
Ramsay’s most famous show, Hell’s Kitchen, airs on the FOX network and is the inspiration for this list’s namesake. The premise is simple: a group of amateur cooks compete to become the head chef at a famous restaurant in hopes of winning a cash prize and a chance at fame. However, Ramsay doesn’t mess around: he judges the contestants’ skills like a professional chef would, but also he makes sure they’re able to handle the stress of the job.
Ramsay takes contestants through all kinds of tests, from intense preparation sessions to making big decisions with little instruction. He’s known for his sarcastic wit, and though he’s tough on contestants, he’s also known for being friendly to the camera. This combination makes for one of the most popular food shows on television.
Ramsay’s Michelin Stars
One of Ramsay’s biggest achievements is his Michelin star achievements in London. In fact, he has earned a total of four Michelin stars in the city, three of which are from The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Ramsay has been awarded his three Michelin stars in London for over 15 years, which is especially impressive when you consider how competitive the Michelin star industry is.
Gordon Ramsay’s Top Tips
- Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes -
One of Ramsay’s biggest tips is to not be afraid to make mistakes while you’re cooking. He encourages his contestants to not be afraid to try new things, and he encourages his viewers to do the same. In fact, he often makes mistakes while he’s cooking, and his viewers can watch him do so on the television show. That’s part of what makes him relatable to his viewers.
- Be Prepared -
Ramsay’s most important tip is to be prepared. He encourages his contestants to not only have the right ingredients on hand when they’re cooking, but to also have a plan. If you don’t know what you want to make or how you want to make it, you’re likely to fail.
- Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help -
Ramsay believes that no matter how skilled you are, you can always learn something new and improve your cooking skills by asking for help. He encourages his contestants to ask other people for their opinions on what they’re doing and why, and he encourages his viewers to do the same.
- Research Your Ingredients -
One of the keys to becoming a successful chef is to know what you’re doing. That’s why Ramsay encourages his contestants to do as much research as possible on the ingredients they’re using.
The Iron Chef
Though Kitchen Nightmares is one of Ramsay’s most popular shows, the worst episode of his is also one of the most popular: The Gauntlet from 2008. This episode featured five Iron Chefs (guests who competed against each other in a series of challenges) who were tasked with finding the next Iron Chef.
The episode begins with the chefs in a room trying to come up with a new idea for the challenge, but that’s when things went downhill. They ended up fighting each other in what Ramsay called “the most horrible moment” he’s ever seen on his show.
Gordon Ramsay’s Personality
Though Ramsay is known for being tough on his contestants during the cooking competition show Hell’s Kitchen, he’s also well known for being difficult to work with in the kitchen.
Ramsay is known for having high standards, and he expects his chefs to live up to those standards. When they don’t, he’s not afraid to let them know about it. That’s why he’s such a feared figure in the culinary world: if you mess up on a dish, you’ll get lamb chops thrown at you.