“Swearing is industry language. For as long as we’re alive it’s not going to change. You’ve got to be boisterous to get results.”— Gordon Ramsay
“Chefs are nutters. They’re all self-obsessed, delicate, dainty, insecure little souls and absolute psychopaths. Every last one of them.”— Gordon Ramsay
“The pressure on young chefs today is far greater than ever before in terms of social skills, marketing skills, cooking skills, personality and, more importantly, delivering on the plate. So you need to be strong. Physically fit. So my chefs get weighed every time they come into the kitchen.”— Gordon Ramsay
Since making his credited television debut on a documentary series called Boiling Point, Gordon Ramsay’s fiery personality has made him a household name in kitchens across the globe. The Scottish-born Ramsay (chef extraordinaire, restaurant owner, author, and TV personality) has worked on countless shows as a host, actor, and executive producer. He also owns 35 restaurants around the world, and has received no fewer than seven Michelin stars. With a resume like that, you’d think the man would settle down to retire and rest on his laurels. Instead, there are no signs that this hot head is going to be slowing down any time soon. Here are 42 facts you never knew about the irate chef.
42. Camera Shy
Gordon Ramsay doesn’t watch his own shows. During an interview with Playboy, he said, “I don’t want to get self-obsessed and start thinking about putting makeup on and watching the way I walk.” The chef would rather adopt an “it is what it is” attitude toward his screen time.
41. Guilty Pleasure
He does, however, love watching The Deadliest Catch. When asked in an interview about what he does in his rare free time, Ramsay replied, “I’d rather watch Deadliest Catch or go out for dinner.”
40. All in the Family
Ramsay has four children with his wife Tana. They are named Megan, Matilda, Holly, and Jack. Interestingly, Ramsay comes from a family of four and has three other siblings.
39. The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree
Matilda Ramsay, Gordon’s daughter, is following in her father’s footsteps and has her own cooking show. The show is called Matilda and the Ramsay Bunch and airs on CBBC. It documents the Ramsay family holidays and the themed meals Matilda cooks for them along the way. Vacationing with the Ramsays must be a thrilling ride, let alone cooking for them.
38. Bend It Like Ramsay
During the holidays, the Ramsay bunch is known to hang out with another beloved British family–none other than the Beckhams. The two families have travelled together on vacation, children and all. Wonder what Gordon thinks of little Harper Seven and Posh Spice?
37. A Taste of His Own Medicine
Though Ramsay is usually the one causing water works on his shows, someone has actually made him cry in the kitchen before. Perhaps following further in her father’s footsteps, the culprit was his daughter Matilda. While working on her cooking, she was upset at the way her burger turned out. Gordon was so touched by her passion for food that he teared up.
36. Size What?!
The man has some big shoes to fill. Literally. Size 15, to be exact. How is that even possible?
35. It’s an Honor
Ramsay has officially been inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame. He received the honor in 2013 in recognition of his contribution to cuisine and food preparation.
34. It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere
His favorite cocktail is called a “Wake Up, You Donkey!” Made with Tanqueray gin, the name of this drink sounds like a phrase the chef would use on an episode of Hell’s Kitchen. It is, according to him, “sort of spicy and fragrant.”
33. Scoping out the Competition
His signature dish is also his go-to order in restaurants: when eating out, the chef will almost always order the beef wellington, if they have it.
32. That Makes Sense
Ramsay’s favorite Disney movie is Ratatouille. As it should be.
31. Rest in Peace
Ramsay lost his dad to a heart attack when his father was 53. His father’s death inspired Ramsay to pay close attention to his own health, especially since he is now very close in age to his father when he died.
30. Parlez-vous Francais?
Ramsay speaks fluent French: as an up and coming chef, he moved to France to study under Michelin-awarded chefs Guy Savoy and Joël Robuchon, during which time he learnt to speak French fluently.
29. Going in Blind
Ramsay teaches in an unusual way, having his chefs taste the food they have just made while blindfolded. He believes removing your vision activates the senses of taste and smell as well as creates more intimacy with the food.
28. Dreams Deferred
In his youth, Ramsay dreamed of playing professional football (er, soccer). Unfortunately, his soccer career was marked by injuries. Accepted on a trial basis with the Rangers Football Club as a teen, within months of playing a couple of non-league matches, he injured his knee, effectively killing his dream.
27. Potential Side Hustle?
As an adult, Ramsay says that if he wasn’t a chef, he would want to be a Navy SEAL. The chef has a lot of respect for their high level of discipline.
26. VIP Dinner Guest
The one celebrity he would love to cook for is Hillary Clinton. In an interview with Bon Appetit magazine, he said he would cook her, “something authentic, rich, and a sauce that had been doused with lots of red wine. Like a braised short rib, because she’s of that era—of that age—that she understands fine food.”
25. Jack of All Trades
Ramsay has written no fewer than 25 books, starting in 1996. The most recent one, Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Fit Food, came out in January of 2018.
24. Have a Good Cry
Ramsay believes in the importance of emotional health. When he sees contestants on his show shedding a tear, it doesn’t bother the chef. “I think crying is important,” he told Fox News. “Not crying, not showing that emotion, bottling it up can lead to dangerous things.”
His favorite curse word is “f**kos.” That’s if he really had to choose one.
22. Top Chef Tiff
Ramsay’s arch nemesis might be Mario Batali. The feud between the two chefs allegedly began when Batali said Ramsay’s food was “dull and outdated.” Ramsay has since come up with a nickname for the Iron Chef, Fanta Pants, and Batali once banned Ramsay from his restaurants.
21. Life Hack
Here’s a hot tip from a professional: Ramsay would almost never order soup when he’s dining out. He shared his advice that when going out to eat, people should “ask what yesterday’s soup du jour was before today’s special. It may be the case that it’s the soup du month.”
20. Oops, I’m a Top Chef
Ramsay studied hotel management in college, which was apparently by accident.
When it comes to soccer, Ramsay supports Chelsea FC, and chose to don the blue when he moved to London.
18. Duke it out
Ramsay wants to go head-to-head with Bobby Flay, and his competitive nature has led him to pester the chef to go up against each other one-on-one in the kitchen for years, but to Ramsay’s dismay, Flay has always refused.
17. Just Water, Please
Ramsay never eats plane food, and would rather eat beforehand. “There’s no f***ing way I eat on planes,” Ramsay has said. “I worked for airlines for ten years, so I know where this food’s been and where it goes, and how long it took before it got on board.”
16. Midnight Snack
His favorite midnight snack is baked beans. In an interview with Bon Appetit, Ramsay replied that his preferred snack “would be baked beans. Chili flakes, garlic, Tabasco sauce, hot sauce. Sourdough bread—grilled—baked beans on top, with a duck egg, covered with Parmesan and gratinated under the grill.”
15. Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
For the first eight years of their courtship, Ramsay and his wife Tana only spent one night a week together. “The secret behind the relationship is that we didn’t overindulge in each other’s company,” he once explained. Well, that’s one way of putting it. Then again, who are we to argue? The couple are still together after over 20 years of marriage.
14. One for the Swear Jar
Though Ramsay is known for his temper, he tries his best not to unleash his foul mouth at home. On Jimmy Kimmel, Ramsay said he explains to his children that cursing is an “industry language” that he lets slip. His wife is very strict about him swearing in front of the children, so he came up with some alternative words to use at home; the F word became fructose, for example.
13. With Animal Sauce?
Even the great top chef has a guilty pleasure food: In-N-Out Burgers. Ramsay has cited the West Coast fast food chain as his go-to burger place.
12. It’s a Dog’s Life
The Ramsay family has two dogs, and the two pups have their own Instagram account. Rumpole and Bruno are adorable. The family got Bruno, a cocker spaniel, in 2015, and Ramsay adopted Rumpole, an English bulldog, from David Beckham 2010. Follow their account @theramsaydogs.
11. Hit the Gym
Ramsay is a fitness freak. To date, he has participated in more than a dozen marathons, three ultra-marathons, three half-Ironman triathlons, and competed twice in the Ironman World Championship.
10. I Did It for Love
Fans may have noticed that the chef slimmed down quite a bit over the last year. Ramsay’s wife Tana told him that he needed to take care of himself or risk losing their marriage. With the stress of traveling and participating in so many projects, Ramsay’s diet had become unhealthy. He hired a trainer and lost over 50 pounds by cycling and continuing to train for triathlons. Happy wife, happy life.
9. Sensei Ramsay
In an interview with Playboy, Ramsay mentioned he has a black belt in karate. He also “loves boxing. I can look after myself.”
8. Last Meal
Ramsay says he would have sea bass as his last meal. In an interview with Bon Appetit, he said, “Sea bass is the king of fish, so my idea of the perfect last meal would be a beautiful fillet, pan-fried with a light sorrel sauce, or served roasted with artichokes and a chive crème fraîche.”
7. Familiar Voice
Ramsay co-owned the production company One Potato, Two Potato Ltd., but sold it in 2010. One Potato, Two Potato Ltd. is behind many of Ramsay’s shows including The F Word. The name would sound familiar to any fan, as a voice says it at the end of every show. That voice, Ramsay confirmed on Twitter, is his daughter Matilda’s.
6. Taking Care of Business
After many years on various TV shows, in 2016 the chef announced he would be launching Studio Ramsay, a production company that will produce scripted and unscripted shows on food-related themes. We look forward to many more Chef Ramsay shows in the near future.
5. If at First You Don’t Succeed
Believe it or not, Ramsay failed the test to get into his most desired culinary school. After high school, he hoped to enter a cooking school run by the renowned Roux brother restaurateurs, but failed the written exam. Obviously this setback didn’t stop the famous chef, and he only worked harder to achieve his dreams.
4. Take One On The Chin
For years, Gordon Ramsay had deep crevices on either side of his chin. Many people believed they were scars from some gruesome kitchen accident, but he’d actually had them his entire life—his mother called them “smile lines.” They never really bothered him—until he had kids, and they began incessantly commenting on them. Eventually, Ramsay’s friend Simon Cowell suggested that he get the lines taken care of, and that’s exactly what he did, eventually getting a painful cosmetic surgery to smooth out his chin. It involves injecting filler into the crevices to fill them out, and Ramsay put it quite simply: “It hurt.”
3. Times of Trouble
Despite his bad boy image, the chef has never experimented with drugs. In an interview with CNN, he’s quoted as saying, “I’ve never done drugs in my life.” In the interview, he also revealed a heartbreaking secret: his brother’s addiction. As he said, “I have a brother who is still addicted to heroin … very few chefs get far without substances, it’s rife in our industry.”
2. Father of My Children
Somewhat shockingly, Ramsay didn’t attend the birth of any of his children. He received a lot of criticism for his choice, but says his wife Tana backed him up completely. “I told her I’d feel squeamish seeing that level of mess. It’s like sending 25 vegans into a kitchen with meat in the blender.”
1. What Would You Like for Dinner, Mrs. Robinson?
Ramsay is certainly not scandal free, and in one particularly scandalous moment, he claims he was once fired for having an affair with his boss’ wife. While he worked as a junior chef in a hotel as a young adult, Ramsay claims he was seduced by the wife, who was in her 30s at the time. He was fired when his boss found out about it, and Ramsay then moved to London.
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