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Gordon Ramsay - Renegade Scottish Chef and Restauranteur

Updated on February 6, 2013

Gordon Ramsay - a brief biography

One of our hottest restauranteurs is a sensational chef named Gordon Ramsay. He has won twelve Michelin stars for culinary excellence. With a highly acclaimed chain of international restaurants, he is also a television personality, author, humanitarian and one of the most interesting personalities in the UK today.

Of Scottish origin and a former Ranger, he ended a potentially promising football career due to a double knee injury. Born in Scotland and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon, he is the second of four children. His mother was a nurse, while his father held down various positions including swimming pool manager and shopkeeper. A “hard drinking womanizer“ Gordon left his family to live on his own at the age of 16.

From the age of 19, he enrolled in culinary and hotel management “by coincidence“. In the late 1980s, Gordon began working in London for the temperamental Marco Pierre White, known for his intense working conditions and eruptions. Three years later, Gordon departed to learn French cuisine, so he began working for Albert Roux of La Gavrouche in Mayfair at the suggestion of White, not in Paris as he had originally planned. After a year, Roux invited him to work as the number two chef at a resort in French Alps. Following this, he proceeded to Paris to work with Michelin-starred chefs Guy Savoy and Joel Robuchon and as a personal chef in the Bahamas.

On the BBC

Source

What is a Michelin Star?

Back in 1926, the Michelin tire company developed a 0 to 3 star system of rating restaurants throughout France (which later expanded to other parts of Europe). It does make sense, in a funny kind of way. Go out for a long drive, have a delicious meal in a restaurant. But what do the stars mean, exactly?

Anonymous inspectors taste the food, concentrating on the quality, technique used in its preparation, the actual personality of the food, and its consistency from beginning to end. Other details, like table service, interior decor and so on are not factored into the equation. Naturally, the more the stars, the better the meal. Receiving three Michelin stars is definitely an honor.

From Head Chef to Celebrated Restauranteur

Upon returning to London in 1993, he was offered a prestigious head chef position at La Claire, and Mark White offered him a head chef position at Aubergine, with 10% of the proceeds. Over a year later, the restaurant earned its first Michelin Star. In 1997, a second Michelin star followed. Intending to start his own restaurant, Gordon Ramsay left Aubergine, having earned an excellent reputation in the culinary society.

In 1998, he opened his first – Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, putting his father in law in charge of operations. In 2001 he gained his third Michelin star, being the only Scotsman to accomplish this. After his first restaurant at Chelsey, he quickly developed his restaurant empire which are now internationally known and operational in London, Chelsea, Glasgow, Dubai, Tokyo, New York city, and most recently, in West Hollywood -Los Angeles.

Since 1996, he has written 21 books, including his autobiography Humble Pie, The F Word, Hell's Kitchen, Best Menus, Passion for Seafood, Just Desserts. He also writes a weekly column for The Times. Married to Cayetana Hucheson, he is the father of four children, two girls and two boys.

Hell's Angel

Source

Walks with Nobles but hasn't lost the Common Touch

A sample menus of Gordon's creation is listed below. His meals are mainly geared to the upper class, but other gourmet specialties can be budgeted in for a modest 32 GBP, as listed below:

Appetizers

Sweet corn soup with Cornish crab and rosemary croûtons

Warldorf salad with Barkham blue cheese and salted walnuts

Main courses

Steamed Cornish mussels with parsley and garlic in a West Country cider sauce

Roasted sirloin of beef with Yorkshire puddings, roasted potatoes, runner beans and port wine gravy

Half roasted organic chicken with creamy mashed potatoes, savoy cabbage and chicken jus

Desserts

Burnt English cream with shortbread and raspberry sorbet

Chocolate tart with honey and milk ice-cream

Marinated cherry clafoutis with pistachio ice-cream

Catching him in action

He's a celebrity - but still hands on in the kitchen. Listed below are a couple of his funnier moments caught on tape. There are many others - catching a kitchen thief, fighting - he's kind of a hard guy to be lukewarm about!

The Entertaining Chef

Taken in 2010, the temperamental British chef was 45 years old.
Taken in 2010, the temperamental British chef was 45 years old. | Source

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    • EuroCafeAuLait profile imageAUTHOR

      Anastasia Kingsley 

      6 years ago from Croatia, Europe

      Definitely - I agree ladies. He is fun to watch and definitely unconventional. I put in a few links to show him in action, so enjoy :)!

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      6 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      I've heard GR isn't the darling of the London culinary set that he used to be, but I love him anyway. "Kitchen Nightmares" is one of my fave programs, "Hell's Kitchen" not so much. Not because of his behavior, but because IMHO most of the budding chefs featured should never have risen above dishwasher. But I DO sooo love watching that gorgeous hunk of eye candy peel off his shirt on camera. A guy who can cook like an angel with a GREAT rack. What more could a girl ask for! ;D

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      Hi, I love watching his shows, his language always amuses me! the funny thing is that in England we are used to his ways, if you like, but when he went to the States I was actually amused because I wondered what on earth they would think of him! lol but he is a great chef, and he turns around even the most unsuccessful cafe' or restaurant and makes it a winner, great hub!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      I'm a big fan of the TV show Kitchen Nightmares which has really given me new insight to restaurant operations and practices. Gordon Ramsay is truly talented and it was interesting to read more about him here. Nice hub.

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