Despite being one of television's most well-known personalities, there's a lot that even Gordon
Ramsay's most diehard fans may not know about the hot-headed celebrity chef.
Here's the truth about Gordon Ramsay.
If not for a nasty injury, Ramsay may never have become a chef.
In a 2002 interview with The Guardian, he revealed that his lifelong passion had always
been soccer, or, as it's known in the U.K., football.
In fact, Ramsay had enough talent for the sport to be signed to Glasgow's Rangers.
Recalling his early time on the team as being "very stressful" while the possibility of
being cut constantly loomed, he admitted,
"I was petrified most of the time...[When I finally] made it into the squad of 18, I
wet myself with excitement, I was over the moon.
But I was also very, very nervous."
Ramsay's entire life changed in a heartbeat when he suffered an injury on the field that
tore some of his ligaments.
When he was told he wouldn't be invited back for another season, the news was devastating.
"I couldn't swallow it.
I was gutted."
"The terrible memories were coming through those main doors and being sent upstairs to
the boss's office, to be told you're no longer part of Rangers."
Soon after, he took a catering course, opening the door to his culinary success.
"I still love football, though, and I think cooking is like football.
It's not a job, it's a passion."
Ramsay's net worth has been reported to be $220 million, with Forbes estimating that
he earned $63 million in 2019 alone.
With all that wealth, it would be easy to assume that he will eventually pass that cash
down to his children, but that won't be happening.
Ramsay told The Telegraph,
"It's definitely not going to them, and that's not in a mean way.
[It's in order to] not spoil them.
I've been super lucky, having that career for the last 15 years in the U.S. Seriously,
it has earned a fortune and I've been very lucky, so I respect everything I've got."
Ramsay went on to explain that he and his wife Tana have gone to great lengths to ensure
their kids don't become spoiled, which is evident when they fly.
"They don't sit with us in first class.
They haven'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.
We're really strict on that."
Ramsay's signature word is one that has to be bleeped whenever he says it on television,
and he says it a lot.
Yet with all those F-bombs exploding, Ramsay admitted that he's not particularly proud
of his legendary potty mouth.
When asked about his swearing while being interviewed for The Guardian in 2010, Ramsay
referenced the ridiculous amount of profanity in his TV shows, saying,
When you saw those two Kitchen Nightmares condensed into one, last year when they had
those 298 'f---s' — I wasn't proud of that.
There has come a time when, at the age of 43, I'm getting a bit tired of the foul-mouthed
Nevertheless, Ramsay was adamant in his refusal to pander to elderly British viewers by trying
to act like anyone other than himself.
"I've never tried to get the Great British blue-rinse nation to start falling in love
I don't want a radical change where I have to put a woolly hat and scarf on and go round
every Women's Institute and improve their Victoria sponge or show them a much better
recipe for spotted dick."
"That's just a polite f--- off really, that's all."
In a 2017 Q&A for Quora, a fan asked who Ramsay would most like to face off against in an
Iron Chef-style battle, and he didn't have to think twice, saying,
"I've been asking Bobby Flay for the last five years for that opportunity to go up head-to-head,
and he still won't sign that damn contract."
He went on to reveal that in 2016, he approached Flay about it at the Mesa Grill in Caesars
Palace in Las Vegas.
"I said, '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 ass.'
He said yes, but 24 hours later, his agent phoned up and said 'No, we haven't got the
Unlike most celebrities who secretly go under the knife, Ramsay has come clean about visiting
a plastic surgeon.
In his 2010 interview with The Guardian, he explained that he decided to address some
of his deep wrinkles, partly for television, but also for another reason.
"I've got four children, and they've become 'Dad, why have you got so many wrinkles on
your face when Clementine's daddy has no wrinkles?'
The lines were pretty horrific, like Scarface, and I was never embarrassed by it but my children
helped me become more paranoid about it.
You've seen the articles: craggy face, map of Wales, ugly, deflated rugby ball.
There's only so much s--- you want to take."
According to Ramsay, nobody even realized he'd had any work done until he told them.
"When you don't say anything you're classified as a liar, so you can't win.
It's got me more s--- in the past six months."
As for whether he had any more cosmetic surgery lined up, he quipped,
"Am I going to have any more work done?
Of course I'm not going to have any more f---ing work done."
As one of television's most familiar faces and one of the most famous celebrity chefs
on the planet, Ramsay has received more than his fair share of media coverage.
One newspaper article, however, left Ramsay so indignant that he sued for libel.
According to a 2006 BBC News report, Britain's Evening Standard wrote an article claiming
that an episode of Ramsay's U.K. series Kitchen Nightmares had committed "gastronomic mendacity"
by fabricating fake culinary crises, even deliberately hiring an incompetent chef for
the purpose of creating fake drama.
"Before I do taste them, I'd like to pray to god."
Ramsay took the case to court and emerged victorious, receiving about $98,000 U.S. dollars
Ramsay's solicitor stated,
"No scenes had been faked [and] the kitchen was indeed untidy and a health hazard.
The restaurant was already in financial difficulty before the program was filmed and the chef
was not installed by the claimants."
As The Guardian reported, the newspaper issued a retraction and apologized to Ramsay, who
said in court,
"I won't let people write anything they want to about me.
Even I have limits and on this occasion the line was crossed.
I am satisfied with today's apology."
Forbes crunched the numbers to reveal that Ramsay's numerous television shows provide
the Fox network with more than 75 hours of programming each year, with those shows bringing
in more than $150 million in annual ad revenue.
One of those shows, Kitchen Nightmares, ended in 2014 after a successful seven-year run,
and Ramsay told Entertainment Weekly about the surprising way it ended, saying,
"I canceled my own show on Fox, Kitchen Nightmares.
I woke up in the middle of the south of France after filming a week with a British guy I
wouldn't trust to run my bath, let alone my restaurant.
Because he was running a ski resort, he felt like he could take advantage of all those
customers because there was nowhere else to eat.
He was giving me s--- for telling him the truth and I thought, 'I'm done.'"
As Ramsay pointed out, the network wasn't exactly on board with that plan.
"I got a phone call [from Fox] and the call went like this: 'You know Gordon, before you
take your own show down, don't you think we should talk about that together, as your partners?'"
Three years later, he returned with 24 Hours to Hell and Back.
As Ramsay focused on his career in the late 1990s, building an empire that would encompass
both restaurants and media, he realized that he had let his fitness slide.
He told the Daily Mail,
"[My wife] Tana was not impressed with the way I was.
I was overweight, [about 250 pounds].
I looked like a sack of s---.
I look at the pictures and think, 'How did Tana stay around?'
Because Tana has got better-looking and more gorgeous.
And there she is, getting in bed with a fat f---."
Ramsay said it was "painful" having his wife tell him he needed to lose weight.
"I used to look at myself in the mirror and think, 'Holy s---!'
So it was a big wake-up call."
Ramsay, ever the extremist, decided to get in shape by training for an Ironman triathlon
so intense his trainer worried that, in the shape he was in, it might kill him.
Ramsay trained like an athlete, competed in his first Ironman in 2000 and never looked
He told the Mail,
"The more I train, the more normal I am, the more I feel that I'm still unchanged.
It's just another little reminder of who I really am."
In a 2016 Reddit Ask Me Anything, Ramsay revealed the five dishes he thinks everyone should
be able to prepare.
His number one item: a burger.
Then he revealed the second most important, saying,
"A healthy breakfast.
Whether it's poached eggs, smashed avocado or an amazing omelette.
Now that is crucial!"
Ramsay said the third dish is something braised, and added,
"Like a braised short rib because it's the kind of thing you can cook on a Monday and
still eat on Friday."
And the fourth is some type of chicken dish, whether it's, quote, "a sautéed chicken or
even a delicious marinade with chicken Caesar salad."
For the fifth and final dish, Ramsay recommended learning how to make:
"Some amazing cake.
It could be a blondie or a chocolate brownie, something you can give as a gift.
Taking amazing desserts, as a gift, to somebody and eating it with them.
[...] Spending three or four hours making this thing, and spending hundreds of dollars
on ingredients, and doing something magical, is far more exciting then buying a f---ing
jumper that you know they aren't going to wear!"
Any true fan of Hell's Kitchen has to admit that viewing the chef's take on culinary competitions
is only part of the entertainment.
The real fun comes from watching an exasperated Ramsay tear into these hapless folks with
the kind of over-the-top fury usually reserved for professional wrestling.
Chatting with Entertainment Weekly about the show in 2018, Ramsay was asked to recall his
all-time favorite dig.
What really gets him steamed, he responded, is when someone he's working with is dishonest.
"Why are you lying to me?"
"I'm sorry chef I didn't mean to lie."
"You're f---ing useless, you know that."
"When somebody lies to you it's worse than working with somebody who can't cook.
But I think the biggest insult I would turn around and say was, 'I've forgotten more than
you know,' or 'the butternut squash, would you like it diced and rammed up your backside?'"
In an interview with Bon Appetit, Ramsay was asked what he'd want to enjoy for his "last
supper" before the Grim Reaper comes calling.
"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
He gave a completely different answer to the same question in an interview with WebMD,
"It would have to be my mum's shepherd's pie — it's the ultimate comfort food — and
a hot chocolate fondant with milk ice cream for dessert!"
Asked the same question by Canada's Globe and Mail, he offered yet another answer, saying,
"I would have a classic roast dinner — roast beef with Yorkshire pudding and red wine gravy."
Apparently, Ramsay has been asked that question a lot.
When posed the "last meal" query during a Reddit Ask Me Anything, he replied,
"That's a really good question, because for the last ten years,
I've been asked that about 2,000 f---ing times. I'm never gonna answer that question."
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