Gordon Ramsay opens up about family, early career, and Strictly Come Dancing
In an odd turn of events, Gordon Ramsay spent the lockdown being yelled at, rather than yelled at.
“I had my daughters filmed, screaming and screaming and kicking,” the 54-year-old says happily on Zoom.
The Scottish-born chef, who divides his time between LA and the UK, used the pandemic-induced break to get creative, reassess and try to ‘imagine we are going into the ground for the first time. times and how we come about when we get out of this thing ”.
To help this, he started cooking live on weekends on Instagram, while being heckled by his children who fined him – in honor of the NHS – whenever a dish took more than 10 minutes to cook. to prepare.
And instead of annoying him, the buzz of it echoed the adrenaline he lacked and which he usually accessed in his professional kitchens, which “I didn’t have when restaurants were closing,” adds he does.
It’s all in the preparation
He’s now turned those Instagram lives into a cookbook, Ramsay In 10 – a collection of quick and ingenious recipes that provide insight into how the Ramsay cooks at home.
“I know everyone is thinking, ‘Oh, it’s easy for you, 10 minutes…’,” he admits, but maintains that it’s all in the preparation.
You don’t need three Michelin stars and ‘the most expensive Japanese knives to chop your carrot or finely slice your onion. Use a box grater and grate it! Things are done faster ”.
Gordon just wants people to cook, and he usually doesn’t make sense about that, until there is a section up front called “What This Book Expects From You,” which includes instructions such as “Read the recipe. “.
The goal, however, under the franchise, is to make sure people know how much fun they can cook, if they do the basics first.
As Gordon says, “90% of the battle is in the preparation, and I hate to see missed opportunities, where things are overcooked because people don’t prepare from the start. “
Gordon’s children are never far from his thoughts.
He and his wife Tana, 47, have Megan 23, twins Holly and Jack, 21, Tilly, 19, and Oscar, two, and he remembers teaching them the importance of food from the start , including buying her older children pet turkeys as part of Channel 4 airs The F Word.
“Tilly must have been three years old,” he recalls. Turkeys were to “make them responsible for understanding how important food is, without wasting anything; from the turkeys they went to the pigs, from the pigs they went to the lambs ”.
They all know how to cook and organize a big dinner – vital now, her eldest is starting to run the family cooperative and have his own apartment.
“Meg always asks me to take the tour,” says Gordon, “and I took the tour and the fridge seemed to have 90% alcohol and very few greens.
“So she said, ‘Well, I haven’t bought yet, so think about something.’ I made a butternut squash, roasted it, then turned it into a beautiful Goan curry.
Pride and joy
Tilly Ramsay was on the current Strictly Come Dancing series, in which Gordon himself was filmed ripping up after his daughter’s Charleston.
“She prepares herself, every morning it’s either toast or porridge, then for lunch it will be like a chicken salad.
“And then for dinner it’s either pasta or carbs to load, but trust me, it’s a little firecracker, she knows how to take care of herself,” says Gordon, pride palpable in her. voice.
“She can stand on her own feet,” he adds, describing the Tupperware Tilly stacked in the fridge the night before practice, labeled “11 am, 4 am and 7 am; super disciplined ”.
The worst eaters in the world
Gordon spent his own 20s working 18-hour shifts with Marco Pierre White at the legendary London restaurant Harveys.
“The only thing we would have on the way back in the cab – because we could eat before we fell asleep in the back of this thing – was a Lucozade and a Mars Bar. And that was it, because the last thing you can do at this time of night is eat, ”he says.
At work, he and his fellow chefs and roommates Steve Terry and Tim Hughes would grab the leftover pigeon and white butter sauce “and make our own tagliatelle with that kind of oyster cream sauce, then ate all of them. leftovers that Marco had not sold “.
“It was all so fresh,” he recalls, but “the only thing we did when we got home was literally crash, man”.
“You don’t really eat before serving,” adds Ramsay. “Any chef would be lying if he told you he did, because you can’t refuel.” You have to stay nimble; you have to stay on your toes, and you have to have that hunger to constantly perfect yourself – so we are the worst eaters in the world.
Take a look at Greece
Usually, Gordon can be seen in reruns of Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen and 24 Hours To Hell And Back, yelling at dismal restaurateurs and chefs.
But more recently he ate and laughed with Gino D’Acampo and Fred Sirieix in their ITV buddy holiday series Gordon, Gino & Fred.
They were in Greece together for the last time and “there are some damn good chefs on these islands,” Ramsay recalls.
“We never give Greece the attention it deserves. It’s almost the ugly sister of France, Italy and Spain.
“Athens, some of the ingredients there and what they do with octopus – there is no restaurant on the planet that is as creative with octopus as in Athens.
“The food was amazing, but of course D’Acampo and Sirieix were a nightmare. I mean a real nightmare. He shakes his head.
“We make it look fun in the edit, but my god you should see what we need to do to make it happen.”
Gordon Ramsay’s Charred Steak with Kimchi Fried Rice and Marinated Radish
For 2 people
- 1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon of soy or tamari sauce
- 2 flank steaks of 175 g
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 140 g kimchi, in a jar, plus 1 tablespoon of juice
- 250 g of cooked jasmine or basmati rice
- 2 new onions (green onions)
- 2 eggs
- 6 breakfast radishes
- 2 tablespoons of black sesame seeds or black cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon chopped chilli, in a jar
- Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Place a skillet (grill) or skillet (skillet) on high heat.
- Put the hoisin and soy sauce in a bowl and mix. Add the steak and toss to coat.
- When the griddle or frying pan is smoking, drizzle with a little oil and cook the steaks for two to three minutes.
- Meanwhile, place a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add a little oil. While the oil is heating, roughly chop the kimchi, then add it to the pan. Add the rice and stir to combine.
- Slice the spring onions, reserving the green tops for serving, and add them to the pan along with the rice and kimchi.
- Flip the steaks and cook for another two to three minutes.
- Place a second non-stick skillet over medium heat and add a little oil. When hot, crack the eggs and fry them for two minutes, until the whites are firm and starting to get crisp around the edges.
- Finely grate the radishes in a bowl. Season with salt, then stir in the kimchi juice.
- Divide the hot rice between two bowls. Put a fried egg on top and sprinkle with sesame seeds, then salt and pepper. Thinly slice the steaks across the grain and place them next to the rice.
- Sprinkle with chopped pepper and the reserved scallion leaves before serving with the radish salad on the side.
Ramsay in 10 by Gordon Ramsay is published by Hodder & Stoughton, priced at £ 25. Photography Jamie Orlando-Smith. It is available now.