Whether he’s helping flailing restaurant owners get their business back on track, hurling insults at wannabe chefs on TV or just talking smack about a number of chefs or restaurant trends, Gordon Ramsay is a chef for the ages. He’s made his name on the likes of Hell’s Kitchen, but you could probably get decent ratings with him on Sesame Street, such is his popularity all over the United States.
But despite his overwhelming fame (or infamy, depending on how you look at it) in America, some of you observant ones out there will have noticed something about Gordon Ramsay as he goes about his sweary day – whenever he screams obscenities about a chef’s poor cooking or calls someone an idiot sandwich in front of the camera, he does so with a decidedly not-American accent.
Actually, Gordon Ramsay hails from St Johnstone in Scotland, and although he sounds nothing like Shrek, one thing that’s for certain is that Ramsay is definitely British. But while British celebrity chefs like Ainsley Hariott and Nigella Lawson stay on their side of the Atlantic, Gordon Ramsay is out here, making waves in the States. Why is that?
It’s a good question – and one that Ramsay has thought about before, believe it or not. So when he was asked why he was so popular in America at the Britweek Innovation Awards in California early this month, everybody’s favorite cussing chef had an answer all ready to go.
Speaking to the gathered press, Ramsay recounted a story from 2004 – when he first moved to the United States – where he had a very interesting encounter with a reporter from the LA Times. They were discussing a show you might have heard of…
“The first thing that struck me when I first came over here in 2004, I got interviewed with the lady from the LA Times, and we sat in this amazing restaurant and I couldn’t eat because I was too busy talking about sort of this little documentary called Hell’s Kitchen.”
It certainly is a pity we never got to see that show, isn’t it? Continuing his story, Ramsay spoke about how the evening ended. Anxious to get back to work, the chef called an end to the dinner meeting, but the reporter did something that still haunts Gordon Ramsay to this day.
“She wasn’t upset, she just got a little bit nervous that I just wanted to get out of there and get back to work. And the waiter came over and said, ‘Would you like your food to go?’ She said, ‘Yes’, I said, ‘No, thank you’. She boxed a Caesar salad and I said to her, ‘Do you have any idea how s**t a Caesar salad tastes 24 hours later?’
‘What will you do with that f***ing thing?’ She said: ‘I’m going to eat it’… That’s when I knew Americans knew f*** all about good food. Right there and then.”
Considering the context, Ramsay is probably just playing around, but given that he’s roasted people online for way, way less than that, I wouldn’t mess around with a Caesar salad in front of chef Ramsay. Not unless you want to get yelled at.