He is one of the most famous chefs in the world and has a TV reputation for being a “bad boy” who speaks his mind.
“I never watch myself on TV,” Gordon Ramsay confides. “But everyone knows that I’m a passionate person, and of course you need to know that there’s lots of editing down from hours and hours of footage.”
This means audiences always see the good pieces.
Celebrity chef Ramsay is unfazed by what people think of his image and puts it down to being “passionate” about what he does.
His new series on DStv is Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course, which has a cookery book to go with it. “I really loved doing this series and encouraging people to get in the kitchen and fall in love with cooking. Then I’ve also just finished filming the latest series of MasterChef and we’ve just reached the 150th episode milestone for Hell’s Kitchen in the US.”
The renowned chef, who regards South Africa as an “amazing” place, and is a frequent visitor, would not rule out the possibility of doing one of his famous TV shows here. “There aren’t any plans in the pipeline at the moment,” he confides, “but who knows? One should never say never.”
Ramsay is heading for Cape Town, where he will cook up a storm and dispense his normal good-humoured chatter at the Cape Good Food & Wine Show at the Cape Town International Convention Centre between May 23 and May 26.
Since his last visit in 2011, another culinary accolade was bestowed on him when he was inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame. Awards, he says, still give him a high. “It’s always nice to be recognised, but it’s about being the best that you can possibly be.
“What’s important to me is to do something every day that’s exciting. And I’m very lucky that I get to do that and also spend time nurturing talent and mentoring on projects that I’m really passionate about.”
Ramsay’s take on the Good Food & Wine Show is that it’s always been a vibrant, busy place. Without revealing the cooking surprises he has in store for guests, he would only say that he’ll be cooking up “some delicious signature dishes”.
Away from the kitchen and the TV studio, Ramsay finds an outlet in exercise, which he says is a great release. “I’m hoping to take part in an Ironman, so I’ve been doing a lot of training.”
Asked about his love for football – he wanted to be a professional player before an injury put paid to that – he says he doesn’t get a chance to play much football, but he has enjoyed the charity matches that he’s taken part in in recent years.
How does a man of his stature cope with the fame and success without allowing it to take over his life entirely?
“I think I keep it real,” he says.
“I have the most amazing family and an incredible team around me and count myself as being very fortunate because of this.”
On the cooking front, he says it’s such a fast-paced industry that there are always lots of new trends emerging. “You’ve got to keep on top of them all and experience new thing – that’s one of the reasons that I love to travel so much. And I’ve been lucky enough to see some amazing places and try some incredible foods and cooking styles.”
On what he felt he still had to achieve in his life, Ramsay said: “You might think it’s crazy, but there’s still so much that I want to achieve. I’m not very good at standing still.
“I’m the fittest that I’ve ever been and really hope to do an Ironman, the restaurant business is in the best shape to date and TV is like a second career for me.
“I’m also really enjoying everything else that I’m working on, such as helping to nurture future talent as well as mentoring on projects that I’m really passionate about.”
Ramsay will be joined by other celebrity chefs including master pâtissier, author and TV chef Eric Lanlard; Australian chef and star of Bill’s Food, Bill Granger, and the first Junior MasterChef Australia winner Isabella Bliss and her twin sister, Sofia.
Ramsay will be appearing at the Checker’s Celebrity Chefs Theatre on May 24 at 11.am and 1.30pm; May 25 at 11.am and 1.30pm and May 26 at 11.am, 1.30pm and 4.30pm.
Food lovers will have a rare opportunity to interface with Ramsay by purchasing a Good Food & Wine Show VIP Package for R950.
• Admission to the Good Food & Wine Show.
• Drinks & canapés in the VIP Lounge.
• VIP Seating in the Checkers Celebrity Chefs Theatre.
Tickets cost R110 for adults for R55 for children. This includes more free theatres than before. Visitors will also receive a coupon book that will allow for massive savings and specials.
Tickets available from Computicket.
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