With a culinary empire that includes dozens of top-tier restaurants and numerous hit TV shows, Gordon Ramsay is the food world’s biggest star. He was kind enough to sit down with us and share some of the secrets behind his astronomical success as a chef and entertainer.
1. You just wrapped up your fifth season of MasterChef Junior. How does working in a kitchen full of kid chefs differ from working in one full of adults?
It requires a lot more patience and attention. If you turn away for even a moment during a challenge, all the kids will climb into their ovens to roast themselves alive. If you don’t accompany them to the pantry, they’ll inevitably stuff a seabass full of forks and radishes and use a pressure cooker to turn it into a dirty bomb. You can’t get mad at them—kids will be kids, after all—but you’ve really got to watch them closely.
2. What is the most important factor in putting together a successful dish?
It all comes down to ingredients. Use only the best, most stunning ingredients, and source them as locally as possible. I try to only use ingredients that can be found within a 10-meter radius of my kitchen, which essentially amounts to whatever can be foraged from my laundry room and bathroom. That may sound limiting, but it’s not. Nothing dances on the taste buds quite like the L.A. Looks hair gel I find under my bathroom sink. There’s no better aromatic to brighten up a roast than the dryer sheets in find in the cupboard above my washing machine. Trust me, local is the way to go.
3. Your name is synonymous with fine dining, but do you have any culinary guilty pleasures? Perhaps some junk foods you secretly like to pig out on?
In the U.K. we have this snack called Gromfrey’s Aerated, which is basically warm cod fanny that’s been whipped into a parfait and stuffed into a tube of sheep intestine with large deposits of salt and wet wool—sort of like a British Twinkie. Anyway, the Gromfrey’s Wagon comes around every morning at sunrise, and when I’m back home I’ll invariably be the first one out to greet it, eagerly waving a fistful of quid while the schoolchildren queue up behind me, all of us chanting the famous jingle, “Lord Gromfrey, Lord Gromfrey! Bring us your hot and viscous treat! Lord Gromfrey, Lord Gromfrey! Our favorite aerated meat!” It’s all empty calories and sodium, but I can’t get enough.
4. If you could give aspiring chefs one piece of advice, what would it be?
Keep your damn cock-hole the size it is. Don’t go stretching it out to the point that it hardly functions as a cock-hole anymore. Just stick with the cock-hole size God gave you, and work with its limitations. I see so many great young chefs get ruined by thinking they need this gigantic cock-hole like Wolfgang Puck or Daniel Boulud. No. Sure, cock-hole size plays a part in being a great chef, we all know that, but it’s just one of the three factors that go into creating great cuisine. Don’t let it hold you back.
5. What is one trait you’ve noticed that great chefs have in common?
A very large cock-hole.