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September 7, 2012 5:01 pm
Chef Gordon Ramsay, 45, currently holds a total of 12 Michelin stars at his various restaurants. He was appointed OBE in 2006 for services to the hospitality industry.
. . .
What was your earliest ambition?
I wanted to play football, but a knee injury at 18 meant I couldn’t continue. This is when I started my chef apprenticeship and found a passion for food and cooking.
Public school or state school? University or straight into work?
Stratford-upon-Avon High School, a state school. Then straight into an apprenticeship.
Who was or still is your mentor?
I was lucky enough to work in some of the best kitchens in the world. Working with Albert and Michel Roux, Guy Savoy and Joël Robuchon shaped my love of creating complex food, while also appreciating the simplicity of fresh and quality ingredients.
How physically fit are you?
I am quite fit. I run and train every day and have a few marathons under my belt.
Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?
Without ambition, talent is wasted. You need a good mix of both.
Have you ever taken an IQ test?
How politically committed are you?
I keep up to date with news and politics, but they’re not something I discuss over the dinner table.
Do you consider your carbon footprint?
It’s important; everyone should consider it as much as they can.
Do you have more than one home?
Yes. I split my time between south London and LA.
What would you like to own that you don’t currently possess?
What’s your biggest extravagance?
Motorbikes and cars.
In what place are you happiest?
In the kitchen. After a long day, I will often pop in to see [head chef] Clare Smyth at Royal Hospital Road and work with her and the team. It was my first restaurant, first Michelin star and reminds me why I do what I do.
What ambitions do you still have?
I recently opened Bread Street Kitchen in London and Gordon Ramsay Steak in Vegas. Opening more relaxed dining restaurants has been a huge learning curve for me. I would like to keep exploring this area of the business while maintaining the fine dining arm of Gordon Ramsay Holdings.
A set of knives
What drives you on?
I’m a very ambitious person and I have lots of energy.
What is the greatest achievement of your life so far?
Professionally, Royal Hospital Road. Personally, Megan, Jack, Holly and Tilly.
What has been your greatest disappointment?
I don’t let disappointment get in my way. It’s important not to dwell too much. Learn from it and move on.
If your 20-year-old self could see you now, what would he think?
“Where did the time go?” When I was 20, I was almost two years into my apprenticeship, but I always wanted to achieve big things.
If you lost everything tomorrow, what would you do?
Work twice as hard as anyone to make sure I turn it around. I wouldn’t ever think of giving up.
Do you believe in assisted suicide?
I’ve never been faced with this, so it’s a difficult question to answer.
Do you believe in an afterlife?
I’ve never given it much thought. But if there is, I’ll come back and let you know what to expect.
If you had to rate your satisfaction with your life so far, out of 10, what would you score?
9 out of 10. I feel very fortunate – I have an incredible family and a successful business. But I’ve still got more I want to do.
Gordon Ramsay’s new cookbook, ‘Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course’, is out now, published by Hodder & Stoughton, £25. The accompanying TV series begins on Channel 4 on Monday
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