It was a weekend-long foodie event in Las Vegas and Gordon Ramsay was the main course, scheduled to do a cooking demonstration for all the attendees. The plan was to stay on my toes and wait for Ramsay to freak out and start yelling at people, just as he does in Hell’s Kitchen, or Kitchen Nightmares. This guy was bound to explode and I was going to catch it on video for a kick-ass story the next morning.
While Ramsay was a firecracker at the Vegas event, kicking out comical insults at Bobby Flay, throwing shade at parents from his MasterChef Jr. show, and even making fun of some audience members, it was all done with a heartwarming smile--nothing close to the f-bomb-dropping, plate-flipping, hair-pulling Brit I was expecting to see that weekend.
Gordon Ramsay has a volatile on-screen character, but on several occasions, he’s been called one of the nicest people in the world, and if you’ve ever seen him in person, it’s hard to argue against those strangely kind words.
A couple of weeks ago, the lovable host of Cake Masters, Duff Goldman, was asked which chef is least like his TV persona, and you guessed it, he called Ramsay “one of the coolest guys in the universe.”
“He’s still intense. HE IS INTENSE, but he is really cool,” Goldman said in an interview with Foodbeast. “If you have a real question, he is a real chef and he will talk to you about stuff.”
That’s coming straight from the mouth of one of the most honest dudes in the food world, who doesn’t even work on the same TV network as Ramsay. Duff keeps shit real, so-much-so that he followed that quote with a story about how he showed Ramsay his bare ass, with it leading to a good laugh and not a bare-knuckle fist fight.
I watched Ramsay's every move at the Vegas demonstration, as he smoothly worked on his famous Beef Wellington and politely talked to audience members he invited on-stage to have lunch with him. It was then I started realizing there wasn't going to be a blood-boiling freak-out, as this man was in his happy place, doing what he loves, but in front of hundreds of people.
I should have seen it coming, because there’s been evidence of Gordon’s chillness everywhere.
In 2015, Ramsay hosted an “Ask Me Anything” thread on Reddit where he answered questions from fans around the world. One of those questions came from a struggling cook who questioned his own place in the food world. All he hoped for was to get a little motivation from Ramsay, and boy, did he get it. Not only was Ramsay sympathetic toward the chef, but he asked for his resume and offered the shit-out-of-luck chef a spot at one of his 26 restaurants.
It’s not often you hear of a celebrity who’s hosted over 15 TV shows worldwide, has a net worth of over $100 million and still uses his pull in the food world to help the little guy.
The more I put these pieces together, it was becoming evident that Gordon’s character on TV is just that, a character.
A 2012 Reddit AMA with a chef from Chelsea’s “Gordon Ramsay Restaurant” revealed even more about what it’s like working with the famous chef. Of course, people asked if Ramsay was really that big of an asshole in real life, and if he’d ever done anything to piss off Ramsay in the kitchen.
Like the rest of the chorus, the chef responded with:
“To be honest [Ramsay] is a really nice guy if you do your work properly and show respect. I think it is impossible to not do something that pisses him off. I once made sauce too thick while he was at the restaurant. I have never heard the end of it. ”
Ramsay is either the food world’s greatest puppet master, or he really is the kind of guy you can knock a few brews back with. Granted, he might harshly critique the beer, but he’ll still probably chug them with you.
This is the same guy who once yelled at a chef on Hell's Kitchen, “Oh, f*ck off you, you fat useless sack of f*cking yankee-danky-doodle shite. F*ck off will you please, yeah?”
It’s like we’ve been duped for over a decade.
That same guy who insults everyone on "Hell's Kitchen," like Stone Cold Steve Austin in his prime, is actually viewed like a saint who cooked the Last Supper, and it is almost impossible to find anyone who has a bad word to say about him.
Even with all these wonderful Ramsay tales, I reserve the right to question any man who disrespects a Girl Scout cookie, as he did while on Jimmy Kimmel Live, but I guess the man can do a lot worse.
The jig is over, though. I'm no longer buying that phony bad-boy act and the rest of the world is going to see right through it, as well.
Of course, next time you see Gordon on TV, he’ll likely be cursing up a storm in his British accent and mortified by the inept cooks around him, but don’t forget, he’s also the same man who stayed 30 minutes after a meaningless Vegas cooking demo, signing autographs for every single person in the room and posing for hundreds of pictures, when he really didn’t have to. Those are the rare signs of a man who can walk through Hell's Kitchen and knock on Heaven's door at the same damn time.