These days, celebrity chefs are a dime a dozen. You can find quite a number of them cooking on local news broadcasts, or even on The Food Network and other channels like that the world over. Each of them bring a level of professional experience that they accumulated cooking in restaurants all over the planet, and unfortunately some of them don’t have much experience at all but were rather in the right place at the right time. But that cannot be said of Gordon Ramsay, as the man has a bounty of experience, both as a chef and restaurateur.
These days, he enjoys being the star of many TV shows and being the owner of many restaurants around the world that serve all his dishes that have become quite popular. Known for his temper, his shows alone have garnered him quite the fortune. But his wealth doesn’t come only from the TV success he’s had, as his restaurants are respected and have won some of the most prestigious prizes in the industry.
Many people know the face, the mighty roar and even some of his most famous dishes, but not many people know everything about this man and his successful restaurants. You wouldn’t believe how many he’s owned, or even how he goes about operating such a vast dynasty … or even, how it all began. Read about his failures, his successes and the rise of the world’s most popular chef.
25 HE FAILED A LOT
What makes a master, a master? Trying time and time again to get it right. Working, day and night, to make your technique the best in the world. To do that, it takes drive and determination. These are definitely traits which this man exudes every day in his life and when it comes to his culinary career, he applied those traits tenfold.
So as he worked his way up the line in many kitchens, he failed, and failed and learned from every mistake.
That was why, when he opened Aubergine, his very first time as a chef/owner, he garnered himself two Michelin stars. Pretty impressive indeed and we'll say that was a mighty head start.
24 STAFF WALKOUT
The problems with his first experience as an owner would come from his partners, when difficult working conditions and decisions on their part would start to affect his working environment.
After their decision to fire one of his proteges, Ramsay organized a complete staff walkout, then opted out of his partnership at Aubergine.
This decision showed quite a few things about his personality: 1) He will not take well to horrible working conditions and bad decisions, and 2) He is capable of influencing and leading others.
These are still qualities he stresses for his staff at his many locations.
23 22 OF HIS LOCATIONS HAVE CLOSED OVER THE YEARS
Yes, so many of his restaurants have closed down over the years, but this isn't because of bad service, or bad food quality. Au contraire! The reason for this turnaround in his empire was always out of improving the quality of his restaurants and moving from one opportunity to a better one.
His current locations are some of the best in the world, and they got that way because he and his team are constantly weighing out their options in order to put their best forward and allow the old and or restaurants that weren't capitalizing to be allowed to remain in the past.
22 NEGATIVE REVIEWS
So are there the naysayers? Yes. At the end of the day, there always are. When you've reached the success that this man has, the naysayers seem to come out of the woodwork. But such naysayers can't always be trusted, as such negative statements might be coming from some sour and jealous people.
It doesn't make sense that a man, whose restaurants are favorably reviewed by 82% of the dining public to suddenly receive a horrible review.
In fact the percentage is so low that it adds up to only 1% of people who rate his food as "poor."
The math doesn't add up, really. Maybe he fired that one percent at some point over the years, who knows?
21 PRE-PREPARED FOOD?!
Unfortunately, there have been rumors at a few of his locations concerning pre-prepared food, but again, these statements may have been made by the enemies and detractors that have piled up over the years. He seems to be quite opposed to the idea of such pre-prepared items, and he seems to believe fresh is better.
Over the years the integrity of his food and his dedication to it has not only grown but become quite apparent. At the end of the day, he's a world class chef and statements such as this accusation are probably blatant lies.
At the end of the day, the food and the experience speak for themselves and numbers like 82% cannot be wrong.
20 AFFORDABLE FOOD
Now we're sure that you'd expect Ramsay's price list to be quite high when dining at any one of his establishments. After all, he is the biggest star the industry has seen since Wolfgang Puck. But you'd be pleasantly surprised to hear that his prices are downright affordable.
In actual fact, the prices for his food are not only affordable, but at times, rather cheap.
Some examples include: At Gordon Ramsay Burger in Las Vegas, his Blue Burger is listed at 14$, his Chanterelle Burger is listed at 15$ and his Hell's Kitchen Burger is listed at 13$. Not bad at all.
19 THE TRUTH ABOUT HELL'S KITCHEN
Hell's Kitchen is definitely one of Ramsay's most popular shows. The show first premiered in the UK to rave reviews and great success. The 2nd edition of the show, filmed for North American audiences, is now in its 18th season.
Viewers love to watch the action unfold on screen, and both in the dormitories and in the sacred kitchen, where, if the chefs try anything sneaky, Ramsay is there to put an end to any and all shenanigans.
But the rumors about the show are indeed pretty numerous.
Like any reality based show, rumors of scripting run rampant in many online forums, as well as the possibility of producers placing false chefs within the cast to make the show that much more interesting.
Regardless, it's pretty good TV isn't it?
18 HIS 1ST SOLO LOCATION
Fed up with having partners and having to fight every time a decision had to be made, Ramsay's dream to own his own restaurant without anybody else came to fruition in 1998 with the opening of the aptly named, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay.
The experience he'd accumulated won him yet another Michelin star, and he became the first ever Scottish-born chef to ever win that many Michelin stars.
That success would then open doors in the British television scene that would soon make him an international star, the likes of which the world had never seen. This also led to his impressive North American television success.
17 A MASSIVE DYNASTY
The question that's probably racking most of your collective brains is: With all that work and output, how much is the dude worth? TV appearances, restaurants, and holdings the man must be up to his ears in equity, right? (Is anyone else picturing Scrooge McDuck jumping into his vault of gold coins doing the backstroke?)
Well, if you thought he was "up there" you wouldn't have been wrong.
The man is up to an estimated 175 million dollar net worth and to give you all an idea, that's more than what some rock stars are worth!
16 AUBERGINE - HIS FIRST RESTAURANT
In his late teens, Ramsay played soccer and then also at the professional collegiate level. Unfortunately, this career option was taken away from him at 19 when he injured his knee. With his dreams of playing professional soccer over, he then turned his attention to yet another passion of his, the kitchen.
He studied at North Oxfordshire Technical College. His actual certification is in Hotel management and not the culinary arts. But regardless, his first job was as a Commis de Cuisine at Wroxton House Hotel and he worked his way up the culinary ladder rather impressively, paying his many dues at many other locations.
It would be in 1993 that he would own a significant part of his very first restaurant, Aubergine.
15 45 ESTABLISHMENTS TO HIS NAME
There are indeed many professional chefs that take that courageous leap from just being a chef to actually owning one, or many establishments. Perhaps it is the dream of many chefs to one day work only for themselves.
The problem is a lot of chefs can't handle the temperaments of many of the grizzly owners in the business, so they wish to branch out on their own.
So was the case for this gentleman, as it didn't take him long to move from chef to restaurateur. The move took courage, but he did it. In his long and illustrious career as a restaurateur, he has owned and operated a whopping amount of eateries all around the world, 45 restaurants to be exact!
14 He may be british, but he has a passion for french food
French cuisine was the second branch that Ramsay studied in his culinary education. He was tired of the same old British food and he wanted to take his cooking in a totally different direction. And what better way to go than the classic and rustic dishes of the French culinary masters. So it wasn't any wonder that he'd subsequently open many French restaurants over his culinary career and to great success.
Travelers can taste his French dishes at Gordon Ramsay au Trianon in Versailles, France, as well as at Le Pressoir D'argent in Bordeaux, France, and others.
13 FAVORABLE REVIEWS
So does this mammoth of the culinary world get the favorable reviews one would think he would get? Of course. Ramsay wouldn't have achieved the successes he has without the world reacting favorably to his efforts.
Word of mouth is still quite a popular way of getting to know whether a service is at its best, or its worst.
As for Ramsay's world-wide kitchens, he gets an amazing 4.5 out of 5 average, a whopping 82% stating that his food is excellent and another 12% say it's very good.
12 RAMSAY'S ROTISSERIE IN MONTREAL, QUEBEC
For years, Laurier Rotisserie in Montreal, Quebec served the dining public and received raving reviews. In fact, it was an institution. In Montreal, Quebec, Rotisserie chicken is one of the most sought after dining experiences in the city and a close second to their famed "Poutine" dish, a dish of fried potato, topped with cheese curds and gravy.
When Ramsay heard that Laurier Rotisserie was closing its doors, he bought up the restaurant in quick succession, stating that it would have been a travesty for such an important and historic location to close its doors.
He named the restaurant Ramsay Rotisserie, but the location closed its doors in less than a year, the Montreal public disliked the fact that the restaurant was no longer run by the old owners.
11 ITALIAN LOCATIONS
When talking about world-wide restaurant locations, how can we ignore the food of Italy? That would be a travesty in and of itself. The cuisine of the country has definitely won over the world and for years, travelers have been traveling to the peninsula in search of exquisite pasta dishes made from scratch and succulent pizza. Let's not forget the famed dishes like Veal Picatta, Veal Parmesan and the tantamount cheeses and fine wines.
Ramsay studied the cuisine early in his career and it was always a dream for him to return and own his very own place one day.
Travelers can sample his wonderful Italian dishes at Gordon Ramsay at Castel Monastero and Gordon Ramsey at Fortevillage.
10 Other European restaurants closed
And for you hungry travelers, he did have quite a few other locations strewn across Europe that you could have stopped at during your travels, but despite favorable reviews, those other European locations have closed over the last few years.
But should your travels take you to Europe, you are bound to find a Gordon Ramsay restaurant in France, Italy and of course London, which houses most of his European locations, so whatever your travel plans, try to hit London if you want to sample his incredibly succulent dishes.
9 THE 1ST MEETING OF THE TITANS
In the culinary industry, there are only a few names that stand out among people in the business and outside that are recognizable as authorities in the world of fine cuisine and no other two names are and were bigger than Gordon Ramsey and Anthony Bourdain.
Bourdain who enjoyed a long career as a New York Chef, TV personality and author of books both fictitious and non, sadly passed away this summer, leaving the world distraught and saddened by his passing.
Years ago, before he would find the success that No Reservations would bring him, he worked for the Food Network on a short-lived TV program and on one occasion visited Ramsay in London to sample his succulent menu.
The event would mark the first time the giants were seen on screen at the same time, but it wouldn't be the last.
8 ELSEWHERE IN THE WORLD
Breaking into the domain of world cuisine isn't easy, but finally, after many years of trying to locate the perfect spots, Ramsay would bring his knowledge of international cuisine to other spots around the globe and this decision would prove to be rather fruitful.
Yes, some of his world-wide locations would close over the years, but some (outside of Europe) are still in fact open and operating quite nicely.
Should you want to visit his Bread Street Kitchen in Singapore or China, or one of his Maze locations situated in Doha, Qatar, they are still open and doing extremely well.
7 A MULTICULTURAL MENU
Having been a student of British, Italian and French cuisine, he brings all of those techniques to the table at many of his locations. But his food doesn't only have a European flair.
He is responsible for designing many colorful and international dishes which he offers at many of his locations and this is definitely a fresh offering that has erupted onto the scene over the last few decades or so.
These days, diners are more reluctant to choose a restaurant that serves only one type of cuisine, as foodies all over the world have gotten quite adventurous when it comes to the food they eat on a night out.
6 A PLEASANT DINING EXPERIENCE DESPITE SOME EXPLOSIVE BEHAVIOR
If he happens to be at one of his many locations when you are there for an exquisite meal, you may hear a mighty roar coming from the kitchen every now and again as you bite into your Beef Wellington, but fear not, his roar is mightier than his own bite, as he just wants to give you, the diner, the best service and product imaginable.
This man has high standards and he expects all that work for him to see things the same way, and at the end of the day that's a great thing and you can safely trust his food at any one of his restaurants.
5 HIS MANY TRAVELS HAVE MADE HIS INTERNATIONAL CUISINE AUTHENTIC
But apart from his love of food, within this iconic chef is a voracious appetite for travel. He's been around the world and many times over. He has visited some of the most obscure places and yes, even some of the most exotic spots on the planet.
This has garnered him the possibility to sample some of the world's most delicious food made by the most experienced chefs.
He has tasted and tried to make all he has sampled and the end result is the multi-cultural menus he offers at his restaurants. In fact, chefs the world over are encouraged to travel when they've got time off, so that they can learn such dishes from the masters themselves.
4 HIS TRUSTED BRIGADE
If you happen to pass Chef Ramsay's inspection and tutelage unscathed and with flying colors, you will have no greater person on your side, protecting your back. He is a believer of the old standards of the brigade as established by the master of the system, Escoffier himself, and Ramsay has applied these principles time and time again.
The young chefs that he has taken the time to train are some of the most important people in his life, as he must trust the fate of his restaurants to them when he is not present and for him, that is no laughing matter.
The chefs that go through his training regimen and survive enjoy great careers.
If Ramsay isn't cooking your meal when you happen to visit one of his many places, don't worry, as the meal was prepared to his standards, and you can trust us on that one.
3 HIS MANY TV APPEARANCES: A REASON TO DINE AT HIS RESTAURANTS
Alas, we can't simply call this man a Chef anymore. We can't even just call him an Entrepreneur anymore, as his many TV appearances have definitely made him a Star. He reached celebrity status a long time ago and the paparazzi definitely don't leave him alone when he goes for a bike ride or a night out with the family.
He has been on more morning and late night talk shows than any Celebrity Chef ever has and also has the most programs running on TV.
If it isn't Hell's Kitchen, Master Chef, The F Word, Hotel Hell or Kitchen Nightmares, then it's one of his cooking shows online like Master Class and others. Who knows what other great programs we can expect from this man?
2 MAZE: HIS BIGGEST SUCCESS OR, HIS GREATEST FAILURE?
One of the reasons why Gordon Ramsay left his first ever partnership at Aubergine was because his partners wanted to turn the restaurant into a chain. At the time, Ramsay felt that the expansion would cause the restaurant and his food to lose its authenticity and its integrity, thus causing him to leave. There were a few other reasons, as we mentioned earlier in this article, but this was definitely a big one.
But all these years later, his own restaurant, Maze, currently has many locations all over the world. Maybe he changed his mind, but the locations are all doing quite well. It would be interesting to get his viewpoint on the whole thing, but overall, we'd have to say that the move paid off.
1 HELL'S KITCHEN: HUGE TOURIST ATTRACTION
And Hell's Kitchen isn't only a successful restaurant. Many people from all over the world flock to the set in hopes of getting a glimpse of Ramsey or the cast of contestants. Dining at Hell's Kitchen has definitely become a huge attraction that borders on attending a WWE Wrestling event (depending in what mood he's in and of course how talented that season's contestants are).
Regardless, being able to attend Hell's Kitchen and actually getting served a dish prepared by Ramsay and his chefs is definitely an amazing experience worth the money. Only sometimes, you may not get what you've ordered, as he has a tendency to "SHUT IT DOWN" early if his contestants have disappointed them, but hey, fingers crossed.
Sources: tripadviser.com ; Wikipedia.org ; eater.com