Chicago, IL

"Go-Go" Gordan!

Sherry McGuinn

Why my husband and I are hooked on Chef Gordan Ramsay

Acclaimed British Chef Gordan Ramsay. literally bounces on his toes as he shows a beleaguered restaurant owner how he has transformed his formerly dingy dining room.

A walking paradox, Ramsay is by turns, tough and empathetic, foul-mouthed and genteel, insulting and supportive.

One thing that never wavers: He is hot AF.

With the face of a Toby Mug and a strong, yet lanky body, it’s evident that the Michelin-Star-winning chef, takes very good care of himself. He has to. Ramsay owns thirty-five restaurants, with fifteen in London, alone!

He also has five kids and an equally-hot wife. This is one busy guy.

One-hundred-percent “self-made,” Ramsay had a hardscrabble upbringing. Born in Glasgow, Scotland, the 53-year-old chef was raised in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England by a father who was “drunk and abusive” and a mother who was also the frequent recipient of that abuse.

Ramsay was a promising soccer player and that was his first love. However, an injury put an end to that dream but didn’t slow him down. Not by a longshot. He went back to college and completed a course in hotel management. It was there that he developed a love for all things culinary.

You can find out the rest for yourself: How Ramsay started as a dishwasher and, through hard work and a level of dedication that would knock the stuffing out of most of us, worked his way up the ladder to become one of the most famous chefs in the world. And, with good reason. He deserves every accolade.

But…it is his ebullient and almost addictive personality that draws you in. Trust me. If even my husband loves this dude, he’s the real deal.

As if owning and manning thirty-five restaurants wasn’t enough, is also the author of several books, a food critic, and a TV personality.

Over the last several months, my husband and I have been binge-watching Ramsay’s TV shows, “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Hotel Hell,” “Restaurant Nightmares,” and “24 Hours to Hell and Back.”

To say these are a freakin’ hoot doesn’t cover it. Ramsay is a star. The camera absolutely loves him as he crackles with energy. Bouncing, gesturing — you have to watch the guy to get what I’m saying. He literally leaves the viewer breathless.

One of the best of Ramsay’s TV shows is “Restaurant Nightmares,” where he visits failing restaurants in an effort to turn them around. He has no problem berating neglectful owners, especially those who are so heedless and inattentive that they have rotting food stowed next to the fresher items.

“You’re going to fucking kill someone!” shouts Ramsay.

“Hell’s Kitchen,” is another great option if you’re seeking laughs, and who isn’t these days? It’s a reality competition where Ramsay pits two teams of chefs against one another. Episode-by-episode, he whistles down the aspiring contestants until he has a “winner.” The prize? A job as executive chef in one of his restaurants and a yearly salary of $250,000. Not too shabby.

Watching Ramsay tear the ass out of nearly every one of these chefs is a delight! That may sound odd, but I’m a little odd! No, guys, really. this is topnotch escapist entertainment.

What really gets me, and I have an expertly-honed bullshit detector, is Ramsay’s inherent decency. His empathy is genuine when restaurant owners break down in tears because they’re about to lose their homes. When they want to hug him, he hugs back. Hard. And when they’re happy, he’s happy.

And, of course, he’s a world-class chef. How does he do it all? And seemingly, enjoy it all?

As someone who’s struggling to get her butt out of bed in the morning these days, to me, Gordan is an inspiration. All I can say is if you haven’t given him a look, now is the perfect time to do so. He’ll lift you up. He’ll make you laugh. He might even piss you off. And, his energy is contagious. Something I can definitely use.

I’d like to leave you with some of Ramsay’s more memorable remarks on “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Kitchen Nightmares.”

1. “My gran could do better! And she’s dead!”

2. “For what we are about to eat, may the Lord make us truly not vomit.”

3. “You’re getting your knickers in a twist! Calm down!”

4. “This lamb is so undercooked, it’s following Mary to school!”

5. “This pizza is so disgusting, if you take it to Italy you’ll get arrested.”

6. “There’s enough garlic in here to kill every vampire in Europe.”

7. “This is a really tough decision…’cause you’re both crap.”

8. After trying Hawaiian pizza: “This isn’t a pizza, this is a mistake. This is an Italian tragedy.”

9. “Why did the chicken cross the road? Because you didn’t f — ing cook it!”

10. “You put so much ginger in this, it’s a Weasley.”

11. After a diner asked for more pumpkin in his pumpkin risotto: Right, I’ll get you more pumpkin; I’ll ram it right up your fuckin’ arse. Would you like it whole or diced?

12. Whenever he deals with someone he thinks is an ass. You fucking donkey!

A colorful character, indeed. Get a taste of Chef Gordan Ramsay. Once you do, I promise, it will be hard to stop.

© Sherry McGuinn, 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Sherry McGuinn is a slightly-twisted, longtime Chicago-area writer and award-winning screenwriter. Her work has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, and numerous other publications. Sherry’s manager is currently pitching her newest screenplay, a drama with dark, comedic overtones and inspired by a true story.

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