Gordon James Ramsay, OBE (born 8 November 1966 in Johnstone, Scotland) is a British multiple Michelin star awarded chef, television personality and restaurateur known for his ferocious temperament, rude vocabulary, and no-nonsense attitude.
Born in Scotland, Ramsay originally dreamed of becoming a football player for his childhood team Rangers, but a leg injury left him with crushed hopes and the inability to sit cross-legged. Instead, he began a career in the culinary arts and landed a chef's job in the famous Harvey's Restaurant in London, where the tough training regime and unreasonably high standards set by head chef Marco Pierre White fostered Ramsay's constant swearing and temperamental condescending attitude. However, from several accounts, he's a much nicer person on British TV, on MasterChef (especially the Junior version of MasterChef), and in interviews.
He first came to the notice of television audiences with 1998's Ramsay's Boiling Point, which documented the opening and first few months operation of his first restaurant in Chelsea. Until that point chefs on British TV had generally tended to fall into one of three molds: cultured and upper-class British, sophisticated European (usually Italian or French), or perpetually cheerful and upbeat. While Ramsay wasn't the first example of a bad-tempered, foul-mouthed TV chef, he was definitely the first one to achieve major fame.
Surprisingly, Ramsay himself has said in multiple interviews that he's not as talented a chef as people perceive him to be, and that his real strength isn't his cooking skills (which are undoubtedly formidable), but rather his managerial skills. He says that his ability to run a successful business is the true secret to his success.
He has starred in main roles in successful television shows The F Word, Ramsay's Best Restaurant, and both British and American versions of Kitchen Nightmares, Hell's Kitchen, MasterChef, Hotel Hell, and 24 Hours to Hell and Back.
THESE TROPES ARE RAAAAAAWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!:
- The Ace:
- Occasionally on Hell's Kitchen, he will kick out both teams and complete the service with his sous-chefs alongside, successfully doing the work of two full brigades by themselves.
- He once participated in a Mystery Box challenge on MasterChef and spent half the time talking to his co-hosts, observing the contestants, and kicking back with a mug of tea before whipping up a restaurant-class dish without breaking a sweat.
- In a later season he did so yet again and filleted a salmon like it was nothing. It took the contestants a moment to realize that he was already done.
- To put an example of just how formidable he is, he once went head-to-head against the current salmon cutting Guinness world record holder. He lost by only one piece and a handful of seconds.
- Then he went up against filleting legend Jenna Rabich in a fish fillet competition and successfully managed to beat her world record.
- This even extends beyond cooking. He's in great physical fitness, able to keep up with Royal Marines on an endurance course and even finish it before some of the other soldiers, despite being twice their age.
- One episode of Kitchen Nightmares (UK) had him running a whole restaurant, by himself, with no other cooks, servers or waiters and pulling in more money for the afternoon than the owner did for weeks in an effort to show her why the restaurant needed to be open for the afternoon. He admitted later on that it was one of the hardest things he has ever done.
- Adam Westing:
- He starred in an AT&T commercial where he gets exactly what he wants... and doesn't know what to do.Ramsay: I'm not too sure what to do with my arms right now, because this is where I usually start throwing things.
- He challenged the Muppets' Swedish Chef to a cook-off... and lost.
- There's more. Collection 1 Collection 2
- A regular occurrence on his Twitter account is fans sending him pictures of dishes they've made or encountered, so he can insult them creatively.
- Now he also reacts to amateur cooks showing their recipes on TikTok.
- He starred in a comedy skit from the The Late Late Show titled Hell's Cafeteria, an Affectionate Parody of Hell's Kitchen in which he reprised his role as a Drill Sergeant Nasty Angry Chef, with James Corden and Julie Chen as the cooks.
- He starred in an AT&T commercial where he gets exactly what he wants... and doesn't know what to do.
- Almighty Janitor: He's very aware of this trope. Notice when arriving at a restaurant and speaking to the owners and/or general managers to get an idea of what the problems are, once he's seated and looking at the menu he'll almost always ask the wait staff to tell him what's really wrong with the place. They're usually right.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: In the kitchen, he is one of the most brutal taskmasters around. Outside of it, he is a big goof who loves nothing more than to hug and kiss his children as they try to squirm away.
- Case in point, take his interactions with his youngest daughter Tilly (short for Matilda) in the fifth episode of MasterChef Junior's third season. In response to Tilly pronouncing basil the American way (bay-sil as opposed to the British baa-sil), he tries to set up a date between her and Andrew.
- In another incident involving Tilly, he and Tilly went head to head against James Corden on The Late Late Show in a competition to see who could make the better Full English Breakfast. Ramsay's competitiveness got the better of him, causing him to fill the studio with smoke while trying to make extra crispy bacon which immediately led to a small grease fire. Tilly found herself mortified.
- There's even a reel of his embarrassing dad moments.
- Badass Baritone: Gordon has been shown to have a deep voice, especially when he's angry.
- Berserk Button:
- Bad cooking, of course, and poor hygiene, especially if it involves ingredients that can cause illness or death if handled improperly. He knows that a clean kitchen is a healthy kitchen and that appearances are important too. Having a messy kitchen, looking messy/disheveled or working messily generally will cause him to come down hard on someone.
- He detests dishonesty from chefs because they're misrepresenting a product customers are paying good money for. He is actually quite willing to forgive a chef's mistakes, if they are honestly admitted.
- Being served food that was frozen, especially if the owner had previously said it was fresh. See above about dishonesty.
- He also hates when chefs don't work together since they all have to put their orders up at the same time and will often yell "WORK TOGETHER!" at them.
- Gordon is emphatically not a fan of someone throwing his help back in his face. He can deal with, and even empathize with, frustration and annoyance from restaurant staff, but tell him that he's at fault for the restaurant's problems or insult him for trying to help, and he will go ballistic.Owner: You're being a fucking asshole. It wasn't like this, I don't run a kitchen like this.
Gordon: Hold on a minute! You're calling me a fucking asshole?!
Owner: I am.
Gordon: [flummoxed] You stuck up, precious little bitch! Let me tell you something!
- For the love of God, don't throw insults back at him either, as seen perfectly on Hell's Kitchen.Gordon: Your special has now become not very special thanks to dickface [Giovanni] there. Hurry up, Giovanni!
Giovanni: Yeah, but I'm not "dickface", chef!
[team has a Mass "Oh, Crap!" moment]
Gordon: [walking towards Giovanni] Yes, say that again?
Giovanni: I said "I'm not 'dickface', chef".
Gordon: Yeah, you're pissed, are you? Not as pissed—
[Giovanni tries to speak up]
Gordon: Look at me, look at me IN THE EYES! NOT AS PISSED AS I AM!! YOU FUCKING ARE! DONKEY!
Gordon: Because right now, I don't give a fuck! Dickface!
- Mistreatment of the staff. Gordon especially gets offended if the waiters are robbed of their tips, don't get paid or get insulted by mean bosses. He also makes sure not to cause genuine emotional damage or overstress the chefs under his wing.
- In the aftermath of a chef collapsing in the kitchen while talking to Gordon, the manager tried to blame Gordon instead by saying his mere presence stressed him out, not the menu. Gordon did not take this lightly, as he calmly and verbally tore into him for accusing him of such a thing.
- In Amy's Baking Company, he's unusually calm when confronting Amy and Samy about their stealing tips from waitstaff. Part of this may be Gordon realizing he's dealing with severely unstable people but he also seems too stunned to even be angry. He's also visibly affronted when Amy fires and verbally abuses Katy, a young server, for simply asking a question.
- Any insults to his mother, or mothers in general. One Master Chef contestant implied that the judges that day, who happened to be his, Joe's and Graham's mothers, had bad tastes and chose the poorer dish. Gordon flew into a rage and possibly rescinded the one person normally saved from the Pressure Test.
- Badmouthing his front-of-house manager, Jean-Baptiste. Jean-Baptiste is an Old Retainer who has been with Gordon for decades, and whose judgement Gordon trusts implicitly. Badmouthing him... bad idea.
- Also, people who say they went into the restaurant business as a hobby. Gordon knows full well running a restaurant is not a hobby. Either you're passionate and dedicated and 100% devoted to it, or you've got no business being there.
- Another one, mainly in Kitchen Nightmares is accusing him of planting anything incriminating against the restaurant in order to get better ratings. It's happened at least a few times, and each time, he was so outraged that they would even think of accusing him of it that he damn near walked out on the spot.
- He seems to have a problem when chefs, especially the ones in charge, can't even make simple items such as meatballs.
- Beware the Nice Ones: He's normally friendly and polite (albeit with a salty mouth) and will give friendly reminders when mistakes first start appearing. When he hits his limit, however, that's when the yelling, swearing, and throwing of kitchen implements starts.
- Brutal Honesty: Most of what he says when it comes to food is this; Gordon doesn't mince words at all when it comes to what needs to be said.
- "Absolutely delicious!"
- "What a shame..."
- Related to the above, "Wow..." when he discovers just how far-reaching the damage of a situation is.
- "YOU DONKEY!"
- "I'M SHUTTING IT DOWN!"
- "EIGHTY-SIX IT!"
- "IT'S FUCKING RAW!"
- "THIS COULD KILL SOMEONE!" typically follows on from this.
- "I HAVE EATEN HERE!"
- "IT'S STONE FUCKING COLD!"
- "THESE SCALLOPS ARE RUBBER!"
- "Oh, fuck me..."
- "COME HERE, YOU!"/"ALL OF YOU, COME HERE!!"
- "Just touch that!"/"Just taste that!"
- "STOP SENDING ME SHIT!"
- "GET OUT!"/"YOU, YOU, YOU, YOU AND YOU! GET OUT!"
- "Give me your jacket."
- "Do me a favor... fuck off out of my kitchen!"
- "I'm not here to blow smoke up your arse."
- Some variant of "It's fucking delicious". In one case his host was actually anticipating it, saying nothing else could make her happier than to hear someone say that while eating.
- "It's the Rolls-Royce of ___", when describing a valuable cut of meat, like filet mignon or saddle of lamb.
- "Have you given up?" (Or alternatively, "Are you done?")
- "Gentlemen/ladies, you're in for a miserable day." (to a Hell's Kitchen team that loses a challenge)
- "MOVE YOUR ASS!"
- Character Tic: When speaking on camera, he tends to keep his hands clasped together right under his chin and will chop the air with his right hand if he wants to emphasize a point. If he's not doing that, he either has his arms firmly crossed across his chest or planted on his hips.
- Chef of Iron: Has a black-belt in karate.
- Cluster F-Bomb:
- In the kitchen when things are going really horribly. He peppers his casual speech with plenty of curses as well, only watching his language if children or his mother are within earshot.
- Half of the pun of "The F Word" is based on the fact that F Bombs are basically a catchphrase for him. He frequently clarifies that the "F" stands for Food, despite frequently engaging in tongue-in-cheek nods about why the name was really chosen.
- Consummate Professional: One of his biggest berserk buttons is seeing someone doing something unprofessionally. This is justified in most cases; one piece of raw meat or contaminated food can cause a serious illness or death and there are no do-overs. God help you if he finds rotten or expired foodstuffs anywhere on your property.
- Cruel to Be Kind: He knows from experience that the culinary industry is cutthroat and quickly takes a toll and so he will try and force out those he thinks aren't capable of handling the pressure out of a sincere belief that it's the best thing to do.
- Cultured Badass: Anyone who knows the name of Gordon Ramsay usually knows of him as being a Supreme Chef, able to identify where certain types of seafood come from or what food-flavors work best together, not to mention him naturally being highly knowledgeable in various cuisines from around the globe thanks to being widely-traveled and having studied under several top chefs. What many people may not know is that this same man is a black-belt in karate and is also a boxing enthusiast, as outlined in this interview. In other words, any arrogant idiot who thinks they can intimidate him had better hope he never actually gets physical with them.
- Dark and Troubled Past: His life growing up was legitimately terrible. His father was a violent, abusive drunk who couldn't hold down a job for very long at all and who beat his wife and children. The family was forced to move frequently, either being evicted, or avoid creditors or the police and eventually his father abandoned them and started a new life and family. This is why he is so very attached to his own mother who had to raise him by herself. Additionally, his brother was a heroin addict as an adult and has betrayed his and his mother's trust many times.
- Deadpan Snarker: He has a sharp wit and doesn't hesitate to use it. He revealed in a Reddit AMA that he comes up with his snarky comments as he says them and some of them surprise even him after he says it.
- Disappeared Dad: His father had pretensions of being a country music star and was often away from home for long periods without explanation, leaving his mother to care for the children and earn the wages. Gordon revealed in his autobiography Humble Pie that his father eventually abandoned them altogether and started a new life and family under a new name.
- Dope Slap: He's fond of giving these to incompetent chefs.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: His public persona is an unusual non-military version. However, Ramsay does run kitchens like barracks and train chefs like soldiers, in order to get the best out of them.
- Enraged by Idiocy: The trigger for many of his most famous lines is "chefs" who have no idea what they're doing.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Bad is a bit of a stretch, but Gordon's absolutely devoted to his mother. He constantly sings her praises and unceasingly talks about how she was able to feed their family with little money and says that her macaroni and cheese will always be his favorite dish. He'll watch his language when she's around and treats older women with extreme respect.
- Everyone Has Standards:
- The main drive behind his campaign against shark fin soup. He admits early on that he supports the use of meat if it tastes delicious, but he's very much against the idea of killing endangered animals for luxury meat when it doesn't even taste good. Not to mention he was quite upset and livid at the way sharks were only finned for their fins, and their still-alive-bodies without their fins are just tossed back into the sea.
- When he found out the absolute horrible conditions of some factory-farmed animals, he noted that he understood why people went Vegetarian, and considered it himself (note that prior to this, vegetarianism was a small berserk button for him) since no matter how good the meat tastes, there's no way to justify the horrible conditions the animals live through.
- He firmly believes that well-raised animals without stress give the best meat, which is why during every season of F Word he would rear animals for the final service. However this often goes a bit too far and he gets far more attached to the animals than he should have, and there would often be at least one incident (not always shown) where he tries to back out of the deal and keep the animals.
- Despite his infamy for brutal, yet constructive criticism, he makes sure that he doesn't over-stress the workers or cause any genuine emotional damage.
- On the Capri episode from Kitchen Nightmares US, he tones down his usual outbursts while becoming more comforting, supporting, and encouraging after his usual tough love approach left the twin owners self-loathing and in tears several times.
- Famously, when Amanda Barie was being visibly stressed from working on Hell's Kitchen, Gordon tried to be diplomatic by sternly talking to her and he didn't scream at her during the confrontation. When he called her out for making a scene, Amanda tried to slap him out of frustration before being consoled by the other chefs. As Gordon silently backs off after giving her another stern warning instead of screaming at the top of his lungs.
- When one chef, Brian Rutherford, on Hotel Hell refused to cook for Ramsey, the two spoke to each other civilly as Brian explained to a shocked Ramsey how he lost his passion due to his workload. During 5 minute conversation, the chef suddenly faints from stress and has to be taken to the hospital. After this, the manager, Eddie Kaen, failed spectacularly when he tried to deflect blame by saying it was Ramsey's fault he had a heart attack. Unsurprisingly, Ramsey shut him up with a stern warning before prioritizing the chef's health over the company's profit margin. For the rest of the episode, Brian and Gordon bond when the latter decides to help Brian reignite his passion for cooking.Manager: This put a lot of stress on all of us.
Gordon: What, me being here?
Manager: [with the biggest shit-eating grin] Yeah.
Gordon: Do not dare fucking go anywhere near that. I put him in that ambulance.
Manager: [timidly] Got it.
Gordon: Let me tell you something. 150 items on a fucking menu the size of a fucking shoebox could send that man to an early grave.
- When a chef on Hell's Kitchen named Robert asked him not to call him "Bobby" as it was the name used by his emotionally abusive father who often told him he was worthless, he immediately apologized and agreed, making a point of not using the nickname again.
- A Father to His Men: He has a spectacular temper and doesn't hesitate to rip someone a new one. At the same time, he doesn't do so without reason (and will profusely apologize if he's ever in the wrong) and he is also regarded as an excellent teacher and is extremely protective of those who work for him. It's telling that his restaurants have a high staff retention rate.
- Formerly Fat: Ramsay realized how horribly overweight and out of shape he was getting and got this under control to the point where he now runs marathons. He also believes fat people have no place in professional kitchens and any overweight contestant on Hell's Kitchen is guaranteed a harder time, verging on outright bullying.
- Friend to All Children:
- He's much more professional and in control of his temper on MasterChef Junior than the shows where he's critiquing adult professional cooks.
- On the first episode of 24 Hours to Hell and Back, he pulls the owner's 16-year-old daughter-waitress aside, tells her that she's been through enough, and that she doesn't need to take on any more pain, and sends her home.
- "Gender-Normative Parent" Plot: In one of his books, he admitted feeling a personal connection to Billy Elliot, because he lived a version of that plot himself. In Britain when he was growing up, 'cooking was for poofs', and his father even accused him of being gay.
- Good Is Not Soft: He generally wants to help bad hotels reach to the top and help revive dying restaurants, but that doesn't mean he's going to be nice and friendly about it when brutal honesty and calling people out will fix it more efficiently.
- Good Parents: As is evidenced elsewhere on this page, he's a doting and loving father who raises his kids well.
- Gosh Darn It to Heck!: Every once in a while he'll say "Flipping Heck" rather than "Fucking Hell".
- Guttural Growler: Whenever he gets angry, Gordon's voice turns into a growling intimidating voice especially when he's yelling.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: He gets annoyed by chefs who make rookie mistakes on dishes like risotto or spaghetti dishes and then when it gets worse, he gets really pissed and then it goes downhill from there.
- Happily Married: To Cayetana Elizabeth Hutcheson (a.k.a. Tana) since 1996, and they have five children as of April 2019. He is a believer in True Love and encourages several people on his shows to get married and start families, sincerely believing that everyone should have the sort of happiness he gets from his own wife and kids.
- Heroic BSoD: There are times when he finds chefs/kitchens to be so incomprehensibly incompetent that he goes even beyond Tranquil Fury (see below) and can only stare with a blank look on his face. This is often seen in Hell's Kitchen, such as in the first season of the British series when he collapsed into a ball with a Thousand-Yard Stare on his face, horrified at the realization that he'd staked his entire professional reputation on trying to turn a bunch of flighty British celebrities into a working kitchen brigade.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Slightly lampshaded with James May's appearance on The F Word. For starters, Ramsay tries to prove May's manliness against the other Top Gear hosts by having May consume several Foreign Queasine: Snake Whiskey from Laos, a cooked Bulls Penis, and finally, Hákarl (Shark Meat buried in Gravel for several months from Iceland) with some liquor. With the Hákarl, May manages to keep down the rotten meat, while Ramsay grabs a bucket to throw up. May's only response to this is: "You disappoint me, Ramsay". In the following cooking challenge, both make a Fish Pie. Ramsay spends the time berating May while May calmly cooks his pie with little flair. When the results of the taste test by a group of female diners comes back, Ramsay is at first shocked that the votes were 3-2 ("He got 2?") only for the server to declare James May as the winner.
- Humble Hero: The man has an enormous ego when he's in his element but he'll shut up and listen when learning something new and show enormous respect to his teachers.
- Also his tone will change drastically when dealing with chefs who had won a Michelin star, regardless of the state of their kitchen. Even when Ramsay has won several during his career note , he knows that getting even one is no small feat, and will never question said chef's cooking ability even when angry.
- Notice how he never ever invokes his own pedigree, even when dealing with chefs that could never be in the same league as him talking down to him and even when it would swiftly end the argument.
- The one rare exception was in an episode of 24 Hours to Hell and Back. While criticizing the food of a restaurant run by several spoiled daughters, one of them states that he doesn't have the palate to appreciate her cooking. For once, Gordon actually takes offense at the statement, given how he's trained as a cook for years and built up a sophisticated palate, while she briefly attended culinary school and had the restaurant more or less bought for her. In most cases, he can shrug off being told he doesn't "understand" the food or its appeal, but he'll be damned if he's being lectured for his palate by a restauranteur roughly thirty years his junior with pretty much none of his experience.
- A Berserk Button on Kitchen Nightmares is where Ramsay discovers a chef is preparing meals or food items in advance of service, freezing them, then defrosting and reheating them for service and passing them off as fresh. Ramsay took great and sarcastic delight in pulling people apart over the oxymoron of "freshly frozen", or "it was fresh when I froze it". But Ramsay himself was publicly embarrassed when it came out that a chain of restaurants he owns were supported by a central kitchen that prepared meals in advance, froze them, and supplied them to Ramsay's chain for re-heating and service; food that wasn't even cooked on the premises and, to add to the embarrassment, was made by a company called Gordon Ramsay Logistics.
- Also... given "Happily Married" (above), what are we to make of the (supported) claims by a lady called Sarah Symonds, who announced she had a long-standing affair with Ramsay that lasted between 2001 - 2008, a time when the Ramsays were just beginning their family?
- Hypocritical Heartwarming: No one is allowed to trash his equipment, break his crockery or kick his waste bins... except him. Likewise, he will not tolerate abusive customers barging into his kitchen, ignoring the Waiting staff. Only he is allowed to directly criticize his chefs' performance.
- Hypocritical Humor: Mentioned in an interview, where he admits to having told some of the contestants on MasterChef Junior to watch their language.Ramsay: ... And they're like, "Are you telling me to watch my language?!"
- I Got a Rock: Discussed in one Jimmy Kimmel skit where Gordon lists off the five worst Halloween treats.
- Smarties.note "The perfect combination of aspirin and tums."
- Circus Peanuts. "Do you know what circus peanuts are? Clown <bleep>!"
- Candy Corn. "It's not candy. It's not corn. It's earwax formed in the shape of a rotten tooth!"
- Apples. "Do I look like a <bleep> teacher, mate?"
- Pennies. "In 2016 you're still giving out <bleep> pennies?!"
- In Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted, one of the shellfish he caught in Norway actually was a rock!
- Inopportune Voice Cracking: When he's especially astounded by someone's sheer incompetence and stupidity, his voice is prone to cracking.Ramsay: [in response to seeing a bin full of wasted spaghetti] Look at this! Look! Look! Look! What the fuck is this?!
- Insufferable Genius:
- Played absolutely straight when he's in his element. The man has an enormous ego and doesn't care to hide it. In fact, he's so cocksure in his abilities that, on The F Word, he would throw a major tantrum whenever he lost a recipe challenge.
- Averted, however, whenever he's in a position where he can learn something new. For example, in an episode of The F Word where he's learning to make sushi, he's absolutely amazed by how fast and precise the Japanese chefs are while he very clearly struggles to make his own roll, and admits it.Ramsay: I'm feeling slightly nervous because I feel for the first time in my cooking career, after twenty-one years in the kitchen, I'm out of my depth.
- It's Pronounced "Tro-PAY": Ramsay's name is pronounced "rem-zee".
- Irony: British cuisine is popularly stereotyped as having no flavor at all, yet Gordon Ramsay is regarded as one of the most popular and skilled chefs in the world.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Gordon Ramsay is well known for his profanity, quick temper, ego, cut-throat honesty, and no-nonsense when it comes to his critiques. However, his critiques do have their merit — A chef and restaurant can face justified backlash for serving raw food, not cooking their meals properly, making said meals in an unsanitary environment, or having an unprofessional attitude.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
- Foul-mouthed and suffers no fools in his kitchen when they screw up, but watch any scene where he praises a cooking student or works with kids and it's clear he's a great big ol' softie underneath all the swearing. The Heart of Gold part shows mostly in both versions of Kitchen Nightmares where he helps fix the problems of the restaurant and in the US version will help everyone involved air out their problems and do his best to save the business, and when the business is in the wrong, he stands up for their abused staff.
- He also shows a lot of patience and restraint when it comes to chefs who are legitimately physically limited in their ability, such as Christine Hà, a blind contestant on MasterChef.
- On Hell's Kitchen, he continually addressed Robert Hesse as "Bobby", unaware that Robert associated the name with his abusive father and was becoming increasingly angry about it. When told about this, Ramsay (no stranger to bad fathers) was immediately apologetic and promised never to do it again.
- Large Ham: Especially when the Ham is RRRRRRRAAAAAAAAWWWWWWW!!!
- Martial Pacifist: He's infamous for his temper, colorful vocabulary and strict discipline in the kitchen but he's actually very nice in person, a good father to his children and will not harm anyone physically unless in self-defense. If anyone gets angry enough to attack him, keep in mind that he's in great physical condition, has a black-belt in martial arts and is also a boxing enthusiast. He's also got nerves of pure steel and will not be fazed by anyone, especially if they are ex-military.
- The Mean Brit: When he's in the kitchen, he is tough with his criticism and has little patience for mistakes after the first couple. Outside of the kitchen, he's brutally honest, but fair.
- Momma's Boy:
- Gordon loves his mother and never ever hides it and, despite his ridiculously refined palate, still thinks her macaroni and cheese is the best dish he's ever eaten; that's right, the finest dining in the world are nothing compared to what a beloved mother can cook at home. In fact, he does his best to make sure he reins in his language around her and when she appears in Season 3 of Hell's Kitchen, he outright tells Rock "Never swear in front of your mum."
- In an extremely funny example, Gordon's mother was the only person to make him curve his swearing. Ramsey has been told off too many times to count by viewers, other chefs, and even Ofcom for his swearing but couldn't care less (by his own admission). In 2017, it took one phone call from his mother for him to stop swearing on daytime tv, simply because he knew she was going to watch the program he was on and did not want to disappoint her.
- Mrs. Robinson: Mentions in an interview how when he was 19 he had an affair with his boss's much older wife. The only part of it he regrets is that it cost him his job there.
- Minored in Ass-Kicking: Gordon is one of the best chefs on the planet, and is also an accomplished Tae Kwon Do master.
- Mistakes Are Not the End of the World: This is a theme of many of his shows, particularly his renovation shows such as Kitchen Nightmares or Hotel Hell. Of course, since it's him, there's likely to be plenty of shouting and a fair of cursing. Still - 200,000 dollars (euros, pounds, quid, whatever) in debt, he wouldn't be trying if he thought that past mistakes were enough to make the situation beyond salvation. Even in the shows, mistakes are still likely to be made, and in a kitchen service, you have to push past them or that will be what sinks you.
- My Greatest Failure:
- While he usually only alludes to it rather than outright discussing it, the death of David Hector Dempsey, one of his most promising proteges, has weighed heavily on his conscience since Dempsey's drug addiction ultimately culminated in his death from an overdose in 2003. Since then, whenever Ramsay encounters a chef with a drink and/or drug problem he always makes sure they check into rehab, even if it means paying for it himself.
- Similarly, the failure of Amaryllis, the restaurant he opened in his native Glasgow. At first it got rave reviews and managed to earn two Michelin Stars, but then the menu got too complicated and the customer base drastically decreased to the point where it was only busy on weekends, forcing Ramsay to shutter it for good in 2004. And the head chef of that restaurant? None other than the aforementioned David Dempsey.
- Nerves of Steel: He has a black belt in karate, and it shows: When chefs or staff physically threaten him, he doesn't back down, even welcoming a fight while still giving massive rants about how much said chef is fucking up. He even, at one point, doesn't back down against a violently angry ex-Marine, even telling the man that he's not scared of him.
- Nice Guy: Whenever he's not running a kitchen, Gordon is very polite and affable, though he does lose his temper occasionally on Kitchen Nightmares US, he is there to help and seems to genuinely care about what's going on.
- Nice to the Waiter:
- In almost every Kitchen Nightmares episode. This makes sense given that the wait staff are usually the only sane people in the business, simply trying to earn a paycheck with little say in how their employers run the restaurant.
- Taken Up to Eleven in the Amy's Baking Company episode, where he was so disgusted at the owners taking their waiters' tips for themselves that he loudly announced to all of the patrons that their tips were being stolen, and gives one of the waitresses $20 with the explicit instruction that it's for her and only her.
- Not Distracted by the Sexy: He's Happily Married and devoted to his children. In Hotel Hell, one of the managers wore a top that gave a clear Cleavage Window, gave him some hints, and she repeatedly failed to understand when he told her he was married.
- Not So Above It All: In Kitchen Nightmares and Hotel Hell, there are scenes occasionally showing him wanting to do some odd things that the owners/staff tend to do. One particular instance is attempting to moonwalk the day after seeing Momma Cherri's chef do it, despite always telling the same chef to take things more seriously.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: On The F Word, he often goes to different restaurants undercover as a trainee, he notably went to one of his restaurants's 5th anniversary to deliberately screwed up service as a waiter to test his staff on their standards, as seen here.
- Odd Friendship: He's best friends with Michel Roux, Jr. who is even-tempered and perpetually affable in the kitchen in direct comparison to Ramsay's spectacular temper. They've been friends since they were both apprentices at Le Gavroche (part of the Roux empire and Michel's current restaurant).
- Oh, Crap!: There are times when he goes too far while showing off and immediately regrets it.
- On The F Word while demonstrating the flexibility of a fish knife, he pressed down too hard and caused the blade to snap, sending it flying toward the camera crew. Luckily no one got hurt and he had to buy a replacement for the cook the knife actually belonged to.
- On The Late Late Show, he suddenly decided to cook bacon directly on a hot plate, causing a small grease fire and filling the studio with smoke.
- Only Sane Man: You've got to feel real bad for him when he's in a kitchen with a team of amateurs who can't (or won't) work together to fry a single egg.
- OOC Is Serious Business:
- He has called it quits on a restaurant exactly once in the entire U.S. run of Kitchen Nightmares, at the infamous house of horrors known as Amy's Baking Company, where it became painfully clear that no amount of expert assistance under any circumstances would be able to save the owners from themselves.
- On a more general level, he reins in his temper and is unusually calm when he's dealing with severely dysfunctional or unstable people. During the first night of service on the Burger Kitchen episode, the entire family is screaming at each other as they fire their chef after the owners' son nearly comes to blows with the chef. Through it all, Gordon just urges everyone to stay on track and not get distracted.
- While Gordon's quick-temper and vicious honesty is the stuff of legend, that's him when he's genuinely trying to help without spoon-feeding people. As shown in Amy's Baking Company, the Keating Hotel from Hotel Hell, and by his interactions with other stressed out workers, he won't raise his voice if he's actually angry about the situation he's finds himself in.
- He has also completely changed his approach when is made clear the usual tough love tactic won't do. While there was plenty of screaming and insults on the Capri episode from Kitchen Nightmares US, he quickly changes to patiently comforting and encouraging the twin owners after figuring out their perceived laziness wasn't out of malice or cheapness, but rather deeply-rooted self-esteem issues and insecurities.
- Papa Wolf: Under normal circumstances, he's rather upset when any chef under his tutelage undercooks food. But if you were going to serve that undercooked food to Gordon's children, or to a pregnant woman, you will really regret it. He also is quite protective to the kids on Junior: One episode had a kid accidentally setting her pan on fire. When she hesitated on how to fix it, he immediately went into dad mode, put himself between the fire and her, and took care of it.
- Playing Against Type: The times he's appeared in kids cartoons tone down his usually behavior. This is prominent in Big Hero 6: The Series and Mickey and the Roadster Racers, where the characters he plays are usually just insensitive or pushy, but not mean. This is taken further on The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle, where he appears as himself, and is still toned down.
- Reasonable Authority Figure:
- Fierce temper and taskmaster attitude aside, Gordon is genuinely caring towards his subordinates, and is willing to forgive mistakes from people under his tutelage as long as they openly fess up to them.
- He often goes out of his way to reward people who've impressed him regardless of who they are. One inmate at a local prison managed to beat him in an onion chopping competition, and Gordon's response was to offer him a job on the spot. Gordon ended up following through and the inmate managed to rise through his restaurant. He also once met an orphan at a cookery school in Cambodia and was impressed enough by the boy's skill to make said orphan his Sous Chef during a cooking gig for the royal family.
- Self-Made Man: He worked his way up to the top and made many mistakes over his career and had a lot of difficulties, but he made himself the world famous chef he is today through years of hard work.
- Secret Test of Character: One of this methods to test restaurants is to send in secret diners; people he hires specifically to be the most obnoxious and rude patrons he could think of (within reason). Since they're there intentionally to provoke the staff in every way imaginable, very few people get out of one of these challenges without some kind of criticism from him (and those that manages to shock the secret diner legitimately are even worse). In other cases, these secret diners are sent in while Gordon is present so they can get a feel of how the restaurant handles treating other customers while a VIP is present.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot:
- Par for the course for a Mean Brit. If you know about British swears and customs, he's swearing even more than you think! He does tone it down around children, and on MasterChef Jr only slipped up one time when he had a bowl of whipped cream dumped on his head and quickly tried to cover himself by saying he meant "sugar."
- In 2009, someone counted 312 swear words in an hour and a half long tv special of Gordon's Great British Nightmare, with Gordon himself swearing 243 times.
- Sophisticated as Hell: He is famous for serving up some of the finest dishes ever seen in haute cuisine while cursing like a sailor. Aside from the swearing, he's shown a love of riding motorcycles, having ridden with Dee Snyder. He also tends to wear some really odd shirts at times, such as one with a skull in front of a moon.
- Sore Loser: He doesn't take it well if he loses a head-to-head challenge. On The F Word, he would berate his maître d' for giving him the bad news, criticize the judges for their bad judgement (in his view), and tell his challenger to "fuck off" out of his kitchen (although he'd say the same thing if the challenger lost).
- Stay in the Kitchen: The F Word used to have a feature where Gordon encourages women to get back in the kitchen so they can learn to cook quick and fresh meals rather than ordering take out or junk food. Because of the sexist overtones, the segment was retooled to cover different busy professions and featured both men and women.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Gordon's son, Jack, is practically his twin◊.
- Supreme Chef: Anytime he cooks for someone, the reaction is always positive with comments that the food's fantastic.
- Tantrum Throwing: He'll throw back unsatisfactory dishes back at chefs while chewing them out.
- Teach Him Anger: One of his methods for helping restaurants is to let them release their anger and grudges so that they can understand and heal from their problems. He also convinces them to use said anger to put their passion in to their food.
- Thousand-Yard Stare: There are times when he can only stare straight ahead in shock after being confronted by levels of incompetence that go beyond his ability to comprehend.
- Trademark Favorite Food:
- Gordon says his mum is the best cook in the world, and he absolutely loves her macaroni and cheese.
- In the MasterChef US Season 4, he mentions that the best dish he's had is hủ tiếu (also called kuy teav), a type of Vietnamese noodle soup.
- In Season 2 of the series, he is absolutely ecstatic when one of the contestants presents sausage rolls as his signature dish. He then proceeds to eat the entire thing before said contestant cooks a second for Graham and Joe.
- He also mentions scrambled eggs quite a bit, judging a new chef's skills on the ability to prepare it.
- Tranquil Fury: While Gordon Ramsay is usually known for his angry shouting, when he is truly insulted he will resort to this. Somehow, this is far, far more terrifying that him simply exploding.
- One example of this can be found in Hell's Kitchen: Season 3, Episode 5. They were hosting a wedding reception, and as the team challenge, the bride and the groom were tasting dishes produced by both teams. The red team's third dish was an unbelievable disaster—one shockingly overcooked horrible looking lump of duck breast, with nothing else on the plate. Once the bride and groom were gone, Ramsay gave the red team a hefty dose of this trope... and it was chilling — particularly when he dismissed them by calmly saying, "Get. Out. My. Sight." In fact, he was so incensed about the sheer embarrassment and outrageousness that, when he described the reward to the blue team winners, he still sounded utterly pissed.Gordon: [to the blue team] Congratulations, you deserve it. I really mean it. Now fuck off.
- In the "Seascape" episode of Kitchen Nightmares, the completely incompetent head chef Doug refused to taste a dish Gordon made for the restaurant, repeatedly saying that there was no need for him to taste it. Gordon's tranquil fury at this is unsettling to see. Instead of yelling at the top of his lungs, he quietly says that he's really insulted. He then wasted no time telling the owner to fire both Doug and his assistant, which the owner promptly did. To be sure, this is a huge insult in the culinary world. You may seriously despise another chef and shed no tears at their wake, but you will taste a dish they've prepared and give your honest assessment.
- One example of this can be found in Hell's Kitchen: Season 3, Episode 5. They were hosting a wedding reception, and as the team challenge, the bride and the groom were tasting dishes produced by both teams. The red team's third dish was an unbelievable disaster—one shockingly overcooked horrible looking lump of duck breast, with nothing else on the plate. Once the bride and groom were gone, Ramsay gave the red team a hefty dose of this trope... and it was chilling — particularly when he dismissed them by calmly saying, "Get. Out. My. Sight." In fact, he was so incensed about the sheer embarrassment and outrageousness that, when he described the reward to the blue team winners, he still sounded utterly pissed.
- Trickster Mentor: He enjoys pulling pranks and playing mind games as a way of gauging how people will be able to cope with the heat and pressure of a professional kitchen.
- Verbal Tic:
- His frequent, habitual swearing, for starters.
- Aside from the constant swearing, he'll punctuate his speech with plenty of "sort of"s, "almost as if"s, and "almost like"s.
- His favorite adjective to describe something aesthetically pleasing is "stunning."
- Any woman he's not actively yelling at is "my darling".
- He has a habit of calling whatever ingredient or item he's holding as "the most amazing X" or the "Rolls Royce of X".
- When he sees something that pisses him off or needs to be addressed, he will ask someone for "two seconds" of their time. You can count on it taking more than two seconds, and whomever he's talking to is not going to like what he has to say.
- Expect to hear "bugger ME" on a regular basis, especially when he finds some particularly disgusting when inspecting a filthy kitchen.
- Violent Glaswegian: While he doesn't have a Scottish accent, the town where he was born, Johnstone, is near Glasgow; and no one can deny that screaming, swearing and throwing falls under "violence."
- Weaksauce Weakness: Downplayed, but noticeable. The skills he uses most often are typically dependent on a Western sense of cuisine. While he absolutely can do international styles - citing Vietnamese and Cambodian as some of his favorite cuisines - he's much more likely to be dissatisfied with his own results. The only real dish he has struggled mightily to do - at least in the shows he has been in - is sushi. note
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are:
- Much of his anger and frustration comes from believing that people genuinely can do better if they just work hard and apply themselves.
- He firmly believes people are capable of change, especially during his Gordon Behind Bars series, where he helps out 12 inmates to learn how to cook and gain some confidence. It didn't work for all of them, but it did genuinely change the perspectives for some of them.