Gordon Ramsay has been called a lot of things in his life. "Nice guy" probably isn't one of them. Chef Ramsay is more known for his temper and scathing outbursts in the kitchen. However, despite his unconventional management style, he is without a doubt one of the best chefs in the world and has several successful restaurants to prove it.
Football and Food
From the day that Gordon Ramsay swapped his sporting ambitions (playing professional soccer aged 15) to the day when his restaurant group became the only one in the UK to hold seven Michelin stars, there have been some major highlights in Gordon's career that have made his name synonymous with outstanding fine dining.
Having made the difficult decision to leave professional soccer after suffering a serious leg injury, Gordon decided to go back to college to train in hotel management. His first position in the restaurant kitchens of London was with Marco Pierre White, a Michelin-starred chef. A couple of years later Gordon moved to Le Gavroche to work alongside Albert Roux, followed by three years in France in the kitchens of Guy Savoy and Joël Robuchon.
In 1992, Gordon took a year off to cook on the yacht of a media tycoon but was soon drawn back to London where he became chef of the newly opened Aubergine. Within three years, he had won many accolades including two Michelin stars.
In 1998, at the age of 32, Gordon set up his first wholly owned restaurant, Gordon Ramsay, in London's Chelsea area.
A year later he opened Pétrus with his protegé, Marcus Wareing, as Chef Patron in London's St. James's Street. Within seven months, it had won a Michelin star. That level of success followed him when, in October 2001, Gordon opened Gordon Ramsay in Claridge's, which gained a Michelin star in 2003.
During this time, he also launched The Gordon Ramsay Scholar Award, which aims to encourage young chefs, along with opening Verre in The Dubai Creek Hotel.
By 2002, he had set his sights on a new restaurant. This time, it involved his other protégée Angela Hartnett. Set in London's Connaught Hotel, Angela was overseeing two restaurants, MENU and The Grill Room, both won a Michelin star for her in 2004.
By 2003 Gordon's award-winning food was now being served in another famous London hotel, The Savoy. Set inside the art-deco splendour of the hotel, Banquette followed the earlier opening of The Savoy Grill, which also won Marcus Wareing a Michelin star in 2004.
Books and TV
Over the years, Gordon has published numerous books including, Passion for Flavour, A Chef for all Seasons, and Secrets. He's also made several TV programs and recently published a companion book to the UK broadcast of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, titled Gordon Ramsay Kitchen Heaven.
His latest endeavor is the TV reality show, Hell's Kitchen, in which Gordon has two weeks to train budding cooks into Michelin star chefs. An American version of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares has also aired to great success.
In 2006, Gordon Ramsay published his autobiography, Humble Pie, which tells the story of how Gordon rose from a difficult childhood to become the world's most famous chef.
Gordon's restaurant, Gordon Ramsay was voted the Top Restaurant in the UK with a score of 28 in the 2001 London Zagat Survey and the best Fine Dining Restaurant in the 2001 Harden's Guide. These ratings continued in 2002 and 2003 when, for the second year running, Gordon Ramsay was named among the five best restaurants in the world in a Restaurant Magazine poll.
Gordon is married with children and lives in South London. He regularly jogs home from work late at night after a long shift in his central London restaurants.
Roasted peaches with lemon, lime and basil crème fraiche
• 150g ready-made white marzipan
• A little icing sugar, for rolling and sweetening
• 200g granulated sugar
• 1 small lemon (juice, optional)
• Bunch fresh basil, about 50g
• 4 large fairly firm peaches, halved and stoned
• Crème fraiche
• 1 lime, zest only
• 1 lemon, zest and juice
• 250g fresh raspberries, plus 125g extra for serving
• 1-2 tbsp Grand Marnier
• Toasted flaked almonds to serve
Method: How to make Gordon's roasted peaches with lemon, lime and basil crème fraiche
1. Dust the worktop lightly with sifted icing sugar and roll the marzipan out to the thickness of a £1 coin. Cut out eight circles using a 10 or 11cm cutter (use a small saucer as a template if you don't have a large enough cutter), re-rolling the marzipan trimmings if necessary.
2. Using a blowtorch, brown each marzipan disc evenly until it turns a caramel colour. Set aside.
3. Heat the sugar and 500ml water slowly in a saucepan until the sugar starts to dissolve, stirring once or twice. Meanwhile, peel 3 or 4 strips of zest from the lemon using a swivel peeler, and drop into the sugar and water. When the sugar has dissolved, bring the mixture to the boil, then boil for about 5 minutes so you have a medium-strength syrup. Pick out a good handful of small basil leaves and reserve for the crème fraiche. Put the rest of the basil leaves and stalks into the hot syrup.
4. Slip the halved peaches into the syrup. Poach on a low heat for 5 - 6 minutes. Remove from stock. When cool enough to handle, peel the skin off each peach and the stone should fall out, place in an ovenproof frying pan over a med heat and drizzle the Grand Marnier over and boil then sprinkle with icing sugar. Transfer to the oven and bake for 6-7 mins.
5. Mix the crème fraiche with the lemon and lime zest. Roll the remaining basil leaves together, slice finely and mix into the crème fraiche.
6. Whizz the raspberries in a blender. Start on low and gradually increase, adding 4 tbsp syrup to thin a little. Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl, rubbing with the back of a spoon. Add lemon juice and icing sugar to taste if needed.
7. To serve, spoon a little crème fraiche onto the plates and use it to 'fix' the marzipan discs to the plates so they don't slide around. Spoon more crème fraiche on top of the discs. Arrange a peach half, cut side up, on top of the crème fraiche and sit another half, cut side down on top - so you now have a whole peach. Repeat for the remaining plates. Finally spoon around the raspberry coulis and sprinkle over the flaked toasted almonds.
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