Q&A With Gordon Ramsay
The celebrity chef and host of 'Hotel Hell' talks about his favorite meals, his guilty pleasure, and how he stays in tip-top shape.
Gordon Ramsay may have risen to fame as a result of this talent in the kitchen -- his eponymous London restaurant was awarded three coveted Michelin stars in 2001 -- but these days he's better known for his scathing remarks and hot temper on competitive reality shows like Hell's Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, and MasterChef. In the second season of Hotel Hell, he trains his perfectionist eye on revitalizing troubled inns, resorts, and hotels around the country. While Ramsay has already earned the posh title of Sir Gordon from the Queen of England, his next goal is a decidedly more physical one -- competing in his second Ironman in October. The London- and L.A.-based father of four talked to WebMD about early-morning training, truffles, and travel.
If you were a contestant on MasterChef, what challenge would you be most excited to get and which would you like least?
"I'd say the mystery box -- reminds me of when I was training and the excitement of just putting ingredients together and seeing what happened. I'm not sure there is one I'd least like; I'm always looking for the next challenge, so I'd happily get involved in anything that was thrown at me."
When you stay in a hotel, what is the first thing you notice?
What one piece of kitchen equipment should people invest good money in?
"A pasta machine. You don't need to spend a lot of money on one, $45 to $50, but the diversity across it is extraordinary."
What is the most overrated ingredient?
"Truffles. We have an obsession with these rare fungi that only grows in very short periods of time of the year. Plus, the smell!"
If you had to choose one, what is your favorite course of a meal?
"I love dessert. I have a terrible sweet tooth. I could have it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!"
When you do get a chance to relax, what meal do you like to prepare and eat?
"I don't necessarily have a specific meal that I like to cook. I love cooking all sorts of dishes. … That to me is relaxing. On weekends I like to go to the local market with the kids, pick up fresh produce, and make a big dinner for the family."
How do you stay inspired in the kitchen?
"By experimenting with new ingredients. The smallest tweak can change the entire taste of a dish."
Do cooking disasters still happen to you?
"Every chef no matter how good or how experienced will make a mistake some time -- you never stop learning."
What advice do you have people who aren't that confident in the kitchen?
"Keep it simple! People make the mistake of trying to do too much, too soon, or they use too many ingredients. Sometimes the best dishes are ones with only a small number of (great quality) ingredients. And always cook with family. Make it a social thing to do."