Lessons from Gordon Ramsay

KITCHEN NIGHTMARES: Gordon Ramsay returns for the season six premiere of KITCHEN NIGHTMARES airing, Friday, April 11 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX, CR: Justin Stephens / FOX. Copyright 2014 FOX Broadcasting.

He rules the hearts of television lovers with his fiery avatars on shows like ‘Hotel Hell’, ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ and ‘Masterchef USA’. Gordon Ramsay, probably the most famous chef in the world today, is not only a great television entertainer but also a man who has built an empire of food worth billions.

Known for his generous use of expletives yet his kindness towards those who deserve it, Ramsay started off from scratch in the culinary world at the age of 19. Hailing from a middle-class family, he worked in a series of jobs post his culinary education during which he rose to the position of a head chef.

Today, he has successful restaurants across the globe, be it in the UK or United States; Dubai or Singapore; South Africa or Australia and a household name everywhere. In fact in 2016, the chef raked in a whopping $54 million, finishing at the 34th spot on Forbes ‘Celebrity 100’ list tying with pop star Beyonce Knowles.

So what is it that makes Ramsay so popular? What are some traits that you can learn from the man himself that can be applied to your business and everyday life? Let’s take a look.


Being open to the toughest situations

He doesn’t shy away from the dealing with the most adverse situations. In his show ‘Hotel Hell’, he visits some of the worst hotels and transforms them into the best. If you have watched his show ‘Gordon’s Great Escape’, you will know that he is as adept at cooking in the plushest kitchens as he is on the streets of India.

For another show ‘The Big Fish Fight’ in Costa Rica, he and his crew were threatened at gunpoint while filming the illegal killing of sharks for shark fin soup. Not one to mince his words, he spoke openly about it and said of the police, “They said, ‘if you set foot in there, they’ll stab you’.”



Dealing with people the right way

Remember his memorable quotes like, “This pork is so raw, it’s still singing Hakunamata” or “This potato is so undercooked, it could still play a part in Toy Story”? While he is warm and encouraging to beginners, he is tough as hell to those who toy around with his patience. Maybe his behaviour is exaggerated for television but who cares, everyone wins (except the participants who have to bear the brunt of his wrath of course!)

A still from ‘Hell’s Kitchen’. Photo credit: www.eater.com


Crying it out

Ramsay believes that crying is good to get over failures. Though he gets upset when he sees participants (especially children) crying over elimination on his show, he says it’s a great way to forget your mistakes and move on. “I think crying is important. Not crying, not showing that emotion, bottling it up can lead to dangerous things,” he had told Fox News in an interview.


Making fun of himself

On ‘Masterchef US Junior’, Ramsay doesn’t mind getting doused in gooey sauces and syrups that fall from huge cauldrons above his head (just to see the children smile). In short, he is not all work and no play! He also doesn’t mind making a fool of himself in front of his family on his daughter’s show, ‘Matilda and the Ramsay Bunch’. That’s the spirit of a true entrepreneur, to be able to laugh at oneself, learn from each moment and stay focussed on work at the same time.

Photo credit: www.mirror.co.uk


Mentoring youngsters

He provides basic culinary lessons to the contestants of ‘Masterchef US Junior’ before the cameras roll. Even when it comes to his own children (four of them), Ramsay ensured that they learnt the skill that he is so passionate about despite being an extremely busy man. “I thought that was an important skill to teach them as a dad, understanding how exciting food can be when you’ve made it yourself,” he told LA Times in an interview.


Delegating work with ease

“The secret is to make sure the business is running to perfection, with or without me,” is a popular quote of his. With more than 20 restaurants across the globe, it’s impossible for Ramsay to be present at each one. So what does he do? He shows enough confidence in those who work for him to run the show. Not without training them first of course!

Photo credit: www.evancarmichael.com

So while it seems scary to set foot into the world of business, these are certain tips that will definitely give you the faith and courage required to start or sustain one. Like Ramsay had said, “Running your own business is scary. That’s where you get the adrenaline from. It’s not like going to work for a boss every day: you are the boss and you have to maintain standards.”


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