Where Gordon Ramsay learned French
Q: You make reference to the fact that you’ve worked at some point early in your career in the lower level here. What was your most difficult situation?
A: I think, for me, when I first started training in Paris, getting my ass kicked, the only break in that French incredible kitchen, I couldn’t speak fluent French. So, I got stuck downstairs in the basement, turning sorbets, literally 15 sorbet machines turning, like, six or seven hours a day, creating the most amazing sorbet. So that’s where I learned to speak French. That’s where I was desperate to get up to that next level, again, on that first floor and run the fish section for Guy Savoy.
Q: People got caught up in the “British Bake Off” during the pandemic, and enjoyed that very slow-paced kind of thing. But also, those people weren’t calling each other out or being very competitive. Is that an American thing?
A: We’ve got a resurgence of that level of excitement in foods … and kitchens are competitive. We live and die with customers. They vote with their feet, and it’s the same as a viewer watching a program. …
Baking is chemistry. There’s not much action in baking when you stick it in the oven and you have to wait for 45 minutes until your profiteroles arrive. So, there’s two different things. Cooking fish and meat are completely different than cooking bacon. And I think baking shows are great. This seems to be a time of the day when you want to sit back and put Richard Blais’s slippers on and his Gucci dressing gown, get yourself a cup of tea and put your scone on your knee.