Gordon Ramsay Answers your questions

We asked you to submit your questions for Gordon Ramsay over Instagram, and here are some of his answers

Is there something you had wished you’d known about your career, before you started? From Nathan Strachan

“That is a really good question, Nathan. I think if I had known how important a second or third language would be, I would have studied harder at French or German in school. Doing the travelling I do now, being fluent in French has been a huge advantage. But South America and all their Spanish influences made me realise that I wish I had studied Spanish too. If I had known that before, I would have focussed more on languages at school”

How can you build consistency, speed and execution, and not let standards slip? From Sean Hope

“Building consistency is about correct teaching methods and making sure the brigade is running at your pace. Let’s take Matt Abe (co Chef Patron Royal Hospital Road) as a casing point. Matt Abe perfects a dish on his own first and he will then teach the brigade. He will orchestrate the team to come together at the same level of perfection. Winning 3 Michelin stars as quick as we did when we first opened was about being consistent every day of the week and only cooking for the numbers we could handle. So, with a 45-cover restaurant, not saying it was easier, but we knew we were cooking for 40 at lunch, and 50 for dinner. Consistency is about being as dedicated as you can be, with a team as educated as you are and not running ahead of your team, not leaving them behind”

I am aged 15 and I really want to be a chef. I don’t think anybody believes in me – from Ellis

“Fifteen is an amazing age to get excited by food and having the aspirations to become a great chef aged fifteen is a great insight. Don’t worry about whether or not people believe that you want to do that. Put your head down and learn. If you can start making great sauces, cooking amazing meats, working on pasta and understanding the basics, by the time you get to 18 everything around you will be confirmed and people will believe in you even more by the way you continue with your dreams. Listen, at fifteen some kids want to be a doctor, or a fireman. You want to be a chef.  Knowing that, at the age of fifteen, is a really, really strong indicator that you are cut out for this industry. Continue learning, read lots of cookery books and try to spend an hour or two working part time in your local restaurant at weekends and through holidays”

I’ve just finished my level 3 professional cookery apprenticeship and I feel a bit lost I’m not really sure where or what to do – any advice? From Caitlin Riggs

“First of all, congratulations – level 3 is pretty high. Feeling a little bit confused is pretty normal, when you have studied so hard. I am always a firm believer in spending time travelling to understand what you want and getting away from where you have just trained is sometimes as refreshing as taking a holiday. Figure out where you see yourself, visit restaurants, hang out with your friends in the industry. Level 3 is an incredible achievement and you have got so many doors possibly opened to you. Go spend some time as a customer inside your favourite restaurants, work out what you want to do, and who you want to become”

Advice on climbing the ladder and how to flare your confidence in the kitchen, without your head chef thinking you’re arrogant? From Ben Entwistle, 19

“So, Ben, at 19 you need to have bravado and confidence, and sometimes that can come across as a little bit cocky. One thing you don’t do at 19 is stand there and argue with your head chef. What you need to do more than anything, is become the most incredible sponge. I remember being a sponge at 19. I made mistakes, but never the same mistake twice. When I went to work with Marco Pierre White at a very young age, I told myself that every time I was told off, it was all in the learning. So, it sounds a bit weird, but the more times you get told off, the more things you learn. Also don’t jump up the ladder too quickly. Once you get to a head chef or sous chef position, it’s very hard to continue learning.  From 19-26 years old is your most exciting time in this industry to absolutely focus on becoming the most extraordinary, talented individual. At 26-27, that’s when you start thinking about senior roles”

Is it worth working in lots of different kitchens for a few years to learn different aspects, or stay in one place and work my way up to head chef? – Fin Martyn

“I see from your question, that you are studying, but also a sous chef at 17. There is no way on earth you should be a sous chef at 17. What you need to do now is go and spend 3 or 4 years working in 3 or 4 different restaurants. What I did was commit to 18 months in each amazing restaurant, and every time I went into a new kitchen, I went down a step to learn more. Between the ages of 17 and 26 it is not about titles, it’s about knowledge. If you over think about a position or title, you are under achieving with knowledge. Sous chef, head chef – those are the things you should not be taking about until you are in your mid to late 20’s”

Could you give me tips on running a 3 star establishment and being able to run other restaurants as well, without letting standards slip? This is my goal – From Tom Lodge

“Tom, that is a really tough question to answer. 3-star Michelin is about perfection. After years and years of hard graft and a very clever understanding of the brigade. It’s like Manchester United playing in the Champions League, they have an amazing squad of players. That’s exactly the same as the team at Royal Hospital Road. Matt Abe is a prolific inspirer of young talent but, Matt Abe or Gordon Ramsay, are only as good as the team they have got. And, we play every day. We reach perfection every single day, so understand that. You are only as good as the team you get to cook alongside”

What was the most difficult thing you have had to do in your career? From Josh Hellard

“The most difficult thing I had to do in my career, Josh, was leaving my comfort zone. I had to leave the comfort I had with my parents, I had to get away from all my mates, step away from any social life I thought I had. Getting into the premier league of restaurants meant giving up a lot of time with friends, sacrificing family things to focus on my career. And so, it is evident now that it paid off – but there is no success anywhere in hospitality without a degree of sacrifice, and if you are prepared to do that – then you have a real chance”


I am incredibly passionate about cooking and baking, what sort of steps would I need to take to become a chef? Also, what are the hours like when working as a chef and what is a typical day like for you?  I am 15 and studying the Junior Chefs course at Loughborough – From Saphia

“Saphia, the most difficult question so far! Firstly, baking is chemistry. Everyone thinks it’s an easy thing to do as it’s glamourous – but there is an art in great bakery, because it’s pure chemistry.  It’s really exciting that at the age of 15 you want to do that. The average hours I work a day, I have never calculated! When you look at what you do on a daily basis, without looking at a clock – then that’s a passion. I consider my career as a passion; it’s never been a job.  Some days I work 16 hours, some days 10, others 8 – there are never two days the same. The most important thing that I learnt whilst studying bakery in Paris, was the exciting different divisions, whether you are making a croissant, or a loaf of sour-dough – there is something so exciting about baking. Even if that is just making some cupcakes for a friend’s birthday”

What would be your favourite Indian dish and do you eat junk food like KFC? From Kianna Patel

“Hard to name one, but Butter Chicken is one of my all-time favourites. I loved it so much that I made a special trip to India to travel to the birth place of Butter Chicken and go to an incredible restaurant in Mumbai that literally invented the dish.

Fast food? Fast food never has to be junk food. But I love a good burger and every time I go to work in the USA, I have to go get an In and Out Burger – Boom!”

I know it’s a long shot, but worth a try. Could I do an apprenticeship with you as it’s my dream to be a chef like you, and have a place of my own to call my restaurant – From Ben Cicco

“Ben, we are running modern-day apprentice schemes which are very successful. What I would like to do is invite you down, as my guest, to spend a day in the kitchen. You can have a look at what we are doing and we will show you the set-up and how our apprentice schemes run”

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