With U.K. media feasting upon the scandal of his father-in-law’s double life and bitter family estrangement, Chef Gordon Ramsay, his wife Tana and their four children have been reported to be planning to move from England to the U.S. full time. He tells us that’s not true.
“We’re not moving. We obviously spend a lot of time here. We have a house in Bel Air. We’re going to keep one foot in London and one here,” says the international culinary super star, whose “MasterChef” competition show begins its second season on Fox Monday (6/6).
The information about his father-in-law — and ex-business partner — Chris Hutcheson’s secret mistress of three decades and their two adult love children broke less than two weeks ago. That was when a British judge lifted the privacy order that had prevented details of Ramsay’s firing of Hutcheson last October from reaching the public. A legal war between Ramsay and Hutcheson continues.
Times have also been tough on Ramsay as his restaurants back home took a beating financially over the past couple of years.
Of that matter, he says, “I’m glad we got it turned around back in the UK. We’ve just released our financial reports for 2010 and our company is back in profit, which is great news.”
Clearly, the famously volatile chef is not allowing the sad state of affairs with his wife’s family to slow him down.
As we speak, he notes, “My children are in the garden playing. They’ll be flying back to the U.K. in two weeks. Tana is out for a run with our eldest daughter Megan, who is 13. I’ll be doing Season 10 of ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ (Season 9 starts airing in July), then I’ll be back in London, and then to Scotland for a charity event for Scottish Spina Bifida Association, which we’ve been patrons of for eight years, at Edinbugh castle.” After that, his itinerary takes him to Sardinia and dealings with a restaurant there, back to Los Angeles for a spell, then on to Melbourne and then back to London by September.
The OBE-garnering celebrity laughs when reminded that his fellow “MasterChef” mentor-judges Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot refer to him in a promo as a wildebeest and as a teddy bear, respectively. “The wildebeest chef. That one’s gone global,” he observes.
But he’s touted as showing his kinder, charming side while mentoring “MasterChef” contestants. “I’ve always been a great teacher,” states Ramsay, never one for false modesty. He describes this season’s group as more capable and competitive than ever, and adds, “I’m so happy with the results. It’s quite refreshing to see that level of professionalism — and these people are amateurs.”
Ramsay readily acknowledges that he’s passionate for good and bad. Whether he’s passionately supportive of good work, or furiously spewing his trademark colorful profanity over people doing a bad job, “That’s just how I am. But I never walk around with my head up my backside thinking I’m God’s gift. I still, on a daily basis, want to better myself and be a standard-bearer for that kind of professional attitude. I have a great team that works endlessly, keeping me on time and looking good. They also work incredibly hard.” He stresses, “I never take it all for granted.”