Tag Archives: MasterChef

Super Chef Gordon Ramsay the Happiest He’s Been in 10 Years

It’s a brighter day for superstar chef Gordon Ramsay since his long, painful legal battle with his father-in-law was resolved.  In fact, he tells us, “I feel so much better now than I have in the last 10 years.  If anything, I feel more creative.  And I totally understand the business top to bottom.”

The chef and his wife’s father – his former business partner and close friend Chris Hutcheson, whose scandalous double life with a secret second family has provided years of fodder for the British tabloids — reached a settlement worth in excess of $3.24 million in February.  “I don’t sit and dwell and start crying over spilled milk.  Coming to terms with an awkward position, my father-in-law squandering money after working so hard.  If you can’t trust family, who can you trust?  But, we’re over that hurdle now.  I’m in complete control.  We’ve repositioned, restructured,” Ramsay says.  And he adds, “I’ll never put myself in the position again.”

The dashing, famously volcanic chef-restaurateur-entrepreneur-producer-TV star has his time booked two years into the future.  He is all over Fox’s schedule this summer, with three prime-time shows:  Premiering May 29 are new seasons of his popular “Hell’s Kitchen” and “MasterChef” shows, and, come June 4, his new “Hotel Hell.”  As for the inevitable questions about over-exposure, he notes, “I’ve had those questions for the last 10 years, to be honest.  No one ever gets tired of quality.”  The shows are diverse, he stresses.  “‘Hell’s Kitchen’ is a professional format, providing aspiring wannabe chefs with a unique opportunity for success.  This year’s prize is just out of this world.  ‘MasterChef’ is completely amateur — a domestic theme.  The format is something quite unique.  And ‘Hotel Hell’ is, in many ways, the next step on from ‘Kitchen Nightmares.’  I always, you know — before anything gets canceled I want to move it up a notch and take it forward.”

Turbulence and Trauma Not Slowing Down Chef Gordon Ramsay

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.”

Who’s Tougher Than ‘MasterChef’s’ Joe Bastianich? His Mom

Gordon Ramsey, Joe Bastianich, Graham Elliott Fox photo

Joe Bastianich tells us that he stays in touch with some of the past competitors on “MasterChef” — which starts its third season with a two night premiere June 6 and 7.  In fact, “David Miller, the runner up in Season 1, has become a friend.  Sharone (Hakman) came to work for us at Mozza in L.A.” — and several others have spent time in his culinary habitat, sharpening their skills.

Bastianich, who partners with Mario Batali in a string of top flight restaurants, and who has established three wineries, says he loves the fun and diversion of doing the show.  And he actually seems to enjoy working with his famously fiery and mercurial colleague (and producer), Gordon Ramsey.      “Gordon’s great, you know.  He brings the kind of energy to this thing that’s unique.  He IS reality television, energizing and dynamic.  I think we each have a dfiferent style, a very different approach to it, that, at the end of the day — it works.  I think Gordon comes from an internationally starred chef’s perspective.   I come from more of a nuts and bolts business perspective.”

Bastianich, of course, is no softie.  He  famously dropped some 45 pounds years ago with a health regimen that included training to become an endurance athlete and running marathons.  He’s now training for Hawaii’s notorious Iron Man triathlon.

They and their fellow judge, Chef Graham Elliot (the youngest four-star chef in the U.S.), will this be joined by none other than their mothers as judges on one episode of the new season.  As foodies everywhere know, Joe’s mama is celebrity chef Lidia Matticchio Bastianich of “Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen,” etc.  He says, “I think a lot of people think I’m tougher, but at the end of the day, she is.”