When celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay, started to take his career seriously, he decided to start training in French Cuisine. In addition to picking up the cuisine, and many french terms used in the industry, did he pick up the language? Does Gordon Ramsay speak French?
Yes – Gordon Ramsay worked in France while honing his skills, and eventually opened his own restaurant in the country. During his time there he picked up the language and is able to speak French fluently.
Gordon Ramsay can speak English and French fluently and is able to speak some Spanish, though he admits to not being fluent with it yet. Though studying french cuisine in London, it wasn’t until he moved to Paris to work did he pick the language.
Ramsay and France
When Gordon Ramsay first wanted to go to Paris to study French cuisine, his boss at the time dissuaded him from going, so he took a job in the western part of London at Le Gavroche. It ended up being a good move on his part as that is where he met his current head waiter at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay.
In addition, Ramsay cooked under head chef Albert Roux, leading the restaurant he let with his brother, to become the first restaurant in the U.K. to earn the infamous 3 Michelin Stars. In fact, it was the first restaurant in the United Kingdom to win a single Michelin Star, then the first to win 2 Michelin Stars, before reaching the pinnacle of 3 Michelin Stars.
A year after joining Roux at Le Gavroche, Roux asked Ramsay to go with him to France and work as his number 2 chef at Hotel Diva, in the French Alps. He would then make his way to Paris, working under two other Michelin Star chefs.
Ramsay spent a total of three years in France before taking a year off from a restaurant kitchen and becoming a personal chef on a yacht. In Chapter 5 of his autobiography, Humble Pie, Ramsay speaks fondly of the time he spent on the yacht. He attributes the time cooking for the couple that owned the large boat as what ultimately led to the style he is known for today.
The infamous Michelin Stars originate from the little red guidebook Guide Michelin, that brothers Andre and Edouard Michelin created in 1900 to go with their tires. The brothers thought they would provide customers with a free guide to hotels and restaurants, along with articles about changing tires, and checking for air pressure.
In 1920, after seeing the guidebooks used to prop up a workbench, they started to charge for the guidebook. And in 1926, the guide started to award Stars for the places they felt had the best food, while also getting rid of paid advertisements. By 1936 the standards were written and stand now, with a ranking of 0, 1, 2, or 3 Stars, and the inspectors being anonymous.
Over the years, Ramsay has received 16 Michelin Stars, becoming the first Scot to be awarded with one. While he’s had some taken away, he’s still doing pretty good for himself, and aims to have a restaurant in France with 3 Michelin Star. He came close once, receiving 2 for au Trianon, before ultimately losing one.
While Ramsay hasn’t cut ties with the french country, still holding multiple restaurants there, he still has fond memories of his past times in Paris. To this day, he considers Guy Savoy, one of the chefs he worked for in Paris, as his mentor.
I have no doubt that he will continue to strive for, and achieve, the 3 Michelin Stars that he so covets for one of his restaurants in France. He seems like the type of guy who sets his mind on a goal and accomplishes no matter how long it takes. He’s proven that with his marathons, triathlons, ultramarathons, and Ironman triathlons.