Gordon Ramsay is now a multimillionaire chef with a string of Michelin stars to his name, but his career hasn’t always been so promising.
One morning, after a gruelling night shift, he went to the phone box and begged Marco Pierre White for a job – something which proved to be a real turning point for the feisty food entrepreneur.
He insisted to Marco that he was talented, despite sheepishly confessing later that he thought he “knew jacks***” at the time.
“I just begged for the opportunity,” he recalled during an appearance on The Big Fish with Spencer Matthews podcast.
“I knew what I wanted, but I just hadn’t found the right person and he was like a big brother. An absolute f***ing maniac,” Gordon recalled.
He’d had a financially troubled childhood, growing up on no fewer than 15 tough council estates, which he now very unflatteringly describes as “multiple s***holes”.
Sometimes Gordon would move as often as twice in one year, sparking off the ordeal of trying to make new friends and fit in at a new school and football club every time he was displaced.
However, he also developed a fierce work ethic after witnessing his hard-working mum juggle three jobs to keep the family afloat.
He yearned to become a chef, but knew that success would “never” be handed to him “on a plate” – so he resorted to innovative measures.
“The breakthrough was the night chef ringing in sick. I was on a double shift that day, so the youngest in the kitchen,” Gordon recalled to Spencer.
“Last one in so you have to do the first 24-hour shift. I was halfway through this shift and it’s about 3am” he continued.
Then suddenly he came across a caterers’ industry magazine on the desk, with a cover story featuring Marco Pierre White – the man who had back then just opened the now legendary Harvey’s.
“I finished my shift at 8am and went the local phone box and f***ing phoned him, told him that I was a talented chef and he asked to see me,” he explained.
“I knew jack s**t. I thought I was talented, I thought I knew something. But you’ve heard that saying before a little knowledge is dangerous. And so, I went to see him and that’s where this whole sort of journey really started.
“I just begged for the opportunity. And what did he see in me? I think he saw a bit of himself in me!” divulged Gordon of his mentor.
Listen to the full interview on the Big Fish with Spencer Matthews podcast on Global Player now.
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