Meeting Gordon Ramsay
So after 6 months of working for Primedia it finally happened. I got to meet someone truly internationally famous. I'm used to seeing famous media personalities on a daily basis, but this was something special. This was Gordon freaking Ramsay.
On the one hand is the person you see in programmes such as Hell's Kitchen. The loud, in-your-face profane kitchen nazi. To be honest, I like this side of him. It's honest, blunt, and just completely cuts through the BS and calls people out on what they are doing wrong, both in terms of their cooking, and their general behaviour. Having had the success he's had in his career, I understand that his kind of confidence can sometimes appear as arrogance, but that's not how I see it. If you're right, and you know you're right, you're going to stand your ground.
My wife would say it's not that what you're saying is wrong, it's more about how you say it. That said, Gordon's on screen persona - which I regard as a character he plays for TV ratings - is only one half of his personality. Yes, screaming at completely incompetent cooks is good entertainment, but I realised a while ago that there is a lot more to him than that.
Among his array of TV programmes I've also seen a softer side to him. If you've ever seen him cooking at home with his wife and kids, you will see what I'm talking about. Gone is the harsh persona, and instead what you see is a caring and loving husband and father, who just wants to share his passion for food with his family. This is what is more relevant, at least to me. He's been married to the same woman since 1996 (17 years), and has four children who he clearly adores.
Yes, every celebrity has some level of notoriety. Whether true or not, no one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. As you become more successful you make more and more enemies. That's the nature of the game, I guess. What counts in the end is the actual result of your actions. Actions speak louder than words, as they say.
Well, he's created a number of successful restaurants and saved a number of restaurants and hotels from closure via his TV programmes, so I'd say that in his professional life he's been a good influence on the world. He's also had involvement in several charities, including the Scottish Spina Bifida Association, VSO, and Women's Aid. Add into that his home life, and he doesn't come across as such a terrible human being after all.
In a world where we have so many negative role models, who tell you so many wrong things about how you should act and live your life, I think you could do a lot worse than looking up to someone like Gordon Ramsay.
Bruce Thwaits is EWN's Lead Developer. Also known as the resident coding miracle worker.
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