The insatiable Gordon Ramsay, with nearly 60 restaurants across the world, more than two dozen television shows to his credit—and with four national primetime network shows currently on air—is establishing his brand of hospitality in Washington, DC. Coming to the Wharf will be Fish & Chips, a classic chip shop, Hell’s Kitchen, his signature show come to life, and Street Pizza, a bottomless pizza restaurant. Ramsay talked to Luxeicon about food trends, music and the perfect way to eat fish and chips.
Early in your career, after years of cooking in demanding restaurants in France, you stopped it all to work as a private chef on a yacht sailing off the coast of Italy and Sicily. What would you miss most about your current life if you had continued your career as a private chef traveling around the world?
Reg Grundy [an Australian entrepreneur] gave me some of the best experiences of my life on his yacht. But the thing about being on a yacht is it’s a young man’s game. I got to see so much of the world, but guess what? I still get to travel around the world with my restaurants globally as well as for “Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted.”
If you could give one tip to all restaurant owners, what would it be?
Learn to adjust. You have to go with the times and watch what the customers are doing with their feet and wallet. Being a restaurant owner isn’t as easy as it looks.
You’re opening three restaurants in DC: What do you think people don’t really get about the food scene in the nation’s capital?
I think there’s an assumption that it’s lackluster and doesn’t have a DNA, but I think it’s quite the foodie city. You have Jose Andres’ restaurants, The Dabney and Rose’s Luxury to name a few. Even Michelin has taken notice and handed out stars, so America’s Capital is obviously doing something right!
If you could do away with one food trend, what would it be?
Nyquil chicken. Seriously TikTok??????
Hell’s Kitchen is famously a TV show morphed into a restaurant. What non-food TV show would also make a good restaurant?
That’s a good question. Perhaps Game of Thrones? It could be a modern take on a Renaissance Fair.
Out of 365 days a year, how many of them do you spend not working? And, what’s your favorite thing to do on your time off?
Like every American, I’m always on my phone. So even when I’m travelling or on holiday, I always have my eyes peeled. But there’s nothing better than quality time with my family.
What music do you listen to while cooking?
I love a good playlist, so it’s always a good mix of pop and rock from different eras. So classics like Phil Collins and Paul Weller are mixed with Calvin Harris, Ed Sheeran and Adele.
Is there a proper way to eat fish and chips?
Oh that depends on the person. But I like mine the traditional British way, with a little bit of Malt Vinegar!