Gordon James Ramsay, OBE, (born 8 November 1966) is a chef, television personality and restaurateur. He has been awarded a total of 14 Michelin Stars, and in 2007 became one of only three chefs in the United Kingdom to hold three Michelin stars at one time. Ramsay currently ranks 3rd in the world in terms of Michelin Stars behind Joël Robuchon and Alain Ducasse.
Ramsay isknown in the United Kingdom for presenting TV programmes about competitive cookery and food, such as Hell's Kitchen and The F-Word. He is best known in the United States as the host of FOX's Hell's Kitchen, which premiered in May 2005, and of Kitchen Nightmares, which premiered in September 2007, based on his successful British show Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares.
Ramsay'sfather was, at various times, a swimming pool manager, welder, shopkeeper, and aspiring country and western singer, and his mother and sister were nurses. Ramsay has described his early life as "hopelessly itinerant", as his family moved constantly due to the aspirations and failures of his father. In 1976, they finally settled in Stratford-upon-Avon where he grew up with an allotment nearby. Inpast public interviews, Ramsay has declined to describe his father as an alcoholic; however, his autobiography, Humble Pie, describes his early life as being marked by abuse and negligence from this "hard-drinking womanizer". At the age of 16, Ramsay moved out of the family house to a council flat in Banbury with his elder sister.
Ramsay played football, was first chosen to play under-14 footballat age 11, and was chosen to play for Warwickshire at age 12. His football career was marked by a number of injuries, causing him to remark later in life, "Perhaps I was doomed when it came to football". In mid-1984, Ramsay was being actively scouted by Rangers F.C., the club he supported as a boy, when he seriously injured his knee, smashing the cartilage during training.  Ramsaycontinued to train and play on the injured knee, tearing a cruciate ligament during a squash game. He never fully recovered from the double injury. Rangers told him that he would not be signed, and suggested that he could sign with a club in a lower division.
By this time, Ramsay's interest in cooking had already begun, and rather than be known as "the football player with the gammy knee", at age19, Ramsay paid more serious attention to his culinary education. After weighing his options, without enough O levels to join either the Royal Navy or the police force, Ramsay enrolled at a local college, sponsored by the Rotarians to study Hotel Management. He describes his decision to enter catering college as "an accident, a complete accident". In September 2005, Ramsay expressed an interestin moving into football again as an owner with the proposed takeover of Greenock Morton football club.
In the late 1980s, he worked as a commis chef at the Wroxton House Hotel, then ran the kitchen and 60-seat dining room at the Wickham Arms, until his relationship with the owner's wife made the situation difficult. Ramsay then moved to London, where he worked in a series of restaurantsuntil being inspired to work for the temperamental Marco Pierre White at Harveys.
After working at Harveys for two years and ten months, Ramsay, tired of "the rages and the bullying and violence", decided that the way to further advance his career was to study French cuisine. White discouraged Ramsay from taking a job in Paris, instead encouraging him to work for Albert Roux at Le Gavroche inMayfair. (While at Le Gavroche, he met Jean-Claude Breton, now his maître d' at Royal Hospital Road.) After working at Le Gavroche for a year, Albert Roux invited Ramsay to work with him at Hotel Diva, a ski resort in the French Alps, as his number two. From there, Ramsay moved to Paris to work with Guy Savoy and Joël Robuchon, both Michelin-starred chefs. He continued his training in France for...