Gordon Ramsay, racist (according to Marcus Samuelsson)

From Marcus Samuelsson‘s autobiography, “Yes, Chef“:

For months beforehand, I fielded calls from British media. A couple of the reporters asked me to name some British chefs who had inspired me. I mentioned the Roux brothers, Albert and Michel, and I named Marco Pierre White, not as much for his food as for how“”by virtue of becoming an apron-wearing rock-star bad boy“”he had broken the mold of whom a chef could be, which was something I could relate to. I got to London to find the Lanesborough dining room packed each night, a general excitement shared by everyone involved, and incredibly posh digs from which I could step out each morning into Hyde Park and take a good long run around Buckingham Palace. On my second day, I was cooking when a phone call came into the kitchen. The executive chef answered and, with a puzzled look, handed me the receiver. Trouble at Aquavit, I figured.

I put the phone up to my ear, expecting to hear Håkan’s familiar “Hej, Marcus.“ Instead, there was screaming. “How the fuck can you come to my fucking city and think you are going to be able to cook without even fucking referring to me?“ This went on for what seemed like five minutes; I was too stunned to hang up. “I’m going to make sure you have a fucking miserable time here. This is my city, you hear? Good luck, you fucking black bastard.“ And then he hung up.

I had cooked with Gordon Ramsay once, a couple of years earlier, when we did a promotion with Charlie Trotter in Chicago. There were a handful of chefs there, including Daniel Boulud and Ferran Adrià , and Gordon was rude and obnoxious to all of them. As a group we were interviewed by the Chicago newspaper; Gordon interrupted everyone who tried to answer a question, craving the limelight. I was almost embarrassed for him. So when I was giving interviews in the lead-up to the Lanesborough event, and was asked who inspired me, I thought the best way to handle it was to say nothing about him at all. Nothing good, nothing bad. I guess he was offended at being left out. To be honest, though, only one phrase in his juvenile tirade unsettled me: when he called me a black bastard. Actually, I didn’t give a fuck about the bastard part. But the black part pissed me off.

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