I met Gordon Ramsey once.
It was at the filming of one of his many food TV shows, Kitchen Nightmares, where he advises failing restaurants and drastically turns them around on the show. My time on screen was short, only a minute or two. Likewise, Chef Ramsey only spoke a few words to us. “Sorry about the branzino”, referring to the fact that the restaurant had sold out of one of its specials. That experience gave me a fascinating peek inside the food TV reality world.
Despite having been on his show, I did not actually try one of his restaurants until recently, when we visited Maze by Gordon Ramsey in Hong Kong.
Gordon Ramsey rose to fame through his cooking first, followed by his TV career. The British 3-Michelin starred chef has built a global restaurant empire, written countless books, and starred in numerous food TV shows. He’s known for being foul-mouthed, quick tempered, and insensitively blunt when criticizing others. Yet, his personality draws viewers to his shows and diners to his restaurants. In 2018, he was the 33rd highest earning celebrity in the world, making $62 million US dollars in one year.
He has built a global restaurant empire, including three in Hong Kong. Bread Street Kitchen (Peak Galleria), London House (TST), and Maze Grill (Harbour City) which newly opened in late 2018.
After work one day, I headed over to Harbour City (where Bryan works), to join him in trying out Maze for the first time. Despite it being fully booked, we arrived right before opening to stand in line for one of the few walk-in bar tables near the entrance.…