Gordon Ramsay made an appearance on MasterChef Australia last season for the very first time. He joined Australian judges Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston and George Calombaris.
A judge on the US version of the show, he says he "fell in love" with the Aussie version about eight years ago.
"Every time I have a producers' meeting for the American MasterChef, I say, 'Guys, look at this,'" he says. "The food in Australia's MasterChef is better than some of the professionals in France and England. Get your s**t together!'
"So I've always been a big supporter."
In 2018, Gordon jetted Down Under to film a week's worth of episodes for MasterChef Australia. The highlight for him was mentoring contestants as they went up against professional chefs.
"I'm all about the underdog," Gordon explains. "I've been dealt a couple of dysfunctional cards. I didn't come from a restaurant background.
"So when I get a chance to put the underdogs against the professionals, I'm going to make sure I give them everything I've got so they can take that pro down. I love that kind of combat."
The popular chef hadn't always planned for a career in the food industry, having once had a promising career as a footballer. Gordon trained with the Glasgow Rangers, but a knee injury ended it all.
"Football – that was my first passion," he says. "That was taken away from me due to no fault of my own. But I didn't sit there and get angry and bitter. I went down another trail."
That "other trail" led to Gordon building a culinary empire worth more than $100 million. He can now afford to give his children with wife Tana – Megan, 20, twins Jack and Holly, 18, and Matilda, 16 – luxuries he could never have dreamt of himself. But he's careful not to indulge them.
"Jack and Holly, for their 18th birthday, many parents would go and buy them a car or a Rolex," Gordon points out.
"I bought them spots in the London Marathon to go and run it for Tana and my foundation for Great Ormond Street Hospital For Children. So I kept it real."
Gordon's youngest daughter has her own cooking show, Matilda And The Ramsay Bunch. So will she follow in his footsteps and become a chef?
"They've all been cooking since the age of five," Gordon says. "If she really wants it, I think she's good enough to go and get it."
But he doesn't want to put pressure on any of his kids to choose the same career as him. He says everyone at his son's school already thinks he's going to be "Jack Ramsay of the kitchen".
"Nowhere near," the restaurateur laughs. "He wants to be a marine. Tilly wants to be a vet, Meg wants to go into the police force and Holly wants to go into fashion."
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Now To LoveJan 17, 2020