Gordon Ramsay’s top bollockings

1. Joël Robuchon
“The all-time great bollocker would be Robuchon. Fierce. Just incredibly full-on. I don’t need to tell you – everything. He was a man on a mission: three stars at Jamin. Did I take any notes? No, it was all in French, which was nice, because at the time half of it was over my head.”

2. Marco Pierre White
“From Robuchon you’d go to number two: Marco. He’s a powerful man – a big, tall, overweight man. Very powerful. He’s pouncing all over you. Scraping you off the wall.”

3. Albert Roux
“Albert Roux was a mean, mean guy. He had that hip movement because he’d had that big car-crash that shortened one of his legs, so he’d come stumping up to you and you could stop him and then wallop, he’d clout you on the hotplate.“

4. Pierre Koffmann
“Koffmann sulks. Koffmann was the psychological head-f--k because he would torment you; he’d slag you off in front of the rest of the team because they were French and you were English. And in the olden days, before the extension got built, he was putting you outside in a duffel coat to open scallops in the pissing rain. The only way to beat Koffmann was just to deal with it, to show no emotion, because if you showed any emotion or started breaking then you’d get pummelled.“

“I’ve worked for lots of nice people. Each and every one of these chefs I imagine have their good parts. What you have to understand is that if you want something from chef today in terms of what they stand for in this industry, you don’t go to them when they’re at the pinnacle of their career, you go to them as they’re trying to make their reputation. Then you’re cooking their food with their reputation in their hands and if you screw up, that’s like playing for Australia in the World Cup and taking a penalty to get through to the semi-finals – have you any idea of the millions of people he’s letting down on the back of a three-second kick? It’s exactly the same in cooking. Don’t cross them. F--k up once, learn from it, but don’t screw up twice.”

Read our full in-depth interview with Gordon Ramsay in the August 2009 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller, on sale July 27.

Words Pat Nourse  Photography Chris Chen

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