Gordon Ramsay rejects allegations he ripped off Anthony Bourdain, hits Michelin star-returning chefs
TV chef Gordon Ramsay recently addressed critics of his new National Geographic show, Uncharted, who claim that the British hothead stole the idea from Anthony Bourdain’s former show, No Reservations. Bourdain died in 2018 after hanging himself in a French hotel, reportedly with the belt from a bathrobe.
According to Ramsay, he has taken “a lot of flak” by those who think he’s “rivaling Tony Bourdain.” His response was to say that he has been doing such shows for a long time. The criticisms are “incorrect,” Ramsay said, according to Deadline. “Judge the program with integrity. I totally respect what [Bourdain] did and how he did it, but this journey began in 2004, discovering India, Vietnam and Cambodia and literally getting away from the three Michelin star setup with 25 chefs, what’s it like to be at the coal face … That’s what this is all about.”
Ramsay also had some choice words for chefs who return the Michelin stars awarded to their restaurants.
Perhaps the first to do so was British chef Marco Pierre White, who returned his in 1999. Explaining his decision in 2015, he said that “the people who gave me Michelin stars had less knowledge than me. You have to place a value on something that is given to you: that’s why it was so easy for me to walk away. They had no value for me. The day I no longer wanted to be behind my stove, I put my hands up and said: ‘I’m out of here.’ It’s all or nothing with me. I could not live a lie.”
A number of other chefs have followed White’s example. Ramsay says the trend is “bullshit.”
“Whether it’s an Emmy, an Oscar, a BAFTA or a Michelin star, it’s the icing on the cake, not just for the chef but for the staff who are equally as focused as the owner,” he said.