Wednesday 18 October 2017

Ramsay's wife blames him for driving women out of kitchen

In his time, the hard-talking celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has generally been able to keep negative publicity, including legal challenges and critical sniping, at arm's length. But his latest critic may be harder to brush off.

Tana Ramsay, 32, his wife and mother of their four children, has claimed the cult of the celebrity chef - of which her husband is surely one of the chief examples - as well as the high stakes of television cooking, have driven ordinary mothers out of the kitchen.



Mrs Ramsay said: "People reach for something which is partly prepared or ready-made because they are too afraid to tackle it from scratch. There is an element of fear which has crept in because chefs are now so famous and cooking is so competitive."



There may be hidden nuances here. The Scottish chef once said Tana was banned from his £500,000 kitchen in their Wands-worth home, adding: "She might ruin it. She might burn things. God knows what havoc she could wreak. I am the chef; this is my world. She is a school teacher."



But Mrs Ramsay has written a best-selling cookbook, Tana Ramsay's Family Kitchen, published last year. She also recently launched her television career on UKTV Food's Market Kitchen, co-hosting with food experts including Ramsay chefs Marcus Wareing and Mark Sargeant.



She told a Sunday newspaper: "Family cooks should stop trying to live up to what they see on television and in glossy magazines and remember that making food can and should be an easy pleasure."



"Easy pleasure" is far from the world of the 10 Michelin stars, multi-million-pound restaurant empire and media profile of her former footballer husband, who peppers his culinary confrontations with expletives. In the UK version of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, the chef said "f**k" 111 times in a single broadcast.



His wife also raised eyebrows with her choice of culinary literature. Asked whether she followed his recipes she replied: "Actually, the cookbook I really love is Nigel Slater's. I didn't cook until I had children and I admit I began with the basics. You don't need a huge amount of skill to produce healthy, fresh food.



"Even now we have a meal crisis at least once a month because I experiment and sometimes it is a complete disaster. But I'm not the one with critics standing in front of me and nor is the average mum."

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