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Interview: Gordon Ramsay

Taking pride in British cuisine


SH: Why do you think British food has such a bad rep?
Because we were plagued with a tarnished brush in terms of fish and chips and steak and kidney pudding, and for a long time in the UK we didn’t do much about trying to enhance it. We accepted being the 5th or 6th best in Europe. But over the last 15-20 years there’s been a surge of young chefs that have gone and lived in France, Spain and Italy and come back with some exciting ideas. We’re quite multicultural and very ethnic orientated. We’ve got a reputation to be proud of now, but there’s been a dogmatic approach. We're getting there as a country, definitely, without a doubt.

SH: What are two dishes that characterize British cooking?
The first would have to be steak and kidney pie, in terms of a Northern, rustic peasant casserole with pastry. To die for! And to start, the good old classic marie rose prawn cocktail. Charming, retro and delicious.
SH: Do you serve any Scottish dishes?
Er....what, deep-fried haggis? No. I’m Scottish from the waist downwards, that’s it!

SH: What's your next project?  

GR: Tonight we’re launching our first boutique hotel in London, The York and Albany. It’s a 12-bedroom unique hotel on Regent’s Park, very British, traditional, modern fireplaces, authentic and stunning. It’s got an amazing 60-seater restaurant and this beautiful modern-day deli. And then we’re going through all the archives looking at the old Escoffier menus, because we’re relaunching the Savoy Grill in May 09.


Sarah Horrocks
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