Getty Images / Jason LaVeris

In this resurfaced clip from 2010, a Thai chef critiques Ramsay's cooking skills. 

Elisabeth Sherman
April 09, 2018

Gordon Ramsay is a talented chef; that much is inarguable. But even for the most consummate professionals in the kitchen, some dishes are out of reach. Thanks a 2010 clip from the U.K. version of The F Word, resurfaced on Twitter, we now know that Ramsay has his limits, too. Back then at least, he just wasn’t very good at making Thai food.

This revelation comes from a long-ago incident at Blue Elephant at London. Ramsay makes pad thai for a chef only identified as Chang. When he’s finished, Ramsay presents the dish to Chang, asking for his approval.

“What do you want to know from me? Ask me,” Chang says, after taking a bite.

Perhaps predicting that he’s about to be humiliated on television, Ramsay stumbles over his words a bit, then asks, “How is it?”

You have to see the disgusted face Chang makes to believe it but it’s his accompanying statement that is especially cutting. 

“This is not pad thai at all,” he says, sparing no feelings whatsoever.

Ramsay, having been successfully humbled by his superior (at least in the field of making Thai food), tries to recover. He takes a bite himself, feebly insisting that it “doesn’t taste too bad.”

Chang is having none of Ramsay’s justifications.

“For you. But not for me,” he shoots back.

Case closed, no more to argue. Perhaps what makes this clip so satisfying to watch is that Ramsay is infamous for his harsh critiques of other people’s cooking skills. Now he’s getting a taste of his own medicine.

That’s certainly part of the appeal, but I think there’s also some satisfaction to be had in discovering that culinary geniuses—even one with 17 Michelin stars to his name—have their weaknesses. Maybe Ramsay's skills have improved since then. Maybe he really took the chef’s words to heart and tried to better honor Thai flavors and cooking techniques on his next try. I hope so. If Gordon Ramsay is still learning this far along in his career, then there’s no reason for home cooks to get discouraged next time we have our own cooking fail. At least ours aren’t televised.