When chef Albert Roux stopped by our table at his restaurant, Chez Roux in Conroe, I shook his hand. The food was stellar. But it was also a real treat to talk to the legendary chef, since he only visits a few weeks out the year. "I've always wanted to meet the man who made Gordon Ramsay cry," I told him. The 75-year-old chef chuckled at that.
Roux trained Gordon Ramsay and several other top British chefs at Le Gavroche in London's Mayfair district, which in 1967 became the first English restaurant to earn a Michelin star. By 1982, the place had earned the top rating of three Michelin stars. Ramsay would go on to earn many Michelin stars of his own.
"But it must have been pretty hard to make Gordon Ramsay cry," I guessed, based on the hard-boiled image that Ramsay cultivates on television shows like Hell's Kitchen, where he swears a blue streak and regularly berates wannabe chefs until they sob.
"No it's not hard at all," Chef Roux confided. "Gordon has a very big heart. He is nothing like the guy you see on television." Chef Roux may have reduced Ramsay to tears, but he is mild-mannered compared to many French chefs.
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Ramsay, who is often accused of being a bully in the kitchen, points to chef Marco Pierre White and Guy Savoy as the mentors who really taught him how to get in a young chef's face.