Gordon Ramsay was haunted by childhood memories of living on milk powder on a council estate and refused to accept the status quo.
The celebrity chef has worked in the kitchen for decades and has now amassed a staggering fortune of £610 million – which reportedly makes him richer than Beyoncé.
The Hell’s Kitchen hothead reportedly rakes in millions every year from his restaurant empire, with TV deals, cookbooks and advertising on the side.
According to Forbes, his most recent Studio Ramsay Global deal with Fox Broadcasting Company was estimated to be worth a staggering £150 million.
But Ramsay has insisted his six children “won’t see a penny of it”, telling the Telegraph in 2017 he wanted them to forge their own path in life, like he did.
He said: “It’s definitely not their business and I don’t mean that in a bad way; it’s about not spoiling them.”
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“The only thing I agreed with Tana is that they get a 25 percent deposit on an apartment, but not on the whole apartment.”
“Money never really appealed to me. That is not my ultimate goal and that is reflected in the way the children are raised.”
With a portfolio of luxury real estate, motors and an expensive cookware label, we take a look at how the new father of six built his empire from nothing.
Rags to riches
Originally born in Scotland, Ramsay moved to Warwickshire at a young age where he grew up on a council estate called “Skint”.
While his humiliating childhood taught him life lessons, Ramsay admitted that being poor wasn’t easy.
He said: “Food played an important role in my childhood. I remember asking for more, but there wasn’t any.”
“It taught us not to be picky eaters…I used to try to please my mother by clearing my plate. But I wasn’t a liver fan.”
“The only terrible memories were when we still had proper shelling and used powdered milk. It was like eating the dregs of the dishwasher.”
The Kitchen Nightmares star recently revealed that his family grew up plowing through 15 different houses on the property.
In his autobiography Humble Pie, Ramsay recounted that his parents were so unwell that he and his siblings were entitled to free school meals.
He said: “We always had free meal vouchers at school. It was an embarrassment.”
“I always told my friends that I was too busy playing football to eat with them, but when they came out to play I would jump in and get the damn food.”
The only terrible memories were when we were still fully skinned and using powdered milk. It was like eating the dregs of the dishwasher
Ramsay was a keen footballer from a young age and was a star of his boyhood club Oxford United.
Thanks to his excellent footwork, he even secured a few trials with Scottish Premier League club Glasgow Rangers at the age of 15.
However, his athletic career was plagued by injuries, including knee surgery that ended his career and forced him to return to the kitchen.
Ramsay then earned a degree in hotel management in 1987, paving the way for his career in hospitality.
He later became a chef and worked with top chefs in Europe, including Marco Pierre White and the late Albert Roux.
When he revisited Rangers’ home in an episode of The F Word that aired in 2008, he admitted: “Without the surprise at Ibrox I wouldn’t be the chef I am today.”
The blonde hothead eventually founded his restaurant empire in 1997 and became a household name.
Ramsay boasted a record 17 Michelin stars, TV contracts soon followed and Ramsay ventured into the British celebrity world.
His most famous shows include Hell’s Kitchen, Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, MasterChef and The F Word.
Ramsay also currently owns 36 restaurants in the UK and has additional locations in Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and Singapore.
The 57-year-old reportedly takes home £90 million a year as a result.
In addition to his lucrative restaurants, Ramsay also enjoyed the wealth that comes with being a media personality.
He has worked on all major networks including BBC One, ITV and Channel 4, as well as stints on American television.
The savvy businessman also boosts his bank balance via social media – he reportedly earns up to £46,000 per sponsored post on Instagram.
The TV chef’s assets include 23 properties, eight cars and two luxury yachts.
His most important residences were in Cornwall, London and Los Angeles.
Last year, Ramsay sold the coastal Cornish home for a whopping £7.5 million.
However, some of his recent business ventures have been heavily criticized.
In June, the chef faced public anger for flogging designer pots costing £735.
And in 2021 it was revealed he was charging a whopping £275 a head for a Christmas dinner at his swanky London restaurant Pétrus.
Despite his millions, Ramsay strives to keep his children humble.
He and his wife Tana have six children: Megan, Holly, Jack, Tilly, Oscar and most recently Jesse.
Ramsay previously told the Financial Times that he chose not to spoil his family for good reason.
He said: “I have to take the children seriously and I also think that children aged five, six and seven, as they get used to first class and those big seats, they don’t need the space, they get it. “ entertainment on their iPads.
“So I like to think about what you can do with the money when you land, rather than spending thousands of dollars on eight-, nine- and 10-year-olds sitting in first class.”
“I don’t want them to sit there and enjoy a 10-course meal with champagne.
“I’m not embarrassed, it’s my wife and I’s decision to discipline her and keep her real.”
During a question and answer session on Reddit A few years later, the chef added that he continued to teach his children good habits.
He said: “I’ve never been home seven nights a week cooking for the children.”
“What I taught the kids from day one is a work ethic. So the time we spend together is limited but of high quality.”
“I have to protect them and respect the restaurant and the team in my restaurant.”
“I made them as normal as possible…they all had jobs, they all took care of animals, they all had housework. There is a roster.”
“They get pocket money, but they have to earn that pocket money.”