More than 80 students from AWWA, ISCOS, Students Care Service, At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy, and the Culinary Institute of America attended the closed-door session where Ramsay shared personal stories of the challenges he faced as a young man and the lessons that shaped him into the culinary star he is today.
Initially, Ramsay set out to become a professional footballer, but had to put those dreams to bed because of a sports injury. He then went back to college to complete a course in hotel management. His dedication and natural talent led him to train with some of the world’s leading chefs including Albert Roux in London, and Guy Savoy and Joël Robuchon in France.
“It was a passion – it wasn’t about money. We didn’t get paid well and you don’t start cooking because you want to become rich and famous,” Ramsay said. “I say to all my young chefs – get that knowledge, turn that knowledge into something unique, spend that time studying. A doctor would read medicine for 10 years, a lawyer would read law for 15 years, it’s the same for food.”
Ramsay has 30 restaurants including Bread Street Kitchen at Marina Bay Sands. He is internationally known for popular cooking shows: Kitchen Nightmares, Hell’s Kitchen, Hotel Hell and MasterChef US.
Guests were able to ask Ramsay questions on his most memorable moments as a chef, and values close to his heart.
“I asked Gordon how he was able to gain confidence in life to do well despite his difficult background, and how he overcame the negative comments he received from being on TV,” Sabrina Amirra, 17, from ISCOS, said. “What he said inspired me, as it was a reminder that even the most successful people have gone through rough patches in life. It was nice to be able to relate to him and hear his advice, and I am very grateful to Sands for Singapore for this rare opportunity.”
“If I can give you one parting advice,” Ramsay told the youth, “It would be to follow your own passion, and work for a choice. That won’t come quickly, but persevere, because this is a marathon, not a 100-meter sprint. Break down the marathon into four 10k runs. Do the first 10k, congratulate yourself, and again after the second 10k.
“Achieve something that’s important to you and give yourself some joy, then the third, and fourth – all of a sudden, you’ve done a marathon.”
In Conversation With is an ongoing series at Marina Bay Sands featuring prominent speakers from film directors, to producers and TV personalities with a wealth of experience in their respective fields. As part of Las Vegas Sands social responsibility to its community, this series is another way for the Integrated Resort to give back to the community through its corporate social responsibility program, Sands for Singapore.