Gordon Ramsay is among the most famous celebrity chefs around, and part of that appeal comes from his tough-love approach in the kitchen. Ramsay has earned a reputation for being unafraid to tell it like it is when it comes to harsh criticism in the competitions he judges and the chefs he trains.
Even his own daughter isn’t immune to his signature over-the-top critique. In fact, those who have never watched one of Ramsay’s shows likely recognize him from a meme that frequently makes appearances on social media.
Now Ramsay has brought that meme back for a very specific purpose.
Gordon Ramsay was almost not a chef at all
It’s hard to imagine Ramsay in any other role. He seems so perfectly suited to his brazen style of providing feedback for would-be chefs, and his talents in the kitchen are undeniable.
Professional cooking was an accidental path for Ramsay, however. He was well on his way to a career as a professional soccer player when an injury dashed his dreams. Rather than letting the knee injury get him down, Ramsay channeled his competitive spirit into cooking, and the rest is history!
He was one of the early stars of the now flooded TV food world. In 1996, he earned a spot on the BBC’s MasterChef, and since then he has made scores of television appearances including on Boiling Point, Hell’s Kitchen, and Kitchen Nightmares.
As you might guess from the titles of those series, Ramsay’s fiery personality and riveting insults became a key part of his public persona. Fans were sometimes taken aback by how mean he could be, but they were also captivated by watching the master at work.
One of Gordon Ramsay’s insults went viral
In 2015, one of Ramsay’s signature moments went viral. Many people have seen this bit of harsh criticism in either video or GIF form, and it features Ramsay taking two pieces of bread, putting them on either side of a woman’s head, and yelling in her face.
“What are you,” Ramsay screams.
“An idiot sandwich,” the woman immediately and shamefully replies. “An idiot sandwich what?!” the chef demands again. “An idiot sandwich, Chef Ramsay,” the woman dutifully replies.
What fans who have seen this moment might not know is that it is not actually from any of Ramsay’s television shows. In fact, it’s not a real moment of criticism at all.
As Buzzfeed reports, the clip comes from a comedic sketch for The Late Late Show where Ramsay played an even more over-the-top version of himself than he usually portrays. The woman in question is television host Julie Chen, and she is decidedly in on the joke. The sketch involves her and James Corden — the host of The Late Late Show — battling it out in the kitchen.
Gordon Ramsay brought back his classic insult
Real or not, Ramsay’s “idiot sandwich” moment has taken on a life of its own, and many internet commenters turn to a GIF of the moment to fling insults of their own. Ramsay, who knows all too well how much the words of an overbearing chef can sting, has brought back this iconic moment with a specific purpose.
The chef has been taking to TikTok to offer up his signature critiques alongside people’s homemade cooking videos. A recent one featured a video from food blogger My Nguyen.
“I’m making a low-carb sandwich with bell pepper and cream cheese,” Nguyen explains in her video.
Ramsay watches on, aghast at the monstrosity he’s witnessing. He particularly took issue with Nguyen’s use of the word “sandwich,” and — of course — that offered a perfect opportunity for him to resurrect his old insult. He said: “No, that is not a low-carb sandwich. Young lady, that there is an idiot sandwich right there!”
Nguyen later revealed she baited Ramsay. She admitted that she intentionally curated a ridiculous recipe to trigger Ramsay and tagged him asking for feedback.