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Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and his wife will celebrate 24 years of marriage in December. They’ve had an unusually enduring relationship, especially in the unforgiving limelight of the celebrity fishbowl.

Gordon Ramsay and his wife, Tana
Gordon Ramsay and his wife, Tana | Samir Hussein/Getty Images

Here’s how the two met and why Tana had to get serious with her husband about a particular vice of his.

How they met

Tana was dating one of Gordon’s good friends when they met, making it impossible for the future Hell’s Kitchen chef to ask her out. Instead he patiently bided his time, hopefully waiting for their relationship to be a short one. She was 18 and he 26 when they met. Although Tana didn’t care very much for the arrogant chef at first, he apparently grew on her as the two eventually did go out and begin dating in 1992.

Gordon and Tana Ramsay
Gordon and Tana Ramsay | Dave Benett/Getty Images

Gordon worked a grueling sixteen hours a day in a restaurant kitchen, forcing the couple to get creative about finding time to see one another.

“I would work, come home, sleep, and wake up again when Gordon finished work,” Tana told The Sun. “We’d meet up in the small hours. That was the only way we could be together, and we really wanted to be together.”

Snacking, according to Gordon Ramsay, almost undid his marriage

To hear the MasterChef star tell it, his love of chomping on snacks nearly caused him to lose his wife. Surely an occupational hazard for chefs and cooks everywhere, snacking was Gordon’s mindless habit for so many years. Eventually, his wife spoke to him about her concern for his weight and health, considering especially that Gordon’s own father died at the relatively young age of 53.

Speaking on the Today show in 2018, Tana jokingly said, “Gordon’s famous for being blunt. I just gave him a little bit of his own medicine and basically suggested that he was getting a little wide around his middle.”

The mother of five is the serious fitness enthusiast in the family and the one who inspired Gordon and their children to get into keeping their bodies fit. For her, it’s not just the physical rewards that get her moving; it’s almost a form of therapy.

“. . . when you’re running, with your music on, you can cry,” she told The Daily Mail in 2018. “You can scream. That’s important. You can’t keep it in because it comes back to haunt you if you haven’t processed it. That’s what causes long-term problems.”

Gordon got back in the game

Gordon concurred with his wife’s opinion about his flabbiness in a conversation with The Daily Mail in 2018 saying, “I didn’t have a figure. I didn’t feel that good. After working my a**e off and achieving a lot, I wanted to get in serious shape.”

“It was painful. I used to look at myself in the mirror and think, ‘Holy (expletive)!’ So it was a big wake-up call.”

The chef got himself a trainer and through a dedicated fitness program, was able to drop more than 50 pounds. Now, he’s keeping up with Tana, in marathons and other fitness races.

“I don’t want my industry to kill me,” he continued. “I know how unhealthy chefs are at the top level. Stress. Suicide. There’s a big downside to cooking loads for a living. It’s lethal: from obesity to heart attacks to cocaine habits.”