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Issue 1 - Gordon Ramsay: My Glasgow

Scotland Magazine Issue 1
March 2002

 

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Gordon Ramsay: My Glasgow

The famous chef takes a few minutes to talk about the city he loves

Famed for his outbursts in the kitchen in the quest for culinary brilliance, the perfectionist chef has returned to the city of his birth, Glasgow, to open a new restaurant, Amaryllis. The restaurant has just earned a Michelin Star to embellish its – and Gordon’s – growing reputation.

Q: How long have you lived and/or worked in Glasgow?
A: I lived in Glasgow until I was 10 years old when my family moved south, and have worked in the city for one year.

Q: How would you describe the city to someone who’s never visited it?
A: Glasgow is a city of wonderful architecture, classically built and never loses its beauty. It’s an unpretentious city which is warm, down to earth and charmingly unselfconscious.

Q: What are, to you, the city’s main attractions?
A: Every time I fly over Glasgow my eyes are irresistibly drawn left to Ibrox, and I love George Square which lies at the very heart of everything. I enjoy the relaxed, informal ambience and atmosphere in Ashton Lane, and you can’t beat the city’s sophisticated and stylish shopping areas on Buchanan Street and the Merchant City. There are also some great galleries dotted around showing amazing work by Scottish artists.

Q: What’s the best thing about Glasgow?
A: Drive north for 20 minutes and you find yourself in some of the most beautiful countryside in the world – stunning scenery and wonderful freshwater lochs.

Q: And the worst?
A: It only has three days sunshine per year and halfway through August you still need your wellies!

Q: Has devolution changed Glasgow and Scotland as a whole in your eyes?
A: I think devolution has encouraged the Scots to focus more on their own affairs and to have the confidence to stand alone.

Q: Who are your Scottish heroes - historical and contemporary?
A: Robert the Bruce, Sir Alex Ferguson and Rod Stewart.

Q: Is there anywhere you regularly go to eat in the city?
A: When I am in Glasgow I can often be found eating at Gamba – great food and atmosphere.

Q: Do you have a favourite bar or pub – if so, which one, where is it and why?
A: I really love Corinthian in the Merchant City – where else could you find such amazingly beautiful surroundings? The interior is lavish, just stunning.

Q: Is there any way Glasgow could be improved in your opinion?
A: Traffic congestion in the city can be an absolute nightmare. It would be great to see an orbital road built like the M25, which would take all of that flow of traffic away from the cluttered approaches to the centre of the city.

Q: What is your fondest memory of the city, or an experience in the city?
A: I always remember going to Coronation Park in Port Glasgow. When I was a wee boy I loved that area, especially its proximity to the shipbuilders. I’ll never forget the sense of excitement and expectation before the launch of a new boat.

Q: Which is it - Rangers or Celtic?
A: Undoubtedly Rangers.

Q: What’s the best restaurant in Glasgow apart from your own?
A: When I have free time I also love to eat ethnic food, and for a brilliant curry you can’t beat Charan Gill’s Ashoka.

Q: Do you shop in Glasgow? If so, where do you favour for clothes and luxury goods?
A: I always head for Cruise if I need to buy clothes in Glasgow, and I am also a big Hugo Boss fan; Prince’s Square usually takes care of anything else I might need. I find it difficult to resist the temptation that the Roger Billcliffe Gallery holds.

Q: Do you buy produce for your restaurants locally?
A: For me ‘local’ means Scottish and so 90% of the produce used at Amaryllis is sourced locally – we use the best of venison, hand-dived scallops and fish found off the west coast, lots of phenomenally flavoured Scottish wild mushrooms and, without a shadow of a doubt, the best beef in the world.

Q: What’s your favourite local dish?
A: A beautiful fillet of Tay salmon roasted and served simply on a bed of new Ayrshire tatties.
 
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