One of my favorite post-work decompression methods is to watch "Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares" on BBC America. For the unfamiliar: It's a reality show wherein the world-famous chef, restauranteur and swearing machine troubleshoots a floundering restauarant, fixing it within a week and usually making people cry and/or swear right back at him in the process.
After watching it for a few months, I realized why I like the show so much: The man actually cares about these places. He wants to see them succeed, he knows how to fix them and he's willing to be hated in the process. He's also similar to Cesar Millan in his tough-love approach, but that's probably a separate post.
This morning, I went poking around to see what I could find out about Mr. Ramsay, and so, for your entertainment, I present to you my favorite fun facts about him.
1. He wanted to play football (soccer, to Americans) on a professional level, but injured himself badly enough that he had to switch careers.
2. He professes to hate the French even though he is Scottish (I'm assuming here that French-bashing is an English sport).
3. He once threw a food critic and said critic's dining companion out of one of his restaurants for insulting him (note: him, not his food). The dining companion happened to be Joan Collins.
4. The animals he raises for food purposes are named after other celebrities -- mostly chefs, but also Trinny and Susannah of "What Not to Wear," who were said to be amused at having pigs named after them.
5. He nearly died when he fell off a cliff into icy water in Iceland while filming a segment about puffin hunting. I like to think a puffin pushed him.
6. He was unseated from his number-one position on the Top Gear leader board by Simon Cowell. (Background: Top Gear is a British car show, one of the featured segments of which is interviewing a celebrity and then putting them in a "reasonably priced car" and sending them around a track to see how fast they can go. The results are recorded on a leader board, and a good part of the fun is seeing who's faster than whom.)