Singapore (16 January 2018) – Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay returned to Marina Bay Sands to ignite the passion of more than 80 local youth during an intimate In Conversation With dialogue session held at ArtScience Museum.
During the closed-door session attended by beneficiaries from local organisations including AWWA, ISCOS, Students Care Service, At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy and the Culinary Institute of America, Ramsay shared personal stories of the challenges he faced as a young man and the lessons that have shaped him to become the celebrated culinary star he is today.
The event was part of Marina Bay Sands’ ongoing In Conversation With series which features prominent speakers – from film directors, to producers and TV personalities – with a wealth of experience in their respective fields. It is also one of the many ways the integrated resort gives back to the local community through its corporate social responsibility programme Sands for Singapore.
While most people would know Gordon through his success today, many may not know that he was once an aspiring professional footballer who had to give up his dreams due to a sports injury. Despite the turn of fate, he 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.
He went on to open his own restaurants to much acclaim and ventured successfully into the small screen both in the UK and internationally, with shows such as Kitchen Nightmares, Hell’s Kitchen, Hotel Hell and MasterChef US.
On his humble beginnings and early years in the industry, Gordon said: “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. 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.”
Advising the youth, he said: “It’s important to go on that journey, travel, study, and don’t worry about comparing where your mates are. As you adapt to life and you change every six months, you get stronger and better. No one is going to tell you that, so you have to self-edit, self-promote, and visualize climbing that ladder, and don’t worry about sharing it with anybody. You are climbing that ladder, so tell yourself, convince yourself, and more importantly, stay on it!”
During the sharing session, invited guests also had the opportunity to ask Gordon Ramsay what were his most memorable moments as a chef, and values close to his heart.
Sabrina Amirra, 17, from ISCOS, said: “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. 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.”
When asked how he overcame the lowest point of his career, Gordon said: “When you’re down in the dumps, the most important thing for me, was the journey back. Because picking yourself up and dusting yourself down – no one can ever teach you that in life. More importantly, you need to come back twice as strong. No matter how successful you become, remember that wherever you go in life, it is the journey there that is most exciting.
Gordon left a piece of parting advice for the youth: “If I can give you one parting advice, 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-metre 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.”
Since its debut in 2015, the In Conversation With series has featured actors Adrian Grenier, Dev Patel, Michelle Yeoh, Choi Siwon, Koji Yakusho; Oscar-winning screenwriter Lord Julian Fellowes, singer-songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae; and award-winning filmmakers Darren Aronofsky and Shekhar Kapur. The latest to star in this series were the three judges of Asia’s Got Talent Season 2 – Grammy Award-winning producer David Foster, Korean-American hip-hop and RnB star Jay Park, and international recording artist Anggun.
About Marina Bay Sands Pte Ltd
Marina Bay Sands is the leading business, leisure and entertainment destination in Asia. It features large and flexible convention and exhibition facilities, 2,560 hotel rooms and suites, the rooftop Sands SkyPark, the best shopping mall in Asia, world-class celebrity chef restaurants, a theatre and an outdoor event plaza. Completing the line-up of attractions is ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands which plays host to permanent and marquee exhibitions. For more information, please visit www.marinabaysands.com