The Real Reason Gordon Ramsay Lost His Michelin Stars

Gordon Ramsay is an acclaimed chef who has plenty to be proud of. He's established quite the reputation for himself over the years and is regarded as a distinguished name in the field. As per his official website, Ramsay originally hoped to become a professional soccer player, but changed his mind after sustaining an injury. He then studied hotel management and worked with several respectable chefs such as Albert Roux, Guy Savoy, and Marco Pierre White.

Ramsay's hard work didn't go unnoticed for too long; just three years after he started working at Aubergine in London, Ramsay managed to earn two Michelin stars for the restaurant. Since then, the acclaimed chef has only progressed and evolved further as a chef, earning several more Michelin stars over the course of his illustrious career. However, he hasn't always managed to hold on to those precious accolades. Read on to know why Ramsay lost some of his Michelin stars.

Ramsay has lost quite a few Michelin stars

As reported by Cheatsheet, Ramsay has truly worked hard at his career at many respected eateries, a feat that's earned him 16 Michelin stars throughout his tenure as a chef. Unfortunately, he's lost many of those and now only holds seven of them. To be clear, it's quite common for restaurants to lose those coveted Michelin stars. Still, Ramsay has found it hard to stomach his losses. "I started crying when I lost my stars," he lamented. "It's a very emotional thing for any chef. It's like losing a girlfriend. You want her back." Oh man!

So, why did Ramsay lose these stars in the first place? The reason is simple: his dishes weren't consistent. That said, Ramsay is still incredibly popular in the industry. His eatery, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, has been awarded three Michelin stars since 2001; Ramsay is also the first Scottish chef to win three Michelin stars. That's pretty impressive.

Ramsay has encountered unexpected roadblocks

In 2013, Ramsay suffered a major blow when his eatery, Gordon Ramsay at the London in New York City, ended up losing out on both its Michelin stars. As per Eater, this had never happened before; no restaurant had ever lost two Michelin stars at once on account of quality concerns. 

Well, things weren't as simple as they seemed. It's true that Ramsay was a crucial part of the restaurant when it first opened its doors in 2006, and that it was awarded two Michelin stars in just two years. However, by 2009, Ramsay, faced with financial obstacles, decided to make a sale and handed the eatery over to the London hotel. As a representative said, "Gordon Ramsay is not involved in the day-to-day running of the restaurants or kitchens, as is a licensing agreement, but is in communication regarding updates and changes at the restaurant." 

That said, Ramsay's reputation took a definite hit because of the loss of Michelin stars. As far as Michelin officials were concerned, Gordon Ramsay at the London simply didn't stay impressive in terms of quality and delivered lackluster meals. As Michelin Guide director, Michael Ellis, explained, "We've had issues with consistency, and consistency is a huge thing for us."

He really values Michelin stars

In 2019, Ramsay expressed his displeasure for chefs who don't take their Michelin stars seriously and end up either giving them back to the organization or refuse to accept the honor in the first place. As far as Ramsay is concerned, it's a team effort and everyone loses out if a chef decides to not accept the designation (via The Straits Times). "Whether it's an Emmy, an Oscar, a Bafta or a Michelin star, it's the icing on the cake, not just for the chef but also for the staff who are equally as focused as the owner," he explained.

Other chefs such as Sébastien Bras, who let go of three Michelin stars, have mentioned that it's too much pressure for him and his team members to worry about. Another chef, Andre Chiang, expressed that he didn't wish to be considered by Michelin star officials because he wished to experiment at his eatery in Taiwan without the added stress. Of course, Ramsay begs to differ and continues to take his Michelin stars very seriously.

Ramsay also said that the Michelin stars are actually very useful for diners who can use it like a guide while picking restaurants to dine at, as per an Associated Press report.