Paula Deen Reveals What Gordon Ramsay Is Really Like - Exclusive

With the newest season of "MasterChef" underway on FOX, chef and TV personality Gordon Ramsay is back doing what he does best: guiding hopeful amateur cooks and chefs to potential greatness, using a whole lot of tough love (to put it mildly). But this time around, he's doing it with the help of some of the most accomplished and influential chefs in the business. "MasterChef: Legends," as the new season is dubbed, is raising the stakes (and the star power) with household names like Emeril Lagasse, Masaharu Morimoto, and Paula Deen showing up to help mentor and judge the contestants — and Mashed got an inside scoop.

In an exclusive interview, homegrown Southern cook Paula Deen talked with us about her experience filming "MasterChef: Legends" and getting right into the action with Ramsay. She admitted, "I was shocked that they had invited me to be in the legends. What a compliment." Deen called the whole thing "a wonderful experience," adding "I love working with Gordon. I've worked with him in the past ... I'm always happy to be by his side." Deen also shared some insight into the real Gordon Ramsay, who she says is not the same intimidating character we see in front of the camera.

Gordon Ramsay has got us all fooled, according to Paula Deen

Whether it's on "Hell's Kitchen," "MasterChef," or "Kitchen Nightmares," Gordon Ramsay has built a reputation for being ... well, harsh. Ramsay is known for his blunt criticism and major intimidation factor, accepting nothing less than excellence in all culinary matters — at least that's what the cameras show you. If you ask some people who have gotten to know him and work with him, there's a whole other side to Ramsay.

Paula Deen is among those who have seen his softer side, telling Mashed, "The first time I ever met and worked with Gordon, I said, 'Gordon, I'm going home and I'm going to ruin your reputation.' He said, 'How's that, Paula?' I said, 'Because everybody thinks you're such a badass, and I'm going to tell them what a cream puff you really are.'" And if you know anything about Paula Deen, you know she means that in the best way possible. She added that Ramsay is "very kind and he's a sweet man."

Of course, that doesn't mean his fiery personality is all fake. Deen claims this is part of why they are able to have fun working together, stating that Ramsay does of course use some "saucy language ... He can be saucy, and so can I."

You can catch Paula Deen alongside Gordon Ramsay during the newest season of "MasterChef: Legends," now on FOX.