Chef Antonio Gets Real About Gordon Ramsay's Intensity - Exclusive

Those familiar with watching Gordon Ramsay on the small screen may envision the chef as a red-faced, raging hothead who spends all of his time screaming at young chefs and deriding their culinary catastrophes. To be fair, Ramsay has done his share of shouting and insulting on camera. But, to those who have met the man, Ramsay's merely displaying the qualities that have helped him achieve amazing success. One quality is passion. The other, according to chef Antonio Ruiz, who worked closely with Ramsay for weeks while shooting the show "Hell's Kitchen: Young Guns," is intensity.

"I feel like people think he's kind of a mean dude, but he's not," Ruiz said during an exclusive interview with Mashed. "He's a classic chef, but he's just intense. Just like if you and I were sitting here right now, he's into you — his eyes are in your soul, it's just one of those things where the intensity doesn't lack. There is never a moment with him that the intensity is not there." Ruiz explained that even in a celebratory mood, Ramsay's passion is still very much present. "So that's just something to get used to, that intensity. It never wavers and it's kind of cool to see, but it is definitely intimidating at first," he said. 

For Ruiz, his feelings about the accomplished chef at the helm of the show went even deeper.

Antonio Ruiz sees Gordon Ramsay as a coach

Not only did Antonio Ruiz not find Gordon Ramsay to be "a mean dude," but he found in him more of a caring mentor, if indeed an intense and passionate one. "For me, I've always been kind of in sports, playing basketball, playing football, things like that, and so I'm used to kind of that coach mentality," Ruiz said. 

"So it was kind of cool to see him as more of a coach and so that kind of made it a little bit easier, understanding that it's all just about making you better, making you better, making you better," Ruiz explained. "So there really wasn't a time where I was like: 'Oh, man. You're being an a******.' It was always like: 'Hey, bro. If you're saying it...' He's obviously top five. If you put Cook Mount Rushmore up, he's one of the faces. So if you have a chance to learn from that, then you need to. So that was my mentality with him, is just he never says anything that he doesn't mean, or doesn't say anything that is not going to make anybody around him better." Ruiz admitted that it's sometimes tough love, but all for a purpose. "It's all just to make everybody better."

Follow the chef on Instagram and support his work with Our Commitment that's bringing attention to mental health issues faced by service industry workers.