Gordon Ramsay Confesses ‘I Actually Love Vegan Food’ on MasterChef

Gordon Ramsay MasterChef

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay conducts the first vegan cooking challenge on tonight’s edition of Master Chef. In the “Gordon Ramsay Loves Vegans” episode, Ramsay confesses to a long-kept secret: he enjoys vegan cuisine.

Officially known as MasterChef: Back to Win, season 12 of the American reality television culinary competition brings back former competitors for a second opportunity to win. In the vegan challenge episode, Ramsay jokingly shares a secret with the other chefs as he discusses the rules of the challenge.

Ramsay claims that “it’s a secret that’s so big, I’m almost afraid to say it on national television.”  Many of the chefs raise an eyebrow when Ramsay speaks since he is notorious for making jokes and making fun of vegans and vegan food in the past. “Don’t worry, Gordon. This is a safe space. We’ll support you,” Judge Aarón Sánchez says as the competitors laugh.

Finally, Ramsay admits, “After all these years, I can finally admit that I actually love vegan food.”

The chef makes his argument once again before cooking up a vegan version of the classic beef meal called beet Wellington. He says, “It’s taken me 20 years to get to this point.”

Vegan chefs are welcomed

Earlier this year, social media celebrities Ian Theasby and Henry Firth—the team behind the wildly popular vegan dish BOSH!—helped Ramsay’s newest competition program, Future Food Stars, become a little more vegan-friendly. Ramsay uses a variety of solo and team tasks throughout the show to test the competitors’ abilities and business knowledge. Ramsay gave the surviving entrepreneurs the assignment of making a 30-second TikTok video supporting Ramsay’s self-described “favorite subject,” veganism, in the semi-final episode, in which Theasby and Firth served as judges.

Valentina Fois, the sole vegan contestant on the competition, paired up with Victoria Omobuwajo to take on Leah Harkess and Stephanie Buttery during the challenge. While Harkess and Buttery opted to highlight vegan meat substitute hacks, Fois and Omobuwajo turned a can of chickpeas into vegan tuna salad in their film.

As the first vegan participant in the show’s 17-year history, Ramsay welcomed Josie Clemens to season 20 of Hell’s Kitchen last spring. The chef, who was born in Michigan, stated that she and Ramsay initially connected on social media after she asked him on Twitter, “When are you going vegan, mate?” Ramsay responded by following Clemens.

Clemens made note of the effect a vegan presence would have on such a well watched show before being invited on the program. A significant seed about veganism is being put in the public awareness, “The thing that I am most excited about for this show is that 6 million people are going to watch it and they’re 6 million people who usually watch a meat cooking show and this is a big seed about veganism being planted in mainstream consciousness… So this could be the very first time people end up hearing about veganism,” Clemens said on Instagram. 

Will Gordon Ramsay go vegan?

Although Ramsay has recently begun to accept veganism, he used to be a fierce opponent, giving his typical critical comments on social media and even claiming to be “allergic to vegans.” But soon after making fun of the vegan way of life, he tweeted that he was “going to give this vegan thing a try.”

The menus of Ramsay’s restaurants, where the chef has added several vegan dishes, reflect his change of heart. By launching a vegan menu at his London restaurant, Bread Street Kitchen, Ramsay celebrated Veganuary in 2019 to start. When the chef opened his first restaurant in Chicago last year, he made sure vegan burgers were available. The Vegan Burger is one of eight distinctive burger variations featured at the Gordon Ramsay Burger restaurant, which bears his name. Vegan patties, bib lettuce, tomato, avocado, egg-free garlic mayonnaise, and vegan bread are used to make the totally plant-based burger. The vegan patty can also be used in lieu of meat in any of the other burgers for an extra $6.

Ramsay has gained attention outside of his restaurants for the vegan meals he frequently posts on social media. The Michelin-starred chef has won over online audiences with his recipes for vegan bang bang cauliflower, crispy vegan bacon, and eggplant steak, demonstrating the effectiveness of social media in capturing attention in new areas.


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