“The closest thing that Gino D’Acampo’s ever gotten to a Michelin star is the Michelin tyres on his car, so I don’t have any problem whatsoever.”
Gordon Ramsay is, as you would hope and expect, in fine fighting form. When RadioTimes.com speaks to the star chef and documentary maker, he’s putting the finishing touches to a special three-course Christmas menu for ITV’s Gordon, Gino and Fred’s Great Christmas Roast.
This special one-off sees Gordon and Gino going head to head to lay on a spectacular festive banquet for deserving members of the public and emergency services who have risked their lives in horrendous circumstances this year such as terror attacks and the tragedy of Grenfell Tower.
“It’s not just going to be giving back, but also just spoiling them,” Gordon continues. “For people that are real, hard-working individuals that don’t get the chance to indulge like this? Yeah, it makes it even more worthwhile.”
And although Gino tells us that he hopes the show will be “more of a celebration to say thank you” and that there’s “a bit for everyone”, that isn’t stopping Gordon’s notoriously fiery and competitive edge emerging.
Gordon tells us that he sent Gino one of his online tutorials that was downloaded by 47 million people. “I sent it to Gino for Christmas. It’s $90, but I paid for it. So there should be no f**king excuses. So if he comes back to me with overcooked meat and over-seasoned risotto, I’m going to hit the f**king roof.”
“I think it’s going to be carnage,” adds Gordon. “I’ve already said that Gino can have a head start. He may be a sweet guy with Holly and Phil, cooking mince pies, but this is on a different level.
“Behind those doors, we need to create something magical to remember – not something whimsical,” he says. “So it’s going to be high tempo and full-on. I just really hope that Gino, on the day, gets his shit together.”
Crikey, don’t say we didn’t warn you…
Who are Gordon, Gino and Fred?
That would be celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsay and Gino D’Acampo and First Dates Maître d’ Fred Sirieix. Comedian Stephen Merchant will also be on hand to get the results from the diners on the night and see whether Gordon or Gino’s menu and dishes have triumphed.
Where is Gordon, Gino and Fred’s Great Christmas Roast filmed?
The banquet is being held at Merchant Taylor’s Hall, near to Borough Market and Westminster Bridge – both locations for terror attacks in 2017.
Gordon, Gino and Fred are also embarking on a road trip together which will be aired during the show. “We go off to France in search of truffles, wine and ingredients,” says Gordon. “And that’s just going to be a fricking nightmare, sharing a tent with Gino and Fred. I’d rather sleep outside that tent to be safer.”
Who are the celebrities in Gordon, Gino and Fred’s Great Christmas Roast?
The stars lending Gordon and Gino a hand in the kitchen are former Spice Girl Geri Horner, singer and actress Martine McCutcheon, rapper Professor Green, news reader Kay Burley, Emmerdale’s Chris Bisson and actor Larry Lamb.
There will be a hint of Celebrity MasterChef thrown into the mix: the soux chef celebrities will all cook a signature dish, which Gino and Gordon will then blind taste test in order to help them choose their assistants.
After the teams have been decided, the celebrities will then have just one day to learn how to cook their chef’s three-course Christmas menu.
Why aren’t Gordon Ramsay and Gino D’Acampo cooking turkey?
The short answer is that both chefs absolutely hate it.
“Here’s the thing: there’s a reason we eat that bird once a year,” Gordon laughs. “I know everyone has turkeys everywhere on Christmas Day, but it’s not the kind of thing we want to do for Christmas. Gino would tell you, he’s even more, ‘All turkey is dry.’”
What Gino actually tells us is that turkey is “shit”.
“Nobody likes turkey. Do people like turkey during the year? No. I rest my case. It’s dry, it’s tasteless, it’s shit. My point is, if that’s a shit meat why would you want to have that on the best day of the year? It’s Christmas Day, why don’t you f**king make something else?! ‘No, no, no – we need to have turkey because everybody tells us we have to eat turkey…'”
Although that’s not the only festive food coming under fire from Gino…
“Cinnamon is another one of these things that nobody gives a shit about during the year and all of a sudden the cinnamon stick comes alive at Christmas. It’s f**king everywhere isn’t it? It’s in the drinks, it’s in the meat, it’s in the fish…”
OK Gino, we get the picture…
What are Gordon and Gino cooking on Gordon, Gino and Fred’s Great Christmas Roast?
“I’m cooking Italian food. Everybody loves Italian food and everybody loves Italian flavours,” says Gino. “I don’t know exactly what I’m going to make yet but one thing I’m going to try is to make a Christmas-style tiramisu with cappuccino foam on top and a little bit of cinnamon so it brings a little bit of the Christmas spirit.
“Knowing Gordon he’s going to go for a British classic and something very elegant and looks beautiful on the plate – but he’s probably going to spend most of his time decorating the plate. I am the opposite – I spent all my time understanding the balance of flavours.”
It turns out Gino is pretty spot on…
“For this banquet, I’m going for pan-fried scallops from the west coast of Scotland, with a beautiful parsnip puree, and maybe a filet beef served with a truffle macaroni,” enthuses Gordon.
“And then for dessert, I’m literally putting my head on the block because we’re going to do a mince pie soufflé. Now, everyone thinks I’m slightly crazy for having a go, but it’ll be a showstopper,” adds Gordon.
“And the only thing I’ll be serving Gino is a box of f**king tissues because he’s going to sit there, smelling those mince pie soufflés thinking, ‘Why couldn’t I have done that?’”
Gordon, Gino and Fred’s Great Christmas Roast airs Thursday 21st December at 9pm on ITV