Gordon Ramsay credits Banbury Round Table for helping launch his career


The club bought him his first set of equipment when he was at college here

Gordon Ramsay has credited Banbury Round Table with giving him the helping hand he needed to get his career started.   The club purchased his first set of knives and chef whites for him.

The chef, restaurateur and television presenter was speaking on the High Performance Podcast.

He said: “There’s a charity called Banbury Round Table – I think every town has these round table charities. They paid for my first set of whites; they bought my first set of knives; they bought my first floppy hat.

“Everyone asks ‘why do you do so much for charity’?  It started with charity – if it wasn’t for that incredible moment.

“I think it was £62 for a set of knives, two chef’s jackets, horrendous trousers and these ridiculous clogs that no one could walk in.   All of a sudden, these knives were your possession and your tools.   I polished them sharply every day.   I remember nipping the end off one of them once and I was gutted.    The fact that these knives were cheap – £17 pound for a set of 25 knives – but you respect them.

“That moment for me was ‘you’ve got all the tools now do something with it’.”

Gordon, who’s known for TV shows like Kitchen Nightmares and Hell’s Kitchen, spoke of how he moved to Banbury after his time as a footballer with Scottish side Rangers came to an abrupt end.

Here he lived in a council flat with his sister and secured a place at Banbury Technical College (now Banbury and Bicester College), where he studied catering, which gave him a way of becoming independent and moving away from the hurt of the failed football career.

“It was that moment my mum taught me – dust yourself down, pick yourself up, and go again,” Gordon said.  “Then that freedom with the connection with food, all of a sudden, started to really resonate.”

Current members of Banbury Cross Round Table are proud of the role they played early in Gordon’s career.

Round Tabler Michael Round said: “Gordon is correct that there are Round Tables clubs all across the UK, and also in over 50 countries around the world. In the UK alone last year, young men from Round Table clubs combined to volunteer time and raise money in excess of £5million which has helped local causes and communities.

“In Banbury your local Round Table club is getting ready to run their annual Santa’s sleigh procession around the town, then next year we’ll be back to enjoying a varied programme of social activities while finding ways to help our community.

“If you’d like to request funding for a local charity or good cause, you can reach us via banbury@roundtable.org.uk.

“Maybe the next Gordon Ramsey is out there.”

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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