There's no such thing as a free lunch in Gordon Ramsay's family. Although the TV chef has multiple hugely successful TV shows, restaurants, and business ventures — landing himself on the Forbes list of highest-paid celebrities with $54 million in income last year — he refuses to use those riches to spoil his children.
In a new interview with The Telegraph, Ramsay explains his parenting philosophy when it comes to raising his four children with wife Tana: 15-year-old Matilda, 17-year-old Jack and Holly, and 18-year-old Megan.
For example, the 50-year-old's children fly coach while Mom and Dad enjoy the the perks of traveling in luxury. "They don’t sit with us in first class. They haven’t worked anywhere near hard enough to afford that," he said. "At that age, at that size, you’re telling me they need to sit in first class? No, they do not. We’re really strict on that." He continued, "I turn left with Tana and they turn right and I say to the chief stewardess, 'Make sure those little fuckers don’t come anywhere near us, I want to sleep on this plane'. I worked my fucking arse off to sit that close to the pilot and you appreciate it more when you’ve grafted for it." I mean, he's not wrong. How can you avoid raising entitled children when you're giving them everything that haven't earned?
What about Ramsay's world-class restaurants? Surely, he lets his children dine there on his dime? Only on very special, rare occasions. "Last time we went to Royal Hospital Road [his three Michelin-starred restaurant in Chelsea] was for Megan’s 16th birthday, and that was the first time we’ve ever eaten there with the kids," he said. Sometimes he has them pitch in with waiting tables, too. "They have served the Chelsea pensioners there for Christmas lunch, but not eaten there."
But the TV chef is doing it for the benefit of his youngsters; he's teaching them to earn and manage their own money. They get small allowances every week, which they use to pay for their own phone plans and bus fares. "The earlier you give them that responsibility to save for their own trainers and jeans, the better," Ramsay said.
And no, Ramsay has plans to leave what will be a sizable inheritance to his offspring either. "It’s definitely not going to them, and that’s not in a mean way; it’s to not spoil them," he explained. I think Ramsay wins the award for Dad of the Year: hard-ass division.
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