Kim Ratcharoen: 'the kitchen is full of adrenaline, energy and passion. All things I am addicted to.'

The  Staff Canteen

Ask anyone in the industry who they are expecting big things from in the future and Kim Ratcharoen comes up time and time again.

So, who better to be our chef to watch than Restaurant Gordon Ramsay’s head chef? This is actually Kim’s second stint at the three Michelin-starred restaurant, she left as senior sous and took time out which gave her ‘self-belief’ she needed for her current role.

“When you step away from somewhere and look at other places you realise it is the right place for you.

“I went to other restaurants for stages, they were all great and I saw so many things, different perspectives, and cultures. However, for me I felt Restaurant Gordon Ramsay is the right place because I enjoy working under pressure and the attention to detail the job requires. We work hard every single day and the level of passion from individual chefs is very high.

kim ratcharoen
Photo Credit: @restaurantgordonramsay

“An opportunity like this does not come easily. It is such an honour to be leading this incredible talented team alongside, chef patron, Matt Abé who has supported me throughout my journey at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay.”

She admits her role is challenging, but one that she embraces and enjoys. Kim started working in hospitality with minimal cooking skills and experience but it was her determination and hard work that led her to where she is now.

"It was a massive achievement to be a sous chef at one of the best restaurants and now to be given the responsibility of a head chef is incredible."

Kim’s career started with Michael Bremner, chef owner of 64 degrees, who she went on to work for, for a year in London. It was from there she went on to work for Gordon Ramsay for six years.

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay

“To be honest, I thought I’d last six weeks, maybe six months. My first day I was completely overwhelmed but the kitchen is full of adrenaline, energy and passion. All things I am addicted to.”

She describes working with Matt as amazing and praises his support.

“Matt is the hardest working person I know and his passion is infectious. He is the pillar of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay.”

Kitchen culture

Every kitchen has its own unique culture Kims says her teams 'common goal is to work together'.

"Restaurant Gordon Ramsay embraces the ‘one team one dream’ ethos," she explained. "In addition, there is a lot of mentoring, teaching and training. This is because it is important that the chefs learn and progress everyday. It is also significant that they take responsibilities, have ownership and initiative. In this way we can create a better environment and future for everyone."

Female chef vs chef

For Kim, it depends on who is the hardest worker, most determined and the desire to strive for success. Kim was and is now still very hungry to be very successful in her career.

The past two years have been so ‘unexpected’ for Kim, from her role at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay to making her TV debut on Great British Menu.

She said:  "London and the South East region is one of the toughest regions to compete in. However, the menu I presented was something that represented me as a chef. It showed uniqueness and authenticity which drew a lot of attention - refined, modern cooking with Thai heritage flavours."

 

What is success?

Kim credits her success to her grandma, she said: “She taught me to be tough and I live by that. You can’t just sit at home, expecting things to come to you. You have to go get what you want.”

She added: “To be successful you have to give more than you get given. My ethos is, where there is a will there is a way. If you set a goal to achieve something, within your heart and your desire, you will make it happen."

Kim’s love of food came from cooking for friends at university, where she studied economics. Her friends would tell her she should be a chef but at the time she ‘didn’t see it as a career’.

“I didn’t see it as a job that would progress and I couldn’t see myself doing it for a long time.”

Growing up in Thailand Kim says as a girl, it was important that you learn to cook so you can take care of your family.

"My grandma was the one who taught me how to cook. She gave me the strength and the focus to strive through my journey at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay.”

Fast forward to now and Kim says she doesn’t think she could do anything else other than cooking.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 6th July 2022

Kim Ratcharoen: 'the kitchen is full of adrenaline, energy and passion. All things I am addicted to.'