'We need more powerful females at the forefront'

The  Staff Canteen

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay praised the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak for introducing the VAT cut and furlough scheme, and spoke about the importance of promoting more female presence in kitchens as part of the government's new ‘In Conversation’ series designed to support economic recovery across a range of sectors.

"I know you've had a hellish year," Gordon said, adding that "there hasn't been a Chancellor in history who's experienced what you've experienced in the last twelve months." 

"I look at the setups in France and Italy and Spain, the US and Germany, and I think we've been given one of the most incredible support systems.

The chef commended the Treasury for rolling out the furlough scheme, which he called "instrumental" in maintaining a positive outlook throughout the Covid-19 crisis, as well as the VAT reduction to 5% for hospitality and the business rate suspension, which he said were "pivotal," and together, "worked out brilliantly."

Explaining that the rent problem was a real one, but that his conversations with his own have been fruitful, as they have been understanding - because, he said, "when you have a brand that is strong and you're coming back even stronger,"  treating his restaurants "like a new opening." 

Asked how he believes the government has dealt with the Covid-19 crisis, Gordon replied: "I think you delivered." 

Praising the ongoing support from government even between lockdowns, he said: "as a government, we've been supported better than any other country that I know." 

"You've been precise, what you've said, you've stood by and delivered." 

Women in the kitchen 

The pair touched on the ascension of women in the summits of fine dining, mentioning Gordon Ramsay protégé Clare Smyth, the country's only female three star chef with her name above the door of the restaurant, Angela Hartnett, Gordon Ramsay's own daughter and the many female chefs making their way through his kitchens at this present moment.

"To see the way that [Clare]'s become a stature of absolute brilliance - it should be less of a masculine world, it should be more of a 50-50 split," Gordon said, "we need more powerful females at the forefront." 

Asked what drives him and how he has achieved his level of success, he replied: "I've never taken things for granted. I've always stayed focused - and that's the double-edged sword of being successful or going bust: what you waste in life. It's really important as a value, don't waste anything." 

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 19th February 2021

'We need more powerful females at the forefront'