Gordon Ramsay discovers India

A Scottish chef who won the heart of Gordon Ramsay has been awarded a job at one of his restaurants
Picture of India Innes who won the Michelin Starred Chef’s heart to work in his kitchen

by Alexander Lawrie

SCOTTISH chef who won the heart of Gordon Ramsay has been offered work in any of his restaurants around the world.

India Innes, who appeared on this week’s episode of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, impressed the foul-mouthed chef so much he has asked her to take her pick from his list of top class restaurants.

The 23-year-old also seems to have tamed Ramsay’s well-known fiery temper as she describes him as a pussycat.

India, who is originally from Edinburgh, was working in the Parisian eatery Piccolo Tiatro while Ramsay tried to turn the fortunes of the ailing business.

Owned by a friend of India’s, Rachel McNally, the daughter of well-known restaurateur Brian McNally, the vegetarian outlet was so badly run customers were almost non-existent and the lackadaisical Brazilian chef was fired almost immediately.

India was then called in to save the day and her and Ramsay worked tirelessly to turn it around, but soon after his departure the manager’s bad habits returned and it wasn’t long before the restaurant was closed down and India found herself out of a job.

She said: “Unfortunately, Rachel was an absolute nightmare to work with. I moved over there to run the kitchen but it didn’t work out so I came back home to Scotland.

“It actually got so bad there that one night I left my jacket in the cellar and in the morning it had been eaten by rats. That was it for me.

“A couple of weeks later Gordon phoned me to ask what went wrong. I told him the whole story and he persuaded me to fly back to Paris to finish the filming.

“Then he said, ‘I’ve got a surprise waiting for you when you get here’.

“He told me to remember to bring my whites, which gave me a huge clue as to what was going on.”

When filming was complete India flew to London to meet the team of chefs at the Ramsay-owned restaurant at Claridge’s.

She impressed so much she has been invited to work for an initial two-week period in January at the Boxwood Cafe, which is situated at the famous Berkeley Hotel, in London’s Knightsbridge.

India, who is currently working at Edinburgh restaurant Shaw’s, said: “I’m so excited to have this opportunity. To work in London and Paris is every chef’s dream, so I’m going to make the most of it.

“I try and take all the best bits from the chefs I meet and, hopefully, then become a great one myself.

“Gordon has said to me he has restaurants all over the world and I can take my pick, so it’s absolutely amazing for me personally, and for my career as a chef.

“I think the reason we hit it off so well was I’m the same age he was when he went to Paris for the first time.

“And, of course, we’re both Scottish. Which might have helped a bit.

“He’s such a lovely man. The aggressive TV image he has is just a front. He’s a pussy cat really.”

Owner of Shaw’s, Gordon Wilson, 46, said: “We’re so proud to have India as part of our team. She’s a joy to work with.

“I’m a friend of her parents and knew she was a chef, but I didn’t realise how good she actually was and had no idea about the Ramsay stuff until after she started here.

“We got her in on a bit of trial to see how things went, but within a couple of hours I knew she was perfect for the job. She’s a natural in the kitchen.

“No matter what happens with the Ramsay thing she’ll always have a job here if she wants it.”

In the programme, Ramsay said meeting India was the highlight of his stint filming in Paris.

He said: “When I left, the place had huge potential, a great new menu and a talented young chef in the kitchen. There is no way that I am going to let her forget her dream. She has a great future ahead of her.”

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  1. I have just finished watching Gordon Ramsay’s “Kitchen Nightmares” episode with India Innes. The article I have just read is well written and told the story just as I saw it on film. In addition, I enjoyed the “Behind the scenes” dialog concerning India and Gordon. I will earmark this site and look forward to reading more of your enjoyable and well-written articles.

    p.s. if I had an e-mail address for India I would wish her the best of luck with “The Pussycat” lol

  2. I just watched the episode with India on BCC America last night and I was really touched by this episode. You could honestly see the careless attitude of the owner of the Picolo Tiatro even after she was given this godsend of a chef in India… I’m glad Gordon was able to discover her and give her dream a chance to grow. I’d like to express all my best wishes to India for a great career in the making, work hard at it and all your dreams will come true !!… and to Gordon, keep up the excellent work, I love your shows and your no nonsense attitude, there should be more people like you in the restaurant world. I watch your shows regularly and I try to apply everything I learn to my business. You’ve been a great help !!

    Cheers Gordon.

  3. I’ve heard that Ramsay’s a really nice, genuine guy and I think that comes through if you look just below his (rightfully) tough exterior, which is why I think the show’s so successful. I agree this was a wonderful gesture and I hope she has a long and fruitful apprenticeship under Ramsay and his crew.

  4. Bravo to India! My husband and I have just watched the episode she was in with Gordon and although neither of us are chefs nor are we in the hospitality industry … you could tell just by watching how India worked, that she’s a natural!

    India will go a long way with her down to earth no fuss attitude … no wonder Gordon has offered her a space in his world!

  5. I really adore Gordon and India’s relationship. They hit it off so well right off and they seem to energize eachother. I just love watching them interacting together.

  6. I Too was impressed with India and how Mr Ramsay saved a great young chef and raised her in his house of culinary artist each time i see chef Ramsays show he leaves not only the crazy people he rescues but helps all of us the viewers great cooking tips which i must say really work lololol . As for India if she ever wanted to have her own restaurant in Bermuda she should give me a shout thank you Gordon for your superb talent and lets keep the fire burning .. one love Gordon and good luck India . keep me posted on your sucess ([email protected] )

  7. Pretty late but I know it does count, I know and agree with Jeorge James, Gordon saved for him such a young piece of culinary art! She is so amazing and the potential she has is so big!! And she is so nice and kind! One Chef to admire!

  8. Great episode watching a master chef like Ramsey training perhaps a future master chef in the great city of Paris. I just watched the episode in Los Angeles on BBC America. India has such great passion for a young chef and natural ability. I hope she goes far. I’m glad Gordon offered her a job at the end of the show in the city that perhaps made him a Master Chef – a city where hopes and dreams are made. Bravo! Good luck India ==

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