The Simple Advice Gordon Ramsay Has For Young Chefs Facing Burnout

While he's not exactly known for his warm and fluffy demeanor, especially if you've seen him on "Hell's Kitchen" and "Kitchen Nightmares," Gordon Ramsay nevertheless has a soft spot for aspiring young chefs. No stranger to the intense and demanding world of high cuisine, Ramsay answered the question of a young chef who, in 2015, posted a long diatribe to Ramsay on his Reddit AMA page.

The nameless young chef was experiencing career burnout. "My hopes and dreams are nowhere to be found as I scale and portion salmon after salmon, shelling pods after pods of broad beans," the chef wrote. The long hours — upwards of 15 a day — and seemingly thankless work had taken a toll on the chef's mind, body, and spirit. In fear of the head chef, only being marginally acknowledged by a few patrons, and questioning whether or not to continue dedicating themselves to the culinary arts, they asked, "How do you deal with it?"

Those who have enjoyed Ramsay ferociously tearing into chefs might have expected a verbose, expletive-fueled tirade, brimming with potential insults. However, it was nothing of the sort. Instead, Ramsay responded with tenderness, advising the questioning chef to ditch the chaos and take a break. 

Give yourself time off

Ramsay began with reassurance. He himself has once been a young chef putting up with the insanity of high cuisine. He wrote, "So I came out of my training in Paris, after getting my a– kicked in some of the best restaurants in the world. I took some time off, and got aboard a boat, and was a private chef on a yacht. And those 6-9 months off allowed me to regenerate."

But this was not a time for complacency and defeat. Ramsay continued, "Never give up. But don't be scared to take a break. I did it myself, traveled the world, through Sardinia, Sicily, and had the most amazing time, and what I learned after that experience was that I could do in 1 hour on a boat what I was doing in 14-15 hours in the professional kitchen. It confirms what you've learned, when you walk into a new establishment. It shows how strong you are."

This simple advice transcends Ramsay's telling it to one individual. It applies to young chefs, yes, but also to all professionals. Oftentimes, we can feel as though we are not getting anywhere or learning anything. But once we step out of that chaotic environment and apply our skills in a new venture, we suddenly realize just how much we know and how worthy we are. Strong, friendly advice coming from one of our most culturally significant chefs.