HE’S reduced many a young chef to tears, so you might think most would shy away from the potential for an expletive-laden tongue lashing from Gordon Ramsay. But one young chef from Great Oxendon chose to work in such a kitchen of his own free will.
Lewis House, a chef at The George in Great Oxendon trained in a kitchen in London that is now owned by Gordon Ramsay, who would pay visits to the kitchen when he was working there.
Lewis (26), said: “I worked at the Savoy Grill under Marcus Wareing. It was tough but fun. It was a really difficult year but you learned a lot.
“You learned a lot very quickly because you worked all the time and you’re under a lot of pressure.”
Although Lewis, who lives in Great Oxendon, was working under Wareing, Ramsay would often visit the kitchen.
Lewis said: “He used to come in every now and again and everyone used to cower. You would see these big macho men and then he would walk in the kitchen and they were like yes Gordon, yes Gordon.”
On one occasion when Lewis was at the end of a shift and when everything was in a mess he looked up to see Ramsay staring down at him. He started cleaning up immediately.
Lewis worked in several restaurants afterwards and spent some time in Spain.
He is now bringing his experience to The George where he will be running a Spanish tapas night.
Also bringing his skills to the table at The George is Philip Dudley (29) who formerly worked at the two Michelin star Le Manoir in Oxfordshire, a restaurant owned by French chef Raymond Blanc.
Philip, who lives in Northampton, said he had to complete a trial at the top restaurant before being taken on as a pastry chef.
He worked there for three years.
He told the Mail: “It was one of the best places to work in pastry.
“You have to learn quickly, they just chuck you in the deep end.”
The shifts at Le Manoir were long. Philip said that one shift would mean starting work at 6am and not finishing until 9pm.
Blanc was a frequent face in at Le Manoir and completed all his creations for his television programmes in its kitchens.
Philip said: “When new people start he comes and introduces himself and if you have been there for a long time he comes to the leaving do.
“It was scary at the beginning.
“Chefs would come up to you and say ‘I give you a month and you will be finished’.”
Both chefs are now using their valuable experience at both top kitchens to try to bring a high quality of food to customers at The George.
All of the food there is home cooked and everything but the fish is locally sourced.
Lewis said: “We are just trying to make things special.”
The George is run by Allan Wiseman who himself worked as a chef on the QEII.
He previously ran the pub between 1986 and 2004 but took it over again in October last year.
Mr Wiseman said he thinks of The George as more a restaurant with a bar than simply a pub that also serves food.