9 Delicious Facts About Gordon Ramsay

Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Vegas Uncork'd by Bon Appetit
Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Vegas Uncork'd by Bon Appetit

Chef Gordon Ramsay’s favorite curse word in the kitchen is “f*ckos.” This should come as no surprise, given his reputation as a potty-mouthed culinary firebrand. Ramsay, the first Scottish chef to be awarded three Michelin stars, describes himself as “a crazy f*cking psycho!” in the kitchen, and it would seem that few who have worked with him over the years would disagree. I mean, you don’t get yourself put on TV Guide’s list of the "60 Nastiest Villains of All Time" for nothing.

But with more than 30 restaurants around the world, several Michelin stars, and a bevy of popular television shows—including Hell’s Kitchen and MasterChef—it’s hard to argue with Ramsay’s success in the entertainment universe. Here are some things you might not have known about everyone’s favorite foul-mouthed gourmand.

1. HE ONCE THREW JOAN COLLINS OUT OF HIS RESTAURANT.

Technically, Ramsay threw noted food critic A. A. Gill out of his flagship London restaurant, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay; but Gill’s companion for the evening and witness to the gastro-ejection, actress Joan Collins, was kicked out by default. As it turns out, Ramsay had a beef with some of Gill’s past criticisms of his food, including the time he said that, “The menu was, in some respects, utterly tasteless and embarrassing.” Gill went on to describe his nemesis, Ramsay, as “a wonderful chef, just a really second-rate human being.” Ramsay’s mother was apparently not pleased at all with her son’s behavior in this instance.

2. HE NEVER MUCH CARED FOR VEGETARIANS … UNTIL HE LEARNED ABOUT PIGLET CASTRATION.

Ramsay has never made a secret of his disdain for vegetarianism. On one occasion, he bragged about telling a table of vegetarians who were eating artichoke soup that he had made it “with vegetable stock, when it was chicken stock.” On an episode of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, he let an unwitting vegetarian eat a slice of pizza with ham on it—and didn’t divulge the ingredients until after the diner had consumed it (which Ramsay found quite humorous). The chef seemed to have a change of heart, however, after seeing a video of the horrors of commercial pig farming in Europe—including the practices of tail docking (removing a piglet’s tail) and piglet castration (self-explanatory).

“It’s enough to make anyone turn f***ing vegetarian for God’s sake,” Ramsay said. “And I’ve always sort of knocked vegetarians and vegans for, you know, missing out on the most amazing flavor you get from meat, but you can see why so many people change instantly.”

3. HE AND MARIO BATALI ARE NOT FANS OF ONE ANOTHER.

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

As noted in the New York Post in 2009, the feud between the two chefs began when Mario Batali criticized Ramsay’s food, calling it “dull and outdated.” Ramsay retaliated by nicknaming Batali “Fanta Pants” (a knock on his signature orange pants), which led Batali to ban Ramsay from all of his restaurants. “Ramsay’s people call, trying to book tables, and I say no,” Batali told The Guardian. “I won’t have him in there … Gordon bugs me … Now he goes about town calling me Fanta Pants.” But Batali seemed open to burying the hatchet, saying that, “If Gordon called me himself and said, ‘Let’s sit down for a drink.’ I’m sure it would be fine. We’d be cool. But right now it’s not cool.”

4. HE HAS HAD SOME COSMETIC SURGERY.

"I've got four children, and they've become 'Dad, why have you got so many wrinkles on your face when Clementine's daddy has no wrinkles?,'” Ramsay told The Guardian in 2010 of his decision to have the blemishes removed via cosmetic surgery. “The lines were pretty horrific, like Scarface, and I was never embarrassed by it, but my children helped me become more paranoid about it. You've seen the articles: craggy face, map of Wales, ugly, deflated rugby ball. There's only so much sh*t you want to take.”

But don’t expect Ramsay to go under the knife again. “Of course I'm not going to have any more f*cking work done,” he asserted. “The amazing guy who did it said to me, 'Let's get one thing right: I am not, under any circumstances, ever going to touch that forehead.’”

5. HIS FAVORITE MIDNIGHT SNACK IS BAKED BEANS.

When asked about his favorite midnight snack in an interview with Bon Appétit, Ramsay said, “That would be baked beans. Chili flakes, garlic, Tabasco sauce, hot sauce. Sourdough bread—grilled—baked beans on top, with a duck egg, covered with Parmesan and gratinated under the grill.”

6. HE’LL ALWAYS ORDER THE BEEF WELLINGTON.

Mark Davis/Getty Images

No matter where in the world Ramsay is, if he sees beef Wellington on the menu, you can bet that’s what he’ll be ordering. “So the first thing I would want to order if I see it, if there's a Wellington on any menu, whether it's in the middle of Milan or the middle of Paris or the middle of New York,” Ramsay said. “I grew up with beef Wellingtons."

7. HE CAN’T BELIEVE THAT EDIBLE FOAMS HAVE STUCK AROUND.

When it comes to cooking, Ramsay likes to keep things simple and stick to the classics—which definitely does not include any type of edible foam. When asked during a Reddit AMA "What is the dumbest trend in food that you thought would not have lasted, but has?" Ramsay was quick to respond that, “I think foam should be used for shaving, not go on top of food. Because when a foam hits a plate, unless you've eaten it within three or four seconds, at the end it looks like sort of toxic scum on a stagnant pool."

8. HE’S NOT A FAN OF GIRL SCOUT COOKIES.

And on a 2016 episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Ramsay, who had confessed to never having eaten a Girl Scout Cookie before, was challenged to taste the confections on air. “They look like dog biscuits,” was Ramsay’s response upon looking at plates of Tagalongs, Samoas, and Thin Mints. His opinion didn’t change after trying them.

9. HE’D LOVE TO COOK DINNER FOR HILLARY CLINTON.

Ramsay told Bon Appétit that if he could cook dinner for one celebrity it would be Hillary Clinton. And what would he make her? “I would say something authentic, rich, and a sauce that had been doused with lots of red wine. Like a braised short rib, because she’s of that era—of that age—that she understands fine food.”

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!

15 Terrifying Facts About John Carpenter’s Halloween

Michael Myers is coming to get you in Halloween (1978).
Michael Myers is coming to get you in Halloween (1978).
Anchor Bay Entertainment

It doesn't matter how many times you've seen it; John Carpenter's Halloween, which was released more than 40 years ago, will always be required viewing for the holiday for which it's named. Here are 15 things you might not have known about the film.

1. It took less than two weeks to write the script for halloween.

Director John Carpenter originally intended to call his movie The Babysitter Murders, but producer Irwin Yablans suggested that the story may be more significant if it were based around a specific holiday, so the title was changed to Halloween. Carpenter and co-screenwriter Debra Hill wrote the original script in just 10 days.

2. Halloween features Jamie Lee Curtis's feature debut.

Jamie Lee Curtis was initially interested in the role because she loved Carpenter’s 1976 film Assault on Precinct 13 and went on to audition for the part of Laurie Strode three separate times. Carpenter initially wanted actress Anne Lockhart for the role, but cast Curtis after her final audition, where she nailed the scene of Laurie looking out her window to see Michael Myers in her backyard. Curtis has reprised her role as Laurie several times in the 40-plus years since the original film's release, and also lent her voice in an uncredited appearance as a phone operator in Halloween III: Season of the Witch (the pseudo-sequel that did not feature the Michael Myers storyline). In 2018, she played Laurie again with David Gordon Green's reboot of the series, which she is set to do again in its upcoming sequels: Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends.

3. Halloween was set in the Midwest, but it wasn't shot there.

Though Halloween is set in the fictional town of Haddonfield, Illinois, it was shot on location in South Pasadena and Hollywood, California. If you look closely, you can see palm trees in the backgrounds of some shots, like the scene above where Laurie walks Tommy Doyle to the Myers’s house. Haddonfield is named after co-writer and producer Debra Hill’s hometown of Haddonfield, New Jersey.

4. Halloween's production was incredibly short.

The 20-day shoot commenced in the spring of 1978 and the film was released in October of the same year. The seasonal restrictions created some interesting hurdles for the production—dozens of bags of fake leaves painted by production designer Tommy Lee Wallace were reused for various scenes. Others may notice that the trees that line the streets of the fictional Haddonfield are fully green instead of autumnally colored. Carpenter initially wanted to somehow change the trees too, but budget restraints kept him from making them seasonally correct.

5. The Halloween script didn't call for a specific kind of mask.

The mask for Michael Myers was only described as having “the pale, neutral features of a man,” and for the movie the design was boiled down to two options: both were cheap latex masks painted white and bought for under $2 apiece at local toy stores by Wallace. One was a replica mask of a clown character called “Weary Willie” popularized by actor Emmett Kelly, and the other was a stretched out Captain Kirk mask from Star Trek. Carpenter chose the whitewashed Kirk mask because of its eerily blank stare that fit perfectly with the Myers character.& ;

6. John Carpenter named many of the characters in Halloween after acquaintances or influences.

Michael Myers came from the British film distributor who helped put out Carpenter’s previous movie, Assault on Precinct 13, in the UK, while Laurie Strode is named after one of his ex-girlfriends. Tommy Doyle is named after a character from Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window, and Sheriff Leigh Brackett is named after sci-fi novelist and screenwriter Leigh Brackett, who wrote classics like The Big Sleep, Rio Bravo, and The Empire Strikes Back.

7. Halloween’s iconic floating P.O.V. shots were done using a Panaglide camera rig.

The Panaglide was a competitor to the now-ubiquitous Steadicam, which allowed the camera to be fitted to a camera operator for far-ranging and smoothly unbroken shots. Carpenter loved it because he could shoot copious amounts of footage in one day to make up for the film’s minuscule $300,000 budget. Halloween was among the first films to use the Panaglide, alongside films like Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven. Check out director of photography Dean Cundey’s original camera tests for Halloween using the rig above.

8. One Halloween character was named after another famous movie character.

Donald Pleasence’s character, Dr. Sam Loomis, was named after the character of the same name from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Curtis’s mother, Janet Leigh, appeared in Psycho as Sam Loomis’s girlfriend Marion, and was killed in the film’s famous shower scene. For the Loomis character in Halloween, Carpenter originally wanted either Peter Cushing or Christopher Lee, but both passed on the film because the pay was too low. Pleasence would go on to appear in four Halloween sequels, concluding with Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers, which was released after his death in 1995.

9. Most of Halloween's main cast provided their own wardrobe.

Curtis bought her costumes at JC Penney, all for under $100.

10. The Thing made a cameo in halloween.

One of the scary movies that Lindsay Wallace watches on TV is the 1951 version of The Thing (a.k.a., The Thing from Another World). Carpenter would later remake The Thing in 1982, though his version is more heavily based on the source material: a 1938 novella by John W. Campbell Jr. called “Who Goes There?”

11. Michael Myers is played by three different actors.

Anchor Bay Entertainment

Michael Myers was primarily played by actor Nick Castle, who was Carpenter’s friend from USC film school and who would go on to co-write Carpenter’s 1981 film Escape from New York, but was also played by production designer Tommy Lee Wallace whenever needed. When Myers is unmasked at the end of the film, he is played by actor Tony Moran who would go on to appear in guest spots on TV shows like The Waltons and CHiPS. Moran was paid $250 for a day’s work and a single shot in Halloween.

12. The Myers's house was relocated in the 1980s.

Halloween fans looking to see the Myers home in its original location are out of luck: In 1987, it was relocated from its location at 709 Meridian Avenue in South Pasadena, California, after it was slated to be demolished. The home is now located at 1000 Mission Street in South Pasadena, and it won't be going anywhere. The home was named a historical landmark in the city of South Pasadena, not only because of its cinematic history but also because the house itself dates back to 1888 and is thought to be the oldest surviving residential structure in the city.

13. At the time of shooting, the Myers's house really was abandoned.

The scenes of the Myers house looking dilapidated were actually how the crew found it and they shot it as is. It wasn’t until the last shot on the last day of production (which is actually the first shot in the movie) that the entire crew banded together to paint the house and dress it with furniture to make it look lived-in.

14. John Carpenter completed the entire score for Halloween by himself in just three days.

Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly

The director usually does all the music for his own films, and his theme for the movie came from a simple drumming exercise for the bongos that his father had taught him when he was a child.

15. John Carpenter filmed new scenes after the fact.

To fill a two-hour time slot needed for television broadcasts of Halloween, Carpenter filmed additional scenes during the production of Halloween II (which Carpenter co-wrote and co-produced, but did not direct) that primarily featured Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis. The new scenes include Dr. Loomis at a hearing to review young Michael’s incarceration at the sanitarium and confronting a young Michael in his room, Loomis discovering Michael has escaped and scrawled the word “Sister” on his door, and a concerned Laurie asking her friend Lynda about the man she keeps seeing around their neighborhood.