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A middle school called on Gordon Ramsay for help after being short on cooks

Gordon Ramsay laughs during an interview in Boston on Feb. 7.
Jessica Rinaldi
Boston Globe via Getty Images
Gordon Ramsay laughs during an interview in Boston on Feb. 7.

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay came to the rescue for Edward Peake Middle School in Biggleswade, U.K., when kitchen manager Tina Clarke was left to feed hundreds of students alone, with two of her employees out sick.

Ramsay, who's generally known for being less than polite on his hit television shows, such as Hell's Kitchen and MasterChef, was being interviewed on the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show last week when an exasperated Clarke called in to ask for help.

"I'm cooking here on my own. I'm working here in a school kitchen, and my chef has gone off sick. I've got another one off with COVID and just wondered if Gordon would help me today, give me a hand after his interview?" Clarke half-jokingly asked.

Although Ramsay said he himself wasn't available, he offered to dispatch one of his chefs to the school.

"When I phoned in, I really did not expect for him to send a chef," Clarke told the BBC. "When I finally got a message saying, 'Your chef will be with you in an hour,' I thought, 'Oh, my God. I'm going to have to fess up to the head [teacher], and I hope she doesn't give me detention."

Ramsay sent chef Rob Roy Cameron via a cab from Ramsay's Lucky Cat restaurant in London, and Clarke immediately put him to work prepping cauliflower cheese for the students.

"I'm sure he was terrified by having three menopausal women around him in the kitchen all day," Clarke told the BBC.

The school was sure to thank both chefs through social media and recorded messages, one of which was played for Ramsay on the BBC's The One Show the following day, with Clarke telling Ramsay, "It sent a huge buzz around the school. So, thank you."

"Anytime, Tina," Ramsay responded.

The BBC hosts were quick to remind Ramsay to be careful or the school might ask for help more often!

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jeff Dean
Jeff Dean is the 2021 Military Veterans in Journalism intern for NPR reporting for the Business Desk and Newsdesk teams.