Matt Abé: “It’s something that I’m really proud of”

The Staff Canteen

Showcasing more than 25 years of continued success, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay: A Story of Excellence offers an intimate look behind the scenes at one of the world’s best restaurants, its evolution, and the stories of Gordon Ramsay, Matt Abé and the restaurant’s team who have strived for perfection at the three Michelin-starred culinary institution.

Featuring a plethora of Gordon’s personal stories, the book shines a light on the restaurant’s history over the years, featuring 40 signature recipes nestled amongst a range of beautiful photographs.

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Matt Abé, the Chef Patron of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and a key force in developing the restaurant into what it represents today, told listeners of the Grilled podcast and co-host Tom Shepherd, what readers can expect from the book.

“The book talks about 25 years of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and all the people that have been through it, looking at the culinary side of things that I have taken care of in the last six years, as well as a few evolutionary tweaks to the classics, for instance the lobster ravioli which dates back to Gordon’s time at the Aubergine,” Matt explained.

He added: “When you create dishes and you see them every day, you make little changes constantly, nothing major just little things every now and then until you get it to perfection, but when you actually see it in print, it takes the beauty to a whole new level.”

25 Years of Culinary History

Discussing the production of the book in more detail, Matt revealed that creating the book was a three-year process between himself, Gordon and their team.

“For us doing the book it meant more than making a book for today and relevant now, it was about making and showcasing a book that talked and showcased twenty-five years of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay,” explained Matt.

Looking back on producing the book, Matt admitted it was a difficult process that required a lot of hard-work from both himself and the team.

“Developing the book and putting that all together was one hell of a job. We had a big team around us, we had a food editor assisting, putting in a little less chef talk and making the recipes a little bit softer and more approachable for the people at home,” he said.

“People that know me know that I’m very impatient. When I want something, I probably wanted it yesterday not today, so I put that pressure on myself trying to get things right, particularly with photoshoots.”

Adding to the already mammoth task of putting the book together, its production required Gordon, Matt and the restaurant’s team working with a number of outside organisations, creating numerous challenges for Matt amid-running the three Michelin-starred restaurant.

“The book was shot in ten shoots working with John Carey, an absolutely amazing photographer,” he revealed.

Matt added: “It’s a much bigger process than I honestly thought it was ever going to be. It was a very proud moment to actually see it in the flesh and hold the book itself. It’s something that I’m really proud of and really proud to be part of the history of the restaurant.”

The History of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay

For Matt, one of the most interesting parts of the process was taking a closer look with Gordon, at the Restaurant Gordon Ramsay family tree and the legacies of past staff members.

Matt explained: “When we were going through certain parts of the book, you start to look at the family of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay from over the years and you realise the amount of talent that has come from the fold.”

He added: “There’s people that I worked with when I started fourteen years ago as a chef de partie, they may have been a chef de partie or a commis chef then and now they’ve gone onto to do their own thing, they’ve become chefs at Michelin-starred restaurants around the world, opened a new pub, or they’ve gone to another country and done their own thing; it’s not always about the people that have gone on to get Michelin stars, it’s actually the lineage and the growth that comes out of it, and it’s incredible to see.”

“I’m excited to see where Matt goes for the rest of his career”

As well as providing an extensive reflection of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, the book celebrates the hard work and dedication from Matt himself, who has continually developed into the fine dining power of today.

Commenting on Matt’s influence at the restaurant, Michelin-starred chef owner Tom Shepherd said: “You can see from afar that the food at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay’s is some of the most refined, exquisite food that has ever been cooked there in my opinion. You can see the refinement from the get-go and this book really details that."

Tom added: “When a book gets produced to that level, I just couldn’t wait to buy it really. I just think it’s an amazing thing for Matt and it’s something he deserves so much. I’m excited to see where Matt goes for the rest of the career because I’m sure he wants to go his own way at some point and I’m so excited to see that because he’s such a f*****g force.”

Commenting on his future, Matt said: “My aspirations have always been to have my own place one day and I very much really look forward to the challenge in going at it alone, starting from scratch, and seeing what I can achieve. That’s what the future holds.”

Revealing whether he would move back to Australia or stay here in the UK, Matt said: “I would stay in the UK. This is home now. I get asked this all the time, ‘would you move back to Australia and open a restaurant?’ And for now the answer is no.

He added: “I’ve got so many great friends and relationships I’ve built with people, and suppliers, and it goes far beyond just the four walls of a restaurant but I think this has definitely become my home.”

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 6th October 2023

Matt Abé: “It’s something that I’m really proud of”