AN APPRENTICE chef from Gomersal got the surprise of his life when he fulfilled an ambition to eat at a Gordon Ramsay restaurant – he found himself face to face with the man himself!
Ben Popplewell, who works at Barca Cafe and Pizzeria in Batley’s Redbrick Mill, was finishing his meal at the Maze Grill in London’s fashionable Mayfair last Thursday afternoon when Chef Ramsay walked in.
“Gordon Ramsay has always been my favourite celebrity chef,” 19-year-old Ben told The Press. “To be honest he was probably my inspiration to take cooking seriously.
“I had baked from being at primary school, but I started watching a Gordon Ramsay programme on TV and followed the recipe for chicken tikka, all made from scratch.
“Then, last summer, I applied for an apprenticeship at Barca and was given a chance.
“I have a genuine interest in food and love to try new things and new flavours which is why I have wanted to visit one of Gordon’s restaurants for a long time.”
Ramsay was polite and friendly and when told of Ben’s apprenticeship the international TV chef shook his hand and said ‘Welcome to the business’.
“It was a great moment for me,” said Ben. “They say you should never meet your idols but I am extremely happy to have met Gordon Ramsay. I cant stop smiling whenever I think about it.”