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Gordon Ramsay’s cooking MasterClass is not what I expected

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I need to be honest with you. I’m not a huge fan of cooking nor Gordon Ramsay.

From watching a few episodes of Hell’s Kitchen and MasterChef, I remember a blunt, ruthless and arrogant chef who seemed to like cursing as much as he liked cooking.

But I’m stuck at home in coronavirus lockdown, so I decided to improve my cooking skills.

I thought it would be difficult putting up with Ramsay’s abrasiveness. Boy, was I wrong.

Gordon Ramsay’s MasterClass class is about much more than cooking. After taking the class, I feel even more inspired about life. Dare I say it, I’ve grown to really like Chef Gordon.

I decided to put together this comprehensive review of “Gordon Ramsay Teaches Cooking” so you can decide whether it’s for you or not.

Quick note:

Gordan Ramsay’s class was so popular that MasterClass has put on a follow-up, Gordan Ramsay Teaches Cooking II. The links below open in new tabs so you can see the recipes you’ll learn in each class.

First off, what is MasterClass?

There’s a simple way to understand MasterClass. It’s the Netflix of online education.

They’ve got the world’s most famous instructors teaching exactly what it is that made them successful.

For example:

The reason I say they’re the Netflix of education due to the quality of their videos.

The videos are astounding! Once you start watching, you can binge-watch all day.

But it’s much better than binge-watching Netflix. You’re actually learning valuable life skills when you’re watching.

Yes please!

So how much does it cost?

Each class costs $90. But MasterClass also offers an “All-Access Pass” that gives you unlimited access to every class for $180 per year.

They’ve also got a money-back guarantee, so you can get a full refund within 30 days if you change your mind.

Personally, I chose the All-Access Pass option, as I wanted to explore all the things I could possibly learn.

Overview of Gordon Ramsay Teaches Cooking

Check out the video trailer above. You’ll immediately see the quality of their videos as well as Chef Ramsay’s cheeky sense of humor.

But you’re probably wondering what exactly you’ll find inside his class.

Chef Ramsay’s class has 20 lessons. They teach you the basics of cooking – from how to create an effective kitchen layout, the best cooking tools to use, to more in-depth lessons on how to master different types of ingredients.

Each lesson contains a video that runs up to 25 minutes, which looks like this:

Every lesson is also accompanied by a workbook. These workbooks contain key insights about each lesson, as well as additional assignments that will take your learning to a higher level, should you choose to do them.

Check it out:

If you scroll down each lesson page, you’ll also be able to see the “Lesson Discussion” section where you can share your opinions and insights about the lessons to your fellow students.

But these lessons aren’t the only things you should look forward to. One of the best surprises for me was the “Office Hours” feature – a Q&A option where you can ask questions to Gordon Ramsay himself. I thought this was a really nice added touch and makes the course feel more personal, as if you really have a mentor.

Lastly, when you enroll in any MasterClass course, you’ll also get access to “The Hub,” an equally passionate and lively community consisting of students just like you.

A deep dive inside the lessons

“No matter what you see and hear or read or watch on the television, you’ll see a side to me across this MasterClass that I don’t think has ever been shown before – because I’m uninterrupted.”

Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty of it – the lessons itself.

First off, I was blown away by the quality of the video lessons. It was like watching your own movie reel. Video quality runs up to 1080p and the imagery was rich. I was instantly drawn in by the delectable shots of food.

But the quality of the videos are one thing. What about the lessons themselves?

Like I mentioned before, the impression I have of Chef Ramsay is that he is crass. However, surprisingly, I saw none of this behavior from start to finish.

He was pleasant, candid, and seemed ready to show a side of him that you don’t usually see on TV.

Right off the bat, you get the feeling that this will be an intimate course. And his passion was infectious. It was, quite honestly, even for someone whose interest of the culinary arts is limited to watching TV shows – simply inspiring to watch.

The course covers everything from where best to place your refrigerator, how to slice an onion like a pro, to filleting a salmon.

Every lesson is presented in a fast-paced but elaborate way. And even if you don’t catch anything instantly, you can always rewind. Which, of course, is the beauty when it comes to online courses – you can learn everything on your own pace. Unlike real-life lessons, where you can miss some things.

There are also instances during lessons, where you can see additional tips on the screen like this:

There is also an option for English subtitles for each video lesson. So if you’re not a native English speaker, or someone who has a hearing disability, you can still take lessons without having any worries.

All in all, for me, the lessons were interesting and useful. It was also easy to follow. I thought it had a nice balance between some professional tips, but not unambitious for beginners like me.

The good

Now to some key insights. Here are some of the things I liked most about Gordon Ramsay’s cooking MasterClass:

The quality of the production of video lessons.

Quality-wise, this MasterClass was top-notch. The video lessons are a marvel to watch. It’s almost like watching Netflix on your screen. But that’s not a surprise, as MasterClass reportedly aims to bring high-quality film production to this $100 billion e-learning industry.

From a viewer’s perspective, it was quite pleasant. There’s barely any dramatic music or over-the-top film techniques to distract you from keeping up with the lessons. Personally, I liked the simplicity of the class in this sense. MasterClass has successfully brought a nice balance between high-quality production, and not sacrificing the mission of the lessons.

It was personal.

“Finding your passion in life is the most important thing you can do. Stop worrying about a bonus and financial security. Find a passion because everything else falls into place once you’ve got that track set to climb the ladder. And you’re passionate about it.”

This was, for me, the icing on the cake. For anyone who wants to learn the basics of professional cooking, you’ll get your money’s worth. That’s for sure.

However, the bonus takeaway for me was the life lessons Gordon Ramsay shared. It was hearing about his life and his journey.

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It was hearing his story.

And I wasn’t even a fan of his to begin with.

Even if you’re not really interested in cooking or the culinary arts – you’ll learn something here. You’ll learn about passion, success, and sacrifice. All from a regular boy, dreaming to become a professional soccer player but got injured. And yet, somehow, through it all, found another passion – and ran with it.

He even shared some valuable insights about business. How to find your footing in monetizing your passion. How to learn from your mistakes. Even if it’s as simple as how to fillet a salmon so you don’t waste anything.

These small details for me were intresting.

The MasterClass was infectious, captivating, and more valuable than anything you can read from a cookbook.

The Lesson Discussion section

I don’t know about you, but when I learn something wonderful, I immediately want to gush and share it to someone. And something as simple as the lesson discussion for me was a great addition.

It was interesting to see thoughts from students of every background. Furthermore, it was nice to see that everyone was as inspired as I was.

Some people would even comment and share about their personal life experiences.

Browsing through the lesson discussion, overall, motivated me more to continue.

The Office Hours feature

The office hours feature was another welcome bonus. It made things even more personal, and you get the feeling that Gordon Ramsay really is your mentor.

You can also watch other student’s questions that Chef Gordon has already answered. Surprisingly, very few of the questions were actually about cooking. Students asked more questions about creativity, how to stop feeling like you’re stuck on the rut, or some more life lessons from the celebrity chef himself.

The Bad

Honestly, the cooking MasterClass isn’t perfect. Here are the things that I think could be improved:

You won’t get a lot of recipes.

Truth be told, if you’re going to purchase this class as a one-time option, with $90, you should manage your expectations. The class focuses more on the “behind-the-scenes” of the cooking, and less on the cooking itself.

You should not expect to exchange your 90 bucks with 10 out-of-this-world new recipes. What you’ll get is how to layout your kitchen, improve your knife skills, how to poach an egg, and how to make a supreme beef wellington. This class was designed to get your cooking skills from the ground up. And that is by knowing how to master skills and ingredients more than learning new recipes.

If you are really serious about improving your cooking skills to a professional level, you won’t be satisfied with just this class. I’m not saying you won’t learn anything. On the contrary, you’ll learn a lot.

I would recommend you get an All-Access Pass, and take more MasterClass cooking lessons if you want a truly well-rounded educational experience. Not just from Gordon Ramsay, but from other world-renowned chefs like Wolfgang Puck and Thomas Keller.

But hey, if you want to elevate your cooking by mastering the basics, then you’re good to go with this class. Just don’t expect the fireworks.

If you’re an aspiring chef, you won’t really learn a lot of technical skills compared to what you already know.

As I mentioned before, this class is more for basic cooking, elevating what recipes you already know, and more behind-the-scenes learning than anything.

So if you’re an aspiring professional chef with some experience under you’ll belt, you won’t learn anything mind-blowing when it comes to technical skills.

I do imagine, however, that the insider tips from Gordon Ramsay will be valuable for you. His experience is vast, and there are insights you can learn that lack of experience hasn’t given you yet.

But if you already know how to make an exemplary home-made pasta or how to fillet a fish, then you won’t get much out from this class, technically-speaking.

Sometimes it felt too ambitious for beginners like me.

Look, not everyone owns a heavenly kitchen like chef Ramsay. And you won’t have those expensive Japanese knives either.

And while I enjoyed learning the basics and watching him do magic, from a realistic point of view, I found some of the lessons out of my grasp.

What I think would have been more valuable to learn was how to work in a kitchen that everyone owns at home. How to master tools that you already have. Instead of convincing students to buy a cast-iron pan.

I would have loved for chef Ramsay to give tips about what alternative things you can do with what you already have.

Putting it to the test

To really challenge myself and to show you guys if I truly learned something from this MasterClass, I decided to create one of the recipes from the course.

I really didn’t feel confident enough to try out the more complicated recipes like the Beef Wellington. So I decided on cooking the simpler recipe of Poached Eggs and Mushrooms on Brioche.

I got the ingredients and resolved myself to learning how to make the perfect poached eggs. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any brioche, so I used normal toasted bread smeared with butter as an alternative.

While chef Gordon’s lesson was playing on my laptop, I carefully followed his instructions to a T. His instructions were clear, and the lessons showed me exactly how to do it.

And I’m happy to say that I did!

Here’s my own version of Poached Eggs and Mushrooms on Brioche:

And it tasted even better!

The verdict

Overall, I loved the experience of taking this MasterClass. Perhaps one of the reasons is that I really didn’t expect much going in.

But I kept an open mind and I am so glad I did! As a novice cook, the lessons were easy to follow.

While weighing the pros and cons, I would say I was more than satisfied with this course. And for some of you who want more advanced cooking courses, chef Ramsay also offers a second-part course aside from this one. And MasterClass offers other courses from the world’s greatest chefs as well.

From this MasterClass, I learned:

  • How to handle a knife more efficiently
  • How to make the perfect poached eggs
  • Some new recipes
  • How to elevate the recipes I already know
  • How to break down a whole chicken, fish
  • Making an authentic Italian pasta dough and how to properly roll it
  • and so much more

And more importantly, I fell in love with cooking in a newfound way. Chef Gordon Ramsay is truly an inspiration. Just hearing about his success story was more than enough for my money’s worth. But it really was his honesty and candidness that I liked watching.

I am someone who is also passionate about my work. And more often than not, I find myself pushing and pushing to achieve a “reward” in my head. As a result, I always chase for perfection and am not satisfied with anything less.

But chef Gordon Ramsay imparted some wisdom in this MasterClass that truly resonated with me. And that is to find balance in your passion and work – how to never forget the reason why you do what you do. More importantly, not to forget that you love it.

For the inspiration alone, I would recommend this MasterClass to anyone.

Should you get the All-Access Pass?

Once you start considering taking the online course, I am sure that at one point before you purchase, you’ll wonder if you might as well get the All-Access Pass.

Should you get an individual class pass or the All-Access Pass?

It’s really up to you. But perhaps the best way to decide is to take a look at the list of MasterClass instructors and see if you would be interested in 3 or more of them.

If you do find more classes you’d be interested in taking, then I say that you might as well get the All-Access Pass. Personally, $180 for a one-year access to all MasterClass courses is already a bargain, seeing the star-studded array of mentors.

And by judging from this one MasterClass alone, I believe that it’s definitely the case.

To find out more about Gordon Ramsay’s cooking MasterClass, click here. If you’re interested in finding out more about the All-Access Pass, you can do that here. And check out our comprehensive review of MasterClass.

Written by Genefe Navilon

Genefe Navilon is a writer, poet, and blogger. She graduated with a degree in Mass Communications at the University of San Jose Recoletos. Her poetry blog, Letters To The Sea, currently has 18,000 followers. Her work has been published in different websites and poetry book anthologies. She divides her time between traveling, writing, and working on her debut poetry book.

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