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Gordon Ramsay: ‘Culinary Genius’ in Cannes

Gordon Ramsay put TV buyers through their paces in Cannes, today, Monday. At an event organised by All3Media, which backs his Studio Ramsay production company, the chef and presenter called TV acquisition executives from Australia, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, and Hong Kong to the stage whereupon they had to compete in a two-minute slicing, peeling, and chopping cooking challenge.

The Mipcom lunchtime session was themed around “Culinary Genius,” which he helped create. “It’s something we have been developing over the last six months, it’s a high-octane fun, dramatic, action-packed thirty minutes,” he said.

He gave the Mipcom execs a sense of what was to come, in terms of the use of sharp knives and the ribbing they were in for, when as he welcomed them to the stage: “The big question for you five: are you f****** mad, what is wrong with you, do you want to lose a finger,” he said to laughter from the industry crowd.

He also cracked wise about his upcoming “Gordon on Cocaine” documentary, which goes out in the U.K. later this week, joking the cooking trophy for the lunchtime event came with free drugs “to be divided equally and don’t be selfish.”

Merriment aside, Ramsay is passionate about casting a light on cocaine abuse in the restaurant business. “It still hurts me that I lost a chef to his cocaine abuse,” he told Variety earlier this month.

“What I’m frustrated about in the cheffing world is the image that you need that substance. The chef today has to perform like an athlete, the role and pressure is insane, but it’s not helped or enhanced with that substance, and the message behind the doc is you can get to the very top and you don’t need to do that.”

Earlier in the day Ramsay  had a wide ranging keynote discussion with Cynthia Littleton, manager editor of television for Variety. She asked him what he’s still looking to achieve after building such an empire in TV and the culinary world.

“I think just keeping it fresh and not getting stale,” he said. “It is so exciting with the team, with the development. And then coming up with that next cutting-edge idea. That’s what keeps me awake at night.”

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