Gordon Ramsay’s tips on cooking like a pro 

Chef Gordon Ramsay drops by his namesake cooking Academy in Woking whenever he can 

Chef Gordon Ramsay drops by his namesake cooking Academy in Woking whenever he can - Credit: Gordon Ramsay Academy

Hell’s Kitchen star Gordon Ramsay tells us how to rustle up dishes like a top chef with a masterclass at his cooking Academy in Woking 

Cooking under the watchful eye of Gordon Ramsay may sound terrifying to some but when we joined a masterclass hosted by the top TV chef at his namesake cooking Academy in Woking, he was warm, funny and full of expert tips for creating dishes that wow. 

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Gordon and his team of expert chefs guided us through making an apple tarte tatin (see the recipe below), which is a surprisingly easy dish to master, once you know how. You only need five ingredients to make this crowd-pleasing dessert, which is the perfect final flourish for a dinner party or an indulgent treat you can take on a picnic. 

Perhaps the trickiest part is creating the caramel without burning it, but using a good pan and keeping the heat consistent is key to getting a great result. The most nerve-racking part was turning out the finished result from the pan to the plate with Gordon looking on, but he had some tips for making sure your hard work doesn't end up on the floor.

‘The pan will be super-hot so take your time,’ he says. ‘Lift the pan up and feel the weight so you get comfortable with it.’ He says that some people like to do a countdown from five to one but that, as a rule of thumb, it’s a case of ‘the quicker the better’.

Once your tarte is out of the oven, simply place your plate over the top of the pan, hold both the plate and the pan in place using a dish towel to protect your hands from the heat, apply pressure and then flip it over onto the kitchen counter.

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Once I’d successfully transferred my tarte tatin to the plate, and wiped away some of the excess caramel for presentation, it was time to tuck in. The result? A deliciously sweet dessert that’s a timeless favourite.  

Taking a class at the Gordon Ramsay Academy in Woking means you’re always in with a chance of seeing the TV chef himself, as he drops by whenever he can, but we were there for a special occasion to mark the launch of HexClad cookware in the UK. It’s what Gordon uses at home and it’s easy to understand why. Not only do the pans look good thanks to their sleek design, but their hybrid technology delivers a stainless steel and non-stick product. The laser-etched hexagon pattern creates a series of peaks and valleys in the pan that give food a golden-brown sear while at the same time protecting the pan from peeling and flaking. Essentially, it means that you can get away with using less butter, grease or oil in your recipes.  

HexClad pans, which chef Gordon Ramsay uses at home, are now available in the UK

HexClad pans, which chef Gordon Ramsay uses at home, are now available in the UK - Credit: HexClad

Gordon first discovered the brand in the US in 2020: ‘I use the pans at home, in my three-Michelin-star restaurant and at my cooking Academy,’ says Gordon. ‘The combination of stainless steel and non-stick functionality is amazing. It’s highly versatile and cooks to utter perfection.’ 

Since its launch in 2017, HexClad has sold more than a million units in North America and now it’s the brand’s time to shine here in the UK. The pans are scratch resistant, metal utensil safe, oven safe, dishwasher safe and PFOA free and are compatible with all induction, gas, ceramic and electric hobs. 

If your cooking skills could use a boost, there are lots of classes to pick from at the Academy. From learning the art of vegan cooking to sharpening your knife skills. It’s all born from a vision to make cooking accessible to everyone.  

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When asked what is the secret to being a top chef, Gordon’s advice is simple: ‘For me, it’s all about confidence. Just get in the kitchen and be prepared to give it a go – trust me.’  

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Getting your apple tarte tatin from pan to plate takes a steady hand

Getting your apple tarte tatin from pan to plate takes a steady hand - Credit: Archant

Recipe to try at home
Apple Tarte Tatin 

Serves 4-6 
Vegetarian. Contains gluten, milk  

Ingredients  
350-400g puff pastry sheet 
200g caster sugar 
100ml water 
50g unsalted butter 
4 dessert apples, peeled, quartered and cored 

Equipment  
23cm ovenproof pie dish or frying pan 

Method 
1
. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6. Line the base of a 23cm ovenproof pie dish or frying pan with baking paper. 

2. Cut out a large circle from the pastry using the pan as a guide, place on a baking tray and chill until needed.  

3. Add the sugar and water to a large pan. Stir over a low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved then increase the heat to medium and cook, without stirring, until caramelized and a rich, dark golden brown. 

4. Remove from the heat and add the butter. It will steam and bubble to start but keep stirring until fully melted. 

5. Lay the apples rounded side down into the hot caramel and return the pan to the heat. Cook for 8-10 minutes until the apples are starting to caramelize but still hold their shape.  

Arrange your apple slices in the caramel to create an eye-catching pattern 

Arrange your apple slices in the caramel to create an eye-catching pattern - Credit: Archant

6. Pour the apples and caramel into the line dish, arranging the apples with the caramelized rounded side facing down. Lay the chilled pastry over the top of the apples, tucking in around the edges. Prick a few times with a sharp knife and bake for 20-30 minutes, until the pastry is risen, crisp and golden. 

7. Leave to rest for 5 minutes then run a knife around the edges to loosen. Place a large serving plate with a rim (to catch the juices) over the top of the dish and carefully flip over to turn out the tarte. Drizzle over any remaining juices from the dish and serve with ice cream (vanilla, cinnamon or salted caramel ice cream are all delicious).