He went in search of fame on the gastronomic field when his soccer ambitions were wrecked by a training pitch injury. And he set out to prove himself to his father, Gordon Snr, who had famously proclaimed that all chefs were "poofs".
Nowadays, with an expanding empire of posh restaurants in London, Scotland and Dubai including one in Chelsea with three Michelin stars, plus ambitions for another in Manhattan things are going very nicely for Ramsay.
So how was the "bad boy" image created? The answer is straight to the point: "It was not premeditated. I suppose I am too honest. But I don't have to take rubbish from anybody and I don't have to lick anyone's backside just for the sake of it. I have got where I am today by working hard and boxing clever. And I am still learning my trade.
"But I suppose that after Boiling Point', the TV documentary about me, people saw me as a foul-mouthed chef who was rude and arrogant with his staff. But without their loyalty and understanding I would not have been so successful.
"The public had grown infatuated with the Ready, Steady, Cook' type of show and the programme was the first time that people had seen the nitty gritty of the hard work and disciplines needed in cooking."
But surely the flood of celebrity chef TV programmes has helped some of his contemporaries? "Of course, but I don't need to go down to Cornwall to reinvent the Cornish pasty. I get on well with Rick Stein, Jamie Oliver and Gary Rhodes. They are amazing talents who would not be where they are today if they could not cook. But cooking on TV is easier than it is in a restaurant. In the studio you have to do it once in half an hour and here you have to do it 50 times in half an hour."
After catering college, Ramsay learned his trade at the knees of culinary legends such as Marco Pierre White and Albert Roux. And he is quick to defend his tough treatment of chef recruits by citing his own experiences with that distinguished duo. "Boy, oh boy. When I mucked something up they didn't pat me on the back and ask me to go out to dinner. And it was through those experiences I was able to learn my trade quickly."
But Ramsay's passion for food extends well beyond his circle of swanky eateries. He has fulsome praise for the supermarkets. "They have improved tenfold compared with a decade ago. They never had in-house bakeries or sold vine tomatoes. You could never find red mullet or sea bass. People don't want to traipse to markets and buy potatoes with mud on them. We are all living at a thousand miles an hour and the chains have responded by offering us convenience."
So given his belief in the supermarket system, would he follow Jamie Oliver and sign an exclusive deal with one of the multiples? The smile returns:"I have had a very exciting approach from one of them recently and I am considering it," he says.
But didn't Jamie sell his soul? "Jamie has been clever and I don't believe he has sold out. You only have to look at the bottom line and the amount of money he puts onto it for Sainsbury compared with the £500,000 a year he gets for doing it," Ramsay says.
"Personally, I don't think he is getting enough. If David Beckham can get £1m for an advertisement for sunglasses, I am damned sure that Jamie Oliver can get £500,000 working with Sainsbury."
But the passion returns when I ask Ramsay for his stance on GM food. "I am totally against GM food and I would never eat it. I don't want to hear that scientists are modifying the essence and flavour of tomatoes and potatoes. That is total crap."
Yet, surprisingly, unlike many opponents of GM technology, Ramsay is not a disciple of the organics cause."I know the organics people say that their food is pure and pesticide free. But, where food is concerned it can be screwed up 10 times quicker in the kitchen than in the growing process.
"Organics has lost its way. I am still using the fresh produce suppliers that I had 10 years ago, and they are not organic. Provided I can trace the stuff back to when and where it was grown, or how the animal that it came from was fed, I don't have a big nerve centre about everything having to be totally organic.
"Having said that, organics have created a niche for the premier league of domestic mums."
Ramsay has plenty of ambition left for his growing food empire. But even beyond the coveted Michelin, stars, one big wish remains to buy a football club. Glasgow Rangers take note!