Lyndy Redding, 35, grew up in Yorkshire and attended the Tante Marie school of cookery in Surrey. She is the director of the catering company Absolute Taste, that caters for, among others, the Formula 1 McLaren Mercedes team. She lives in London with her husband.
About 10 years ago, when my company was still quite small, we treated ourselves at the end of the Formula 1 season with a trip to Aubergine (Ramsay's first restaurant). We made the most of it and had puddings, the lot. My pudding still had a piece of plastic acetate stuck to it. I put it on the side of my plate and ignored it but when Gordon came round to have a chat with us, he nearly had a seizure when he saw it. He grabbed my plate and went storming down into the kitchen; we could hear him shouting at the chef. We thought it was hilarious. Then we went down to the kitchen and chatted. After we left and I thought nothing of it, but two years later, Gordon came to a Formula 1 race and we remembered each other.
My work with Gordon started with the Hampton Court music festival a couple of years ago. The organisers thought it would be a good idea for us to work with a big-name chef but I said that I would do it only if it was with Gordon. After that, the Beckhams asked him to cater for a party at their house, but he doesn't do private events, so he asked if I could do it using food based on the menu at Maze, Gordon's Grosvenor Square restaurant. It was a lot more restauranty than the food I would usually do, but it did work well.
We thought maybe we could do this type of thing for a few more people and so we set up a division. At the top end of outside catering, everyone wants something different. There is a lot of cachet to having Gordon Ramsay's food at your party; we did one for City lawyers last week and it went down incredibly well – a lot of people know and recognise Gordon's food.
The lovely thing about Gordon is that he's still passionate about food and although he's a celebrity now, he still completely understands the kitchen and what it's all about. He's aware that you're the last to leave a party, and your kitchen's a mess, and that it's not all glamorous. He's aware of how hard we work and how hard my chefs work and he gives us a lot of time, which is great.
The one complaint I have about him is that he's quite late. I'm busy as well, so I understand why. In cooking, timing is everything but it's always on the edge. You can plan it down to a tee and yet still things can change. I think that's why chefs are so volatile. My great chefs are always full of personality and they're all quite unpredictable – like Gordon.
Gordon Ramsay, 41, is one of only three chefs in the country with a three-Michelin-starred restaurant: he has been awarded a total of 12 stars. His TV career ranges from 'Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares' to 'The F Word'. He lives in London with his wife, Tana, and their four children.
I met Lyndy through a fuck-up. One of the desserts at Aubergine was a chocolate fondant, lined with clear paper. When Lyndy came in, the dumb-fuck pastry chef had left the paper on. He got sent out to Specsavers and I went over to apologise.
When she's doing catering for the Formula 1 team, she tailor-makes everything around the driver. She's got a hi-tech, custom-built kitchen that any chef would die for. When I went as her guest, there was a level of hospitality that was difficult to match.
Once we were doing a tasting for a menu we were planning for the Hampton Court music festival and we decided it needed tweaking. Lyndy insisted that the chefs changed things there and then, rather than waiting for our next scheduled meeting. Not once did she mention that she had to catch a flight and in the end she missed it. That woman's got balls of steel. That's why women are such an asset in the kitchen; they never flap.
I watched the way she handled David and Victoria Beckham's World Cup send-off. There were 500 guests and the food was of a Michelin-star standard; David said it was some of the best he's ever eaten. It's quite staggering. I am happy to hold my hands up in the air and say that I couldn't do something like that. I haven't got the patience to tolerate that kind of pressure. I'd freak. I freak out having to cook for 50 or 60; she cooks for thousands at a time. She's tenacious, she's sexy, she's vibrant and she gives me a hard time. She's an absolute doll.
The other thing I really like about her is that she stands out in a really chauvinistic field. When you look at how much arrogance and flashiness there is in Formula 1, you can see it's easy to get swept up in it, but this woman's feet are firmly on the ground. She's as humble as Lewis Hamilton and she's as gracious as Lady Di. Extraordinary.
When she's pissed off, she really does get fucked off. And when she wants to let her hair down and have a party, trust me, it's the kind of evening where you need a liver transplant the next day. When the cameras are off and the guests have gone, she's there ready to party with a nice bottle of Dom Perignon.
Gordon Ramsay by Absolute Taste can be contacted on 020 8870 5151. 'Gordon Ramsay: *** Chef', is published by Quadrille priced £40Reuse content