As far as opportunities go at Gamereactor, very few are as exciting as being able to speak to Gordon Ramsay himself. Recently, we got the chance to speak to the renowned chef about his new mobile game Chef Blast, which launches today on Android and iOS devices. This new puzzle title features full voice work from Ramsay, and it includes the opportunity to unlock several exclusive recipes that have never been featured anywhere else. It comes from the team at Outplay Entertainment, who are known as being the biggest mobile developer in the UK and have created titles such as Crafty Candy and Castle Creeps.
Gamereactor: Are you much of a gamer? Are there any games that you have played that have really resonated with you?
Ramsay: I've been fascinated by the space for years. It's why I did my first game, Ramsay Dash. But I watch what the kids do more, they're always on their phone so they show me what they're playing and sometimes I'll sneak in a few minutes of gameplay.
Gamereactor: Chef Blast will be hitting mobiles soon. What can you tell us about the origins of the project and what it was like providing voice work?
Ramsay: I've seen the rise of puzzle games with the kids for years, so I thought why don't we put a food spin on one with some incredible unique twists like exclusive recipes. Providing the voice work is really fun, the team on Chef Blast takes the best lines I've said over the years and makes me recite them! It's like reliving history, my history!
I can see that the game is rated PEGI 12 for 'mild swearing.' Is it fair to say that we will be hearing some of your classic insults for not performing well?
Ramsay: I think everyone has come to expect me to call them a name or two or else it would take away from the authenticity. I mean if you're really shit at the game you deserve to be called a donut.
Gamereactor: You're used to working hard, excessively hard in your youth in particular. Do you have any thoughts in regards to WHO's listing of "Gaming Disorder" as an official mental illness? Can anything be unhealthy if you go too overboard?
Ramsay: Look it's true we've all become way too attached to our technology but we have to remember there's more offline in the world than online. I think if you take anything to an extreme it can be unhealthy. Moderation is always key.
Gamereactor: "Crunch" is a term often used to describe unhealthy working conditions in the games industry, with little compensation and work weeks that can cross 100 weekly hours. Fine dining, or at least parts of the culinary world seems to do something similar. What are your thoughts on that? How do you balance your ambition with mental health, and should one stand up to leaders that require this of their staff, or work their way to the top of the ladder with sheer force of will and hard work?
Ramsay: Every industry has its extremes and no one is immune to it. But we all need our breaks to clear our head and get inspired. I do it with my chefs all the time, I send them out to explore and learn to bring back things to the kitchen. You have to make sure your team has time to feel inspired and as a team member be inspired yourself. During lockdown I have tried to take time to speak one-on-one with my young team, those feeling isolated, alone and worried for their futures. I hope I've reassured them that we will come back together as a team, in our amazing kitchens and restaurants and do what we love, all together!
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